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If your septic tank fails, it's more than just an inconvenience. The water and waste from your septic system can contaminate the ground and surface water near your home. It can also damage the plants and soil in your yard, and expose your family and neighbors to bacteria and viruses that should be avoided. The best way to prevent a system failure is to take great care of your septic system. Here are a few simple, but often overlooked tips that can help.
Have The System Inspected
When you purchased a house with a septic system, you were probably informed by the previous owner or the realtor that you only need to have the system pumped every few years. That's true, but that doesn't mean that you should only call the septic pumpers every few years.
What's often overlooked or forgotten is that your septic system should have an annual inspection, whether it needs pumped that year or not. For convenience's sake, you may want to schedule this around the time you schedule other yearly inspections for other systems in your home, like the HVAC system. This may help you to remember each year. During the inspections, the septic workers can look for damage or wear and tear that needs to be fixed to keep your system working properly.
Know When You Need More Frequent Pumping
Recommendations for how long you can go between pumping are often given based on average use of the septic system. If your septic system takes in more solid waste than is normal, you'll need to have it pumped more often than average.
For example, frequent garbage disposal use will result in your tank filling up faster and needing to be emptied more often. If you have a large family, you'll probably also need more frequent pumping. Talk to your septic workers about your family's use of the septic system to get an individualized recommendation for pumping frequency. If you're still unsure, it's better to err on the side of caution and pump early than to allow your septic system to back up and overflow.
Stay Away From Substances That Are Unfriendly To Septic Systems
Did you know that liquid antibacterial soap can harm your septic system? The antibacterial properties in the soap continue working after you've washed the suds down the drain. The problem is, you need certain bacteria in your septic system – it helps break up and dissolve the solid waste. Bar soap is much less likely to cause damage to your system.
Other substances to avoid include automatic toilet bowl cleaners and bath and body oils. The toilet bowl cleaners may turn your toilet water a pretty shade of blue, but like liquid soap, they're killing bacteria in your tank. The bath and body oils sit on top of the water in the tank and gum up the works.
Taking care of your septic system isn't hard, but it does require some knowledge on your part. If you're ever unsure, call a company like Southern Sanitary Systems Inc for advice before doing something that could harm your system.Share