Whether you’re new to using a septic tank, or you’re old hat, it’s important to know how your septic tank operates. Since this is more of a common sense thing, it won’t be making our actual list. However, if you haven’t already given the “user manual” a glance, you probably should! We’ve put together 5 of the best tips for septic upkeep that can help you get started – or maintain – your septic system.
1 – Protect your tank.
While most tanks are underground now, it’s still important to protect them. This means ensuring that you don’t build or place anything heavy on top of your tank. However, you can easily destroy the system from the inside, too. For that reason, be mindful not to flush things that can clog it, such as dental floss, diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products, q-tips, and other miscellaneous items. Unfortunately, that also means that you should avoid installing garbage disposals in your sink – it’ll clog it, too!
2 – Use septic-safe products.
Everything from the toilet paper and pre-moistened cloths to the hand and dish soap you use can negatively impact your septic system. Taking the time to find septic-safe brands will save you a lot of headache in the long run.
3 – Conserve water.
Since your tank has a maximum liquid capacity, conserving water is important. Whether you choose to do this by spreading out your laundry over the course of days, installing a high efficiency/low flow toilet, or by checking for leaky pipes and faucets around the house, it is key to keeping your system from overflowing.
4 – Introduce ‘good’ bacteria.
Whether you want to flush “RID” down the toilet every few months, or you opt for a liter of spoiled buttermilk, adding good bacteria to your tank is a great way to keep the waste low. These good bacteria process the solid wastes and turn them into air or liquids, meaning that you can go longer without pumping your system and that you run a lower risk of your system overflowing.
5 – Maintain the areas around your tank.
Keep in mind that things like trees and shrubs have long, strong roots and that these roots can wreak havoc on your septic system. Maintaining the lawn around your tank and cutting down any large shrubs or trees near your tank. This is especially true if you have trees with “aggressive roots” such as willow trees. They can damage more than just the pipes – they can damage the tank itself!
While these tips are fantastic and will definitely help you keep your septic system in great working order, please understand that a lot goes into these systems. It never hurts to familiarize yourself even more with your particular system, and look up specific tips based on that!