Residential septic systems usually work quietly and efficiently. Those that are correctly designed, competently installed, and properly maintained can often perform adequately through several decades of normal use. If, however, a clog develops or the septic tank or drain field becomes overloaded, the entire system can fail.
Replacing failed septic system components or the entire system requires digging up the old components and replacing them with new ones, a process that is both messy and expensive. Homeowners who want to help ensure that their septic systems will continue to work reliably without the need for these extensive repairs can use these maintenance tips to meet their goals.
Do frequent informal inspections
Homeowners who take a few moments periodically to informally inspect their septic system will be more likely to catch developing problems when they are still small and easily repairable. A basic guide for doing this includes:
- Listening to and observing the home's drains and toilets for gurgling, standing water, or unusual odors that might indicate a clog or blockage has formed
- Being alert for the development of wet or muddy areas around the septic tank or drain field that could signal the system is not working correctly
- Noticing the development of unpleasant odors in the area of the septic system that mean raw sewage is surfacing
Any of these signs can be caused by clogs, an overloaded or damaged septic tank, or an issue with the drain field and should be professionally assessed as quickly as possible.
Be vigilant about the substances that enter the system
Foreign matter, grease, oil, chemicals, and many other materials can negatively impact your septic system if they are allowed to enter it. Homeowners can prevent this problem by making sure that all family members understand that only septic-safe toilet tissue is safe for flushing.
All other paper products, including feminine hygiene products, moist towelettes, make up applicators, and cigarette butts, should be disposed of in the trash, instead of flushed away. In the kitchen, taking pains to keep oily liquids and grease out of the drain system is an important part of prolonging the life of your home's septic system.
Proper septic system maintenance is the best way for homeowners to avoid the mess and expense of a septic system failure, and septic pumping is an important part of an effective maintenance plan. To learn more about the pumping procedure or for assistance in setting up an optimal septic pumping schedule, contact a reputable septic pumping service in your area.