Keeping a southwest Florida septic system functioning properly requires a proactive homeowner. Failure to take proper steps to maintain the system will result in damages that will be costly to your wallet and the environment. From being mindful about what you put down the drain, to monitoring outdoor conditions and being sensible about service, we listed ten things to know about your septic system.
Inside the Home
1. If it can clog your drain, it can clog your septic!
Before you dump that bacon grease down the drain, ask yourself, “can this clog my drains?” Cooking grease, oils, and fats will harden in your pipes and cause expensive backups. Homeowners with septic systems should be doubly concerned because greases and oils can prevent the bacteria in your septic tank from breaking up the waste.
2. Be careful with laundry and avoid bleach
Even the most efficient washing machines still use upwards of 20 gallons of water. That means 20 gallons of water filled with chemicals and lint are entering your septic system every time you wash a load of laundry. In order to prevent overloading your system, space out washing loads throughout the week and avoid using bleach at all costs.
3. Never dump medicine down the drain
Although it’s tempting to dump unused medicine down the drain or flush it down the toilet, for the sake of your septic system, dispose of it in the garbage or return it to the pharmacy. The antibiotics will kill the microorganisms in your tank that are necessary to break down the solid waste.
4. If nature can’t break it down, neither can your septic
Remember, your septic system is only meant to break-down waste. Items like wet-wipes, paper towels, bandages, cat litter, and diapers will cause severe blockages.
Outside the Home
5. Keep a Map of your system
It’s best to keep a map of your septic system handy. Not only will this be helpful when your septic company comes to service your tank, but it also useful to monitor to the surface conditions that are key indicators of your system’s health.
6. Check to see if the ground is muddy
Walk the ground around your field. If the ground is muddy or your feet are sinking into soggy ground, start monitoring your water usage or contact a septic professional.
7. Monitor the grass above your leach lines
If the grass above your leach lines is turning brown during the summer months, don’t panic! That actually means system is working properly. Avoid the temptation to over-water the brown grass. Don’t know where to find your leach lines? Contact your local septic provider (link to website?) to map out your system.
Servicing your Septic System
8. Never enter your tank
It’s vitally important to never enter your septic tank! As the microorganism work to break up the human waste, they emit deadly gases and pathogens. Always practice caution when monitoring your tank.
9. Schedule a professional visit ever 1-3 years
To keep your system from overflowing or backing-up, schedule regular pumpings with a licensed and bonded professional. Since each septic system has its own unique characteristics, only a professional will know how often your tank needs pumping or servicing. Remember, never guess or avoid this essential service! It can be extremely costly to you and your neighborhood’s environment.
10. Communicate with your septic professional (problems or concerns)
When you speak with a service professional, make sure to communicate any problems or concerns. A knowledgeable professional will be able to fix any problems, or give recommendations to alleviate concerns.
Need Professional Septic Help?
Although these ten tips are essential for maintaining the health of your septic system, some concerns are best answered by professional. If you need advice or assistance, contact our team today.