The Little Things That Keep Your Septic System Running Right

Living with a septic tank isn't something you can do without some degree of self-educating. Improperly used, a septic tank can create a massive mess, and an even bigger expense when it eventually breaks down. There are a number of small tasks and habits you can utilize to both preserve your septic system's longevity and minimize your expenses over the life of your tank.

The Limits of Septic Wastewater Treatment

Your septic tank was designed to digest solid matter and strain particulate out of liquid waste so that it could seep back into the ground through percolation. What you drop down your drains and flush down your toilet will have a direct impact on how successful that process actually is. The more solid waste that ends up in your septic tank, the more the bacteria responsible for breaking it down will need to work. More importantly, not all solid waste is created equal, so what you flush is just as important as how much of it you flush.

Avoid sending anything down the drain that wouldn't normally be flushed in the toilet. This includes food waste, paper towels, cotton balls or swabs, and a host of other solid waste that really ought to end up in your trash can. The added volume of solids will reduce the amount of time before your septic tank reaches capacity, and the slower degradation rate of some solids will mean that the added volume won't process at a predictable rate. After long enough, you'll either need to pump your tank early or replace it completely due to a failure, fracture or overflow.

Do's and Don'ts of Septic System Lawn Care

While most of the action is taking place beneath the surface of your property, what you do above ground can have a profound impact on how things progress below. One of the first things you should have done when moving into a home with a septic system is identify the location of the tank, the drainage pipes and the drain field. While you should avoid digging in these areas, you should also check the growth of tree roots, shrubs and other plants with large root systems.

Beyond just watching for signs of subterranean disturbances, you can also be proactive about ensuring the long term function of your drainage field. Drainage fields rely on aerobic bacteria to finish processing waste, and those aerobic bacteria live in the spaces between grains of soil, sand and gravel, so avoid over compressing the ground around your drainage field with large vehicles or structures. Further, you can improve the health of the soil's bacteria by periodically aerating your lawn.

It's often the smallest things that slip past your attention, and in the case of your septic tank, that can spell disaster. If you notice a stench in your yard, or gurgling in your drains and toilet, contact a septic system contractor like Martin Septic Service Inc, or avoid that possibility altogether by keeping watch over the small details that affect your system.