If you live outside of the city water supply system, you likely use a septic tank system to dispose of your waste water and sewage. These types of systems use a series of natural filters and beneficial bacteria to deal with what your household puts down the drain. Your septic system is a delicate eco-system, however, one that can be helped and hindered greatly by what you and the members of your family flush or rinse down the drains.
Dos and Don'ts for Septic Tank owners
1. DO be careful what you put down the drain. Make sure not to dispose of "flushable" items like diapers or feminine products in the toilet. Also avoid disposing of grease, oil, coffee grounds and food particles in the drains. Put these items in the garbage can instead.
2. DO use chemical household cleaners sparingly. Common household cleaners like bleach, tile cleaner and even anti-bacterial soap can kill the microbes that help keep your septic system healthy. Better to opt for natural, eco-friendly cleaners.
3. DO have your system commercially cleaned regularly. To keep your septic system healthy, it's a good idea to have it inspected and cleaned by a professional company every three to five years, depending on the size of your household and how much water you use.
4. DO avoid building patios, decks or driveway over the septic system. Building over the system not only creates weight that could damage the system, but it makes it difficult for technicians to access the tank for cleaning and repair.
5. DON'T plant trees and shrubs near the septic tank. Grass is the only type of plant that you should grow anywhere near the septic system. Trees, shrubs and even hardy perennials are likely to send down roots that can penetrate the septic tank.
6. DON'T let people park on the grass atop the septic system. If you have large parties where people are encouraged to park on the grass, steer them away from the area above the septic system. A heavy vehicle can damage the tank and piping below the surface.
7. DON'T use multiple water outlets at the same time. Avoid taking a shower while someone else is washing dishes and another person is doing laundry. Using all of this water at the same time can strain your septic system.
A healthy septic system, with just a little regular maintenance, can last for years. All it takes is making wise choices about what you send down to the system and the land surrounding it.
For more information, contact D & S Vacuum Truck Services or a similar company.