If you have a backyard septic tank, proper maintenance is essential in preventing flooding and breakdowns. These messy problems can be a headache, taking time and money to clean up. Fortunately, you can avoid septic disasters by following septic care best practices. Avoid the following mistakes to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your tank running well.
- Flushing Non-Flushable Items: Septic systems are not meant to handle all materials. You should only be flushing toilet paper down the toilet. This means that you should never flush tampons, pads, diapers, and other paper toiletries down the drain, as these items can be harmful to your septic tank. They can also cause blockages in the pipes.
- Pouring Grease Down The Drain: If you are pouring kitchen grease down the sink, you could be causing major issues for your tank. When grease cools down, it forms a coating around the inside of your pipes. This stickiness collects food particles and causes buildup, eventually leading to a clog.
- Ignoring Maintenance Needs: If you notice a small issue in your septic tank, make sure to address it immediately. Basic septic tank repair will eliminate the problem and prevent more serious issues down the line. It is also important to schedule regular septic pumping and cleaning to keep everything running smoothly.
- Flushing Cat Litter: This is a common habit in many households, as cat litter often comes with a “flushable” label. Litter does not actually break down and could cause clogs in your system. Avoid this habit to keep your tank clear.
- Washing All Your Clothes At Once: Your septic tank receives all the waste water from your washing machine. By doing a significant amount of laundry in one day, you could overwhelm your tank and cause a flood. To avoid this, spread your laundry throughout the week.
If you have any doubts or questions about your septic tank care, consider hiring a septic tank service to inspect your system. They will have advice about what you can do differently. The EPA recommends that most septic systems be inspected every three years and pumped every three to five years. This might vary based on your type of tank, so be sure to ask an expert.