Do you own a property that has a septic tank? How long has it been since a professional came out to look at the tank? If you don't know or you can't remember, it's almost certain that you're overdue to have such a thing happen. Although septic tanks aren't difficult to own, they certainly have different maintenance needs than a direct hookup to a city sewer system. If you're used to being connected to a city sewer, you may not yet be aware of everything that a septic system needs. Some of the most important things to know or to remember include:
Regular pumping: Although this might seem like the most obvious step for septic system maintenance, it's also the one that may be most easily forgotten. Each household will have its own pumping schedule with the time between cleanings typically ranging between two and five years. Because it is so long between cleanings and isn't a monthly thing, it can be all too easy to forget that the septic tank is there and waiting. If you're not sure how long it takes your family to fill the tank, you might want to consider having someone come out and check on it once a year to ensure that it doesn't get too full.
Different laundry habits: When you're hooked up to a city sewer system, it doesn't matter when or how often you do laundry. The water flows into the sewer and you don't have to think about it any further. But when you have a septic tank, part of the septic system maintenance is not putting too much water into it in a short period of time because this might flush out or overwhelm the beneficial bacteria that live within. A typical load of laundry can use a lot of water, and doing more than two or three loads in a single day could be mildly harmful to the overall health of your septic tank.
Avoid excess oils: Although it's never a good idea to pour more than a spoon or two of cooking oil down the drain, some people empty out their deep fryer this way while hooked up to a city sewer system and wonder what all the fuss is about. But when you have to concern yourself with septic system maintenance, you have to be extra careful. Too much oil will form a layer on the top of the septic tank contents, blocking oxygen from getting to the beneficial bacteria. When these bacteria die off, the sewage solids will accumulate more quickly, resulting in the tank needing to be pumped out sooner than it would otherwise.
For more information, contact a local septic maintenance company like Linn Septic Service.