Dispose of solids appropriately. The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are wastewater and toilet paper. Do not put cigarette butts, paper towels, sanitary tampons, condoms, disposable diapers, anything plastic or similar non-biodegradables into a septic tank system.
What chemicals are in septic tank?
- Septic tank chemicals consist of caustic chemicals that are either derivatives of acids or alkalis. Chemicals that are commercially available that are used for the wellness of your plumbing contain these same chemicals. Essentially, they are used to unclog the pipes.
What is the best thing to put in your septic tank?
Biological Additives. Biological additives, like bacteria and extracellular enzymes, are the only acceptable septic tank treatment for promoting a healthy, natural bacterial ecosystem, maintaining an effective drain field, and protecting the health of the local groundwater.
How do I keep my septic system healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
Should I put chemicals in my septic tank?
Your septic system contains a collection of living organisms that digest and treat household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can kill these organisms and harm your septic system. Whether you are at the kitchen sink, bathtub, or utility sink: Avoid chemical drain openers for a clogged drain.
What you should never put in a septic tank?
Don’t put things that aren’t biodegradable into your septic tank system such as:
- Cigarette butts.
- Disposable diapers.
- Paper towels.
- Sanitary napkins or tampons.
What can break down poop in septic tank?
Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.
Is beer good for septic tanks?
Do not flush meat, buttermilk, yeast, vegetables, beer etc. down your drain to “Feed” your septic system. This will kill the good bacteria in your septic system.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
What will baking soda do to a septic system?
Will baking soda hurt a septic system? Baking soda and other common household solutions such as vinegar are not harmful to your septic system. Harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia can disrupt the good bacteria in your septic tank and should not be used as part of a septic treatment.
Is RIDX good for your septic?
So what’s the problem with additives like Rid-X? According to the EPA and the Ohio Department of Health, not only are additives like Rid-X not recommended, but they actually have a detrimental and potentially hazardous effect on your septic system’s waste treatment process.
How can I increase bacteria in my septic tank naturally?
Homemade Septic Tank Treatment The ingredients required for this natural solution are the following: Water, Sugar, Cornmeal, and Dry Yeast. To concoct this mixture, first start by boiling roughly a half gallon of water. Add in 2 cups of sugar. The sugar will act as the first food your bacteria will eat!
How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?
For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.
Can you use bleach with a septic tank?
You might consider bleach to be a great cleaner to use for your septic system. Unfortunately, that mindset is a dangerous one to have because it’s usually recommended to avoid using bleach in your septic system. The chemicals within bleach can kill the bacteria that your septic tank relies on.
What will ruin a septic system?
Any paper products like tissues, paper towels, tampons, or sanitary products, even some heavier toilet paper, will clog your system if you flush enough of it. Wet wipes are another product that you should never flush into a septic system.
Is Fabuloso septic safe?
My husband is a plumber and he said Fabuloso is safe for septic systems, but if you have a septic tank, be sure to still use Rid-x.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.
A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System
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Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.
Preventing and treating problems with your septic system is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Failure to maintain your septic system, on the other hand, might result in significant financial loss, since digging up and rebuilding a septic system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What Is a Septic System?
Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.
Get Familiar With Your Septic System
Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.
Have It Pumped Routinely
Every three to five years, the ordinary residential septic system should be pumped (that is, the sediments should be removed). According on the size of the tank, the typical price of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600. When you contact a septic service company, they will also inspect your septic tank for leaks and evaluate the sludge layers in your tank for any problems.
Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank. They will come in helpful if there are any difficulties with the house or if you decide to sell it.
Spread Your Washing Machine/Dishwasher Usage Throughout the Week
You may believe that scheduling a “laundry day,” during which you wash all of your clothing and possibly even run your dishwasher, would save you time. However, it puts a great deal of strain on your septic system. If you don’t allow your septic system enough time to process the wastewater, you risk overloading the system and flooding your drainfield with wastewater. Replace this with doing a full load of laundry (to ensure that you are not wasting water) a couple of times a week.
Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Trash Can
The only item that should be flushed down the toilet that does not come out of your body is toilet paper. Everything else should be discarded. This implies that there will be no tissues, diapers, feminine items, hair, dental floss, or anything else. Toilet paper is supposed to decompose in the septic tank after it has been used. Any additional materials are not permitted; they will clog and cause harm to your septic tank. Make sure you use toilet paper that is safe for use with your septic system.
Think About What You Dump Down the Kitchen Sink Drain
We flush a variety of items down the kitchen sink that might cause serious damage to a septic system. Never flush objects down the sink drain, including coffee grounds, eggshells, medicine, produce stickers, flour, and other such items. All of these things can clog pipes and cause screens to get obstructed. Do not dispose of any oil, including cooking oils and paint, grease, and fat since these substances will block your sewer line and cause it to back up into your home. Even dairy products such as milk, cream, and butter are harmful if they are flushed down the toilet.
When you use a garbage disposal in conjunction with a septic tank, the ground-up food particles contribute to the layer of solids that accumulates at the bottom of the tank’s bottom.
Be Careful With Cleaning Chemicals
Cleaning agents that homeowners use can be harmful to the beneficial microorganisms in their septic systems. When washing textiles, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach. If you absolutely must, use only a little quantity of the product. Use of drain cleaners is discouraged since, in addition to destroying beneficial bacteria, they can cause harm to the tank itself. Alternatively, if a plunger does not work, a toilet drain snake, which is also effective on clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks, may be used.
Quaternary ammonia is also present in antibacterial soaps and disinfectants, which should be avoided.
Protect Your Drainfield
As previously said, proper management of your drainfield begins with careful monitoring of water consumption and the materials that enter your septic system. Never drive or park a vehicle on top of your drainage system.
Make certain that gutters and sump pumps discharge water far enough away from the drainfield to prevent flooding. Avoid growing trees and bushes in close proximity to the drainfield since the roots of these plants might interfere with the pipes.
Maintain Your Septic System Naturally
On December 5, 2020, the information was updated. However, while this isn’t an enjoyable topic for polite discussion, having your septic system back up into your home is far from pleasant. There are actions that you can do to not only avoid septic issues in the future, but also to guarantee that the process of breaking down flushed waste proceeds as it should.
A Well-Functioning Septic System
The title of this article may be “The Care and Maintenance of the Gut in Your Yard,” which would be more descriptive. Understanding the necessity and advantages of eating dietary fiber, alkaline-forming foods, and taking probiotics for your own gut health will help you recognize the similarities between keeping a healthy septic system and maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are some items that you should avoid putting into any septic system, just as there are certain substances that are favorable to putting into our own digestive systems.
If you wait until there is a problem, you have waited too long and should contact a septic cleaning firm to pump your tank immediately.
Septic System Care and Maintenance Tips:
- A family of four living in a house with a 1,000-gallon tank should have their septic system cleaned every four years, according to the EPA. Inquire with your local septic cleaning firm about how frequently you should contact them
- Avoid using bleach-containing solutions to clean your toilets since it kills the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of waste particles in your septic system. Try this all-natural toilet cleanser
- It works great.
- When you add yeast to your septic system, it helps to aggressively break down waste particles, which is beneficial. Using the first time, flush a 12-cup package of dried baking yeast down the toilet. After the initial addition, add 14 cup of instant yeast every 4 months for the next 4 months. For those who are planning to install or have their existing septic system pumped, it’s a good idea to know precisely where it is in your yard so that you don’t have to dig up a lot of your lawn when the system is pumped in the future. With a tape measure, measure the precise distance between the septic tank lid and the home, and then snap a photo of the exact distance with your mobile phone to prove you were accurate. Maintain a copy of the snapshot in a home maintenance file on your computer for future reference.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living and healthy lifestyle writer who has written seven non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She lives in Hawaii with her family. Since 2004, she has contributed to the Farmers’ Almanac as a writer.
Septic tank systems are notoriously difficult to maintain and may be quite expensive when they fail. Over the course of almost two decades, we’ve only had to pump our septic tank once. Here’s how we maintain our system running smoothly: DIY Septic Tank Treatment
Natural Enzyme Action
Septic tanks, like your stomach, require the presence of beneficial bacteria and enzymes in order to break down the particles that travel through them. It is possible to obtain these helpful bacteria and enzymes from a variety of sources, but one of our favorites is rotting tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins known as Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes, and they break down pectin. Lipase, hydrolyzes, and lyase are all members of the pectinase family of enzymes that are capable of breaking down pectin and plant cell walls in the natural environment, therefore aiding in the decomposition and recycling of waste plant materials.
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
It is simple and inexpensive to treat a septic tank with DIY solutions. We “feed” our septic tank 3-4 rotting tomatoes every 3 months or so, which we do through our garbage disposal. The idea is to make sure that you split up the tomato and pass only half a tomato or so at a time through the water while it is running to ensure that it is properly flushed out. As an alternative, if you don’t have access to a garbage disposal, you may throw two or three large rotting tomatoes in a bag (chances are they’re already packed away in a bag in your refrigerator and starting to liquefy anyway!).
Dump them into a toilet (but don’t use bleach!) and flush them away.
Normally, having rotten tomatoes every few months isn’t a big deal because the garden overproduces in the spring, summer, and fall, and there are always a few extras available.
However, during the winter months, tomatoes have gotten pushed to the back of the fridge and started to liquefy before I realized what was happening. At the very least, they aren’t going to waste completely.
Toilet Paper No-No’s
When we had our septic system pumped for the first time in more than two decades, we were assured that it was totally unnecessary because the system was operating well and looked fantastic. During our conversation, the gentleman shared numerous true horror stories of systems he’d witnessed at his place of employment where the families utilized “fluffy” toilet paper. That one where the cute little bears in the advertisements are pleased of themselves for not having any lint left behind? You know the one I’m talking about.
Image courtesy of Ian Haycoxis (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
He especially inquired about the brand of tissue we use, which is Scott Tissue.
Alternatively, if you don’t happen to have any rotting tomatoes on hand, you may use baking or brewing yeast to bring healthy bacteria to your tank as an alternative.
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally
Yeast and sugar are excellent natural septic tank cleaners, and here’s an easy method for using them.
Septic Tank Cleaner
2 cups granulated sugar 5 cups of hot water (optional) 3 tbsp. active dry yeast Sugar and yeast should be dissolved in water. Pour the mixture into a toilet (that does not contain bleach!) and flush it. This is best done at night so that the yeast may continue to work throughout the night; do not flush for at least 3 hours after completion.
1Avoid flushing raw or cooked meat down the toilet, down the garbage disposal, or any other form of introducing meat into your septic system; meat is NEVER a helpful bacterium. 2. Never add oils, grease, or fat in any form (solid or liquid) to your tank. This includes, but is not limited to, cooking oils, bacon grease, meat grease from draining ground beef/turkey, and other fat-containing foods. 3Avoid flushing anything other than garbage and toilet paper down the toilet; this means that feminine products should be disposed of in the trash, baby diapers and wipes should be disposed of in the trashcan, and so on.
Have you tried the rotten tomato technique yet?
Love this DIY Septic Tank Treatment Idea? Pin it!
It is important not to flush any sort of wipe down the toilet, regardless of whether the box specifically states that they are “flushable.” These objects have the potential to block your home’s plumbing, as well as the pipes in the street and the important machinery at the wastewater treatment facility. The water in which personal care wipes, dental floss, paper towels, and tissues are flushed does not dissolve them rapidly – or at all – therefore they are not safe to flush down the toilet. Personal care items, cleaning supplies, and other home garbage should be disposed of appropriately, either in the trash, the recycling bin, or at your local domestic hazardous waste disposal facility.
- The term “septic system” refers to an individual wastewater treatment system (conventional septic systems, innovative/alternative (I/A) systems, or cesspools) that uses the soil to treat tiny wastewater flows, which are typically generated by a single residence.
- Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations today.
- In a normal septic system, there are three main components: the septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainfield, which are all connected by pipes known as conveyance lines.
- Primary treatment is the term used to describe this separation procedure.
- Flowing from the tank into a distribution box, which distributes the wastewater uniformly into a network of drainfield trenches, is how partially treated effluent is removed from the environment.
Once in the subsurface soil, this effluent is further cleaned and filtered before being released back into the environment (secondary treatment). No pollution of groundwater occurs when the septic system is properly maintained and operated.
Additional Resources for What is a Septic System?
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, a properly maintained septic system should be pumped out at least once every three years! Regular maintenance is the most crucial factor in ensuring that your septic system is in good working order. Pumping on a regular basis helps to keep particles from leaking into the drainfield and blocking the soil pores. While the frequency of pumping depends on the amount of consumption, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection advises that systems be pumped at least once every three years for households without a trash disposal.
- The frequency with which you pump should be determined by the amount of water that has accumulated and the amount of water that has been pumped in the past.
- It is astounding how many system owners assume that if they have not experienced any difficulties with their systems, they do not need to pump out their tanks.
- Solid materials sink to the bottom of the tank when your system is utilized, resulting in the formation of a sludge layer.
- In most cases, correctly engineered tanks have adequate room to safely store sludge for up to three to five years at a time.
- As the amount of sludge in the system rises, more solid wastes are allowed to escape into the soil absorption system (SAS).
When hiring a pumper, be certain that they are licensed by the local Board of Health, and always insist on receiving a paid receipt from the pumper that clearly outlines the terms of the transaction and the amount you paid (how many gallons were pumped out of the tank, the date, the charges, and any other pertinent results).
In addition, a copy of this report is forwarded to the local Board of Health by the pumper.
Additional Resources for How often should I pump out my septic system?
- Once every 3 to 5 years, have the system examined and pumped out. If the tank becomes overburdened with sediments, the wastewater will not have enough time to settle before it overflows down the drain. After that, the extra solids will be carried to the leach field, where they will block the drain pipes and the soil. Always know where your septic system and drain field are in relation to your house and keep a detailed record of all inspections, pumpings, repairs, contract or engineering work for future reference. Keep a sketch of it on hand for when you go to the service center. The drain field should be planted above the septic system with grass or small plants (not trees or bushes) to help keep the system in place. Controlling runoff through imaginative landscaping may be an effective method of reducing water consumption. Install water-saving devices in faucets, showerheads, and toilets to limit the amount of water that drains into the septic system and into the environment. Replace any dripping faucets or leaking toilets, and only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are completely full. Avoid taking long showers. Roof drains as well as surface water from roads and slopes should be diverted away from the septic system. Maintain a safe distance between the system and sump pumps and home footing drains as well. Take any remaining hazardous substances to a hazardous waste collection station that has been approved by the local government. Use bleach, disinfectants, drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in line with the directions on the product labels. Only utilize septic system additives that have been approved for use in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). In Massachusetts, it has been found that the additives approved for use have no detrimental effect on the particular system or its components, or on the environment in general.
- Non-biodegradables (cigarette butts, diapers, feminine items, and so on) and grease should not be disposed of down the toilet or sink. The use of non-biodegradable materials can clog the pipes, and grease can thicken and block the pipes as well. Cooking oils, fats, and grease should be stored in a container and disposed of in the garbage
- Paint thinner, polyurethane, antifreeze, insecticides, certain dyes, disinfectants, water softeners, and other harsh chemicals should all be added to the system to ensure that it works properly. Septic tank malfunctions can be caused by the death of the biological component of your septic system and the contamination of groundwater. Typical home cleaners, drain cleaners, and detergents, for example, will be diluted in the tank and should not do any damage to the system
- And Make use of a garbage grinder or disposal that drains into the septic tank to eliminate waste. If you do have one in your home, you should use it only in extremely limited circumstances. The addition of food wastes or other solids lowers the capacity of your system and increases the frequency with which you must pump your septic tank. If you utilize a grinder, you will have to pump the system more frequently. Trees should be planted within 30 feet of your system, and vehicles should not be parked or driven over any section of the system Tree roots may block your pipes, and heavy cars may cause your drainfield to collapse
- However, you can prevent this from happening. You should not allow anybody to work on your system or pump it without first ensuring that they are licensed system specialists
- Wash an excessive number of loads of clothing in your washing machine. Doing load after load deprives your septic tank of the time it needs to properly process wastes and causes the entire system to become overwhelmed with surplus wastewater. As a result, you might be overflowing your drain field without giving yourself enough time to recover from the inundation. To calculate the gallon capacity and the number of loads per day that may be safely pumped into the system, you should speak with a tank specialist. Cleaning the plumbing or septic system using chemical solvents is recommended. Microorganisms that devour toxic wastes will be killed by “miracle” chemicals that have been developed. These items have the potential to pollute groundwater as well.
Key Actions for Septic System Do’s and Don’ts
Septic systems that have been properly maintained can assist in preventing the spread of disease and other illnesses. System failures can have serious consequences.
- Your failure to maintain your water system could pose a serious health hazard to your family and neighbors, degrade the environment, particularly lakes, streams and groundwater, reduce the value of your property while also being extremely expensive to repair
- And put thousands of water supply users at risk if you live in a public water supply watershed and fail to maintain your system.
Keep an eye out for the following warning signals of a malfunctioning system:
- Surface sewage over the drainfield (particularly after storms)
- Sewage backups in the home
- Lush, green vegetation over the drainfield sewage smells
- Toilets or drains that are difficult to empty
If your system fails, the first thing you should do is call your local board of health, which must authorize all modifications and the majority of repairs before they can be carried out or installed.
The board of health will inform you of the steps that must be taken. In the event that your system fails, call your local Board of Health immediately!
Key Actions for Failing Septic Systems Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
In the case of a new septic tank owner, or if you’re just not familiar with the way your septic tank operates, you may not be aware of the importance of bacteria and how it affects your septic tank’s operation. Bacteria contributes to the proper operation of your septic tank over time. Your septic tank would most certainly jam up very fast if there were no microorganisms present. By following proper septic tank management procedures, you may encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. The way you utilize your septic tank, as well as the items you flush down your drains, can have an influence on how well it functions.
Why Is Septic Tank Bacteria Important?
Solid waste is continuously drained down the drain to the septic tank. Whenever solids are introduced into the tank, they sink to the bottom and accumulate there. Over time, such sediments will begin to accumulate in the sewer system. In order to prevent this, the tank must be pumped every three to five years since the solids in the tank always ascend to the top of the tank. If the solids reach the drainfield pipe, which is located towards the top of the septic tank, microscopic particles will be released into the drainage system.
Bacteria reduces the amount of bacteria that accumulates at the bottom of the tank.
Whenever the liquids in the tank reach the drainfield, they are securely discharged into the yard and do not become clogged.
What Can You Do to Promote Septic Tank Bacteria Growth?
Septic tanks inherently contain bacteria that will develop and multiply. By draining more solid waste down into the tank on a consistent basis, you encourage the growth of bacteria. However, there are several things you can do to your septic tank that will help to slow the spread of germs. All of the items meant to kill bacteria such as antibacterial soaps, bleach, antibiotics, and other products designed to kill bacteria have the potential to enter your tank and harm some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank.
It is possible that you may need to alter the way your family operates in order to prevent flushing these items down the toilet.
Before washing soiled garments, soak them in vinegar for a few minutes, and mix baking soda into your laundry detergent before putting it in the machine.
If you require a secure location to dispose of your medication, consult with your doctor to determine where you may properly dispose of your medication waste. It’s possible that your doctor is aware of medicine-recycling activities taking place in your neighborhood.
Do You Need to Put Bacteria In Your Septic Tank?
Some firms manufacture bacteria that may be added to your septic tank in order to support good functioning of the system. However, if you follow the instructions to the letter, microbial additives should not be required. Assuming you keep the amount of bacteria-killing agents and chemicals in your drains to a minimum, your tank should have enough bacteria to perform its functions. Whether or not you decide to employ septic tank bacteria, you should check with your local sanitation authorities to see if any chemicals or other materials are prohibited from being flushed down the toilet.
If you’re not sure which septic tank bacteria firms are the best, ask the specialist who pumps your septic tank for a suggestion.
Al’s Septic Tank Service is delighted to speak with you about septic tank bacteria and other septic tank-related issues.
To learn more, please contact us immediately.
Tips For Keeping Your Septic Tank Running
The septic tank is a septic tank. It’s one of the most important pieces of equipment in your house — yet it’s also one of the most mysterious. Even though it might be tough to comprehend something that cannot be seen, understanding your septic tank and how it works is essential. The septic tank is where all of the wastewater from your house, including that from your kitchen, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms, is dumped. We’ve included a quick description of the operation of your septic system, as well as some suggestions for maintaining it in good operating order.
- The tank itself, as well as the drain field, are the two primary components of the septic system.
- Upon entering, solid components are classified as either scum or sludge, depending on how much of them there are in total.
- Within the tank, bacteria break down scum and sludge, and the separated water is sent through filters before entering the drain field.
- Tips for keeping your septic system in good working order Reduce your water consumption to a bare minimum.
- When there is an excessive amount of water flowing into the system, polluted water might escape from the tank and into the drain field.
- Water use by a single person every day amounts to 70 gallons, which may be surprising, but is an accurate reflection of the situation.
When trying to fathom how one person can use a total of 70 gallons of water every day, it might be difficult to accept, but when we look at where this consumption is coming from, it can seem more understandable.
- Toilets: toilets account for 25-30 percent of the total amount of water consumed by a home. Toilets that are more recent in design consume less water than older models. Give us a call right now if your home is equipped with out-of-date toilets! In the long run, your septic system will be grateful to you.
- Sinks: Consider all of the water that goes down your sink every day that isn’t being used. When cleaning dishes, washing their hands, or brushing their teeth, it is usual for homes to leave their water running unattended. Take the initiative and make a change! Make use of the water in your sink just when you need it.
Keep an eye on what you dump down your drains. It is critical to consider what goes down your drains before flushing it. If you find yourself second-guessing an item, it is likely that it is not intended to be flushed down the toilet.
- Grease: While putting grease down your drain may seem like a reasonable choice, it is not recommended. Using grease to clean your pipes and drain field has the potential to clog them! It sounds like something out of a nightmare
- Due to our familiarity with flushing toilet paper down our toilets, we have a propensity to believe that comparable goods such as tissues or wet wipes are also safe to flush. This is because the microorganisms in your septic tank are unable to break down these materials, and they will most likely continue floating in your tank.
Make an appointment for a standard checkup. Septic tanks holding 1,000 gallons or fewer need to be serviced every five years or less. For septic tank maintenance, call us at 804-758-4314 to schedule an appointment with a Miller’s specialist.
Septic Tank Installation and Pricing
To process and dispose of waste, a septic system has an underground septic tank constructed of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, or other material that is located beneath the earth. Designed to provide a customized wastewater treatment solution for business and residential locations, this system may be installed anywhere. Although it is possible to construct a septic tank on your own, we recommend that you hire a professional to do it owing to the amount of skill and specific equipment required.
Who Needs a Septic Tank?
For the most part, in densely populated areas of the nation, a home’s plumbing system is directly connected to the municipal sewer system. Because municipal sewer lines are not readily available in more rural areas, sewage must be treated in a septic tank. If you’re moving into a newly constructed home or onto land that doesn’t already have a septic tank, you’ll be responsible for putting in a septic system on your own.
How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to make sure your septic tank installation goes as smoothly as possible.
Receive Multiple Estimates
Receiving quotations from licensed septic tank installers and reading reviews about each firm using trustworthy, third-party customer evaluations should be done before any excavation or signing of any paperwork is done. Examine your options for a contractor and make sure they have the appropriate insurance and license, as well as the ability to include critical preparations such as excavation and drain field testing in their quotation.
Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit
For septic systems to function properly, permeable soil surrounding the tank must absorb and naturally handle liquid waste, ensuring that it does not pollute runoff water or seep into the groundwater. The drain or leach field is the name given to this region. Before establishing a septic tank, you are required by law to do a percolation test, sometimes known as a “perc” test. This test indicates that the soil fits the specifications established by the city and the local health agency. In most cases, suitable levels of permeable materials, such as sand or gravel, are necessary in a soil’s composition.
Note: If you wish to install a septic tank on your property, you must first ensure that the ground passes the percolation test. Prior to acquiring the land that you want to utilize for residential purposes, we recommend that you obtain a soil test.
Plan for Excavation
Excavation of the vast quantity of land required for a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy machinery. If you are presently residing on the property, be careful to account for landscaping fees to repair any damage that may have occurred during the excavation process. Plan the excavation for your new home at a period when it will have the least influence on the construction process if you are constructing a new home. Typically, this occurs before to the paving of roads and walkways, but after the basic structure of the home has been constructed and erected.
The Cost of Installing a Septic Tank
There are a few installation charges and additional expenditures connected with constructing a new septic system, ranging from a percolation test to emptying the septic tank and everything in between.
A percolation test can range in price from $250 to $1,000, depending on the area of the property and the soil characteristics that are being tested. Ordinarily, specialists will only excavate a small number of holes in the intended leach field region; however, if a land study is required to identify where to excavate, the cost of your test may rise.
Building Permit Application
A permit will be required if you want to install a septic tank on your property. State-by-state variations in permit prices exist, however they are normally priced around $200 and must be renewed every few years on average.
Excavation and Installation
When you have passed a percolation test and obtained a building permit, your septic tank is ready to be professionally placed. The cost of a new septic system is determined by the size of your home, the kind of system you choose, and the material used in your septic tank. The following is a list of the many treatment methods and storage tanks that are now available, as well as the normal pricing associated with each.
Types of Septic Tank Systems
Septic system that is used in the traditional sense Traditionally, a septic system relies on gravity to transport waste from the home into the septic tank. Solid trash settles at the bottom of the sewage treatment plant, while liquid sewage rises to the top. Whenever the amount of liquid sewage increases over the outflow pipe, the liquid waste is discharged into the drain field, where it continues to disintegrate. This type of traditional septic system is generally the most economical, with an average cost of roughly $3,000 on the market today.
Drain fields for alternative systems require less land than conventional systems and discharge cleaner effluent.
Septic system that has been engineered A poorly developed soil or a property placed on an uphill slope need the installation of an engineered septic system, which is the most difficult to install.
It is necessary to pump the liquid waste onto a leach field, rather than depending on gravity to drain it, in order to ensure that it is equally dispersed across the land. The average cost of these systems is roughly $8,000.
Types of Septic Tanks
- Concrete septic tanks are long-lasting and rust-proof, but they are difficult to repair if they are damaged. It is possible that concrete tanks will cost up to $2,000 depending on their size. Plastic —While plastic tanks are cost-effective, they are also susceptible to damage. They are around $1,200 in price. Fiberglass —While fiberglass septic tanks are more durable than their plastic counterparts, they are susceptible to shifting or displacement if the water table rises to an excessive level. Depending on the model, these tanks may cost up to $2,000
More information may be found at: Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs.
Using Your Septic Tank
It is important to maintain the area around your new septic tank’s drain field and to frequently check your tank using the lids included with it. Never use a trash disposal in conjunction with your septic tank since it might cause the system to clog. Additionally, avoid driving over the land where your septic tank is located or putting heavy gear on top of your septic tank or drain field to prevent damage. Most of the time, after five years of septic system use, you’ll need to arrange a cleaning and pumping of the system.
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Caring for Your Septic System
If your system consists solely of a septic tank and drainfield, which is referred to as a gravity system, you must examine it at least once every three years, if not more frequently. All other sorts of systems are expected to be examined at least once a year, if not more frequently than that. It’s possible that your local health department has more strict inspection requirements. A septic specialist can perform the examination for you, or if your local health department permits it, you can perform the inspection on your own.
Keeping the solids, also known as sludge, from piling up and getting close to the outflow baffles of the system is critical because particles can stop the pipe leading to the drainfield or, even worse, completely choke the drainfield.
- A maintenance service provider
- Learning how to perform your own examination
- And other options. Inquiring with your local health agency to see if they can examine your system for a lesser fee
Pump Your Tank
When it’s time to pump out your septic tank, do so. Don’t wait until you have an issue before seeking help. Septic tanks should be pumped out every three to five years in a normal residence, according to industry standards. Pumping on a regular basis will help you avoid costly failures such as a clogged drainfield or sewage backing up into your house. Use of the garbage disposal will increase the quantity of solids entering the septic tank, increasing the frequency with which it must be pumped.
- The number of people in the household. In general, the greater the number of people living in the house, the more frequently you must pump
- The total amount of wastewater produced. Putting a lot of water down the drain (from inefficient or leaky toilets, washers, showerheads, and sink faucets, for example) causes the tank to be unable to settle entirely, and you may have to pump more frequently. The amount of solids present in wastewater. When garbage disposal and food waste flow down the drain, as well as RV and boat waste put into your system, solids will quickly fill your tank. The size of a septic tank. The larger the tank, the more the capacity it has to handle sediments and water, which may allow for longer periods of time between pumping sessions. Older septic tanks may not be the proper size for your property, especially if your home has been modified and is now significantly larger than before.
Learn how to hire a septic pumper by reading this article.
Use Water Efficiently
Water conservation should be practiced. The greater the amount of wastewater produced, the greater the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed of by the soil. By minimizing and balancing your water use, you may extend the life of your drainfield, reduce the likelihood of system failure, and eliminate the need for costly repairs. To lower your water consumption, do the following:
- Invest in efficient water-saving equipment such as faucet aerators, high-efficiency toilets, showerheads, dishwashers, and washing machines
- And Fix dripping faucets and dripping plumbing fixtures. It is possible to lose hundreds of gallons each day due to a leaky toilet. Shower for shorter periods of time
- Bathe in a tub that is only partly filled
- Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes. If your washing machine offers load settings, make sure you choose the appropriate size for the load you’re washing. It is not necessary to use the large-load cycle if you are only washing one or two loads of clothing.
Learn more about water conservation and water recycling by visiting this website.
Toilets Aren’t Trash Cans
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.
Apart from human feces and urine, toilet paper, and soap used for washing, there shouldn’t be much else flushed down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Baby wipes, cleaning wipes, or any other wet towelettes are OK. Tampons and pads, as well as condoms, are examples of feminine hygiene items. Paper towels, rags, or newspaper are all acceptable options. Floss for the teeth
- Cotton balls and cotton swabs are also acceptable. Diapers, hair, and cigarette butts are all things that come to mind. Band-aids
- Grease and cooking oils
- Coffee grounds
- Cat litter
- Chemicals found in the home, such as fuel, oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint. For local hazardous trash drop-off locations, call the Ecology hotline at 1-800-RECYCLE. Prescription medications are available. Check to see if there is a medicine disposal program in your region.
Take Care at the Drain
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whatever the sink (kitchen, bathtub, or utility sink), remember to keep your hands clean.
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or into the toilet. Allow it to cool and harden before throwing it away in the garbage
- It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Septic tanks can become overflowing with food waste from trash disposals, which can clog the drainfield.
It is not required to use septic tank additives found in stores to maintain your septic tank operating correctly, and they do not lessen or remove the need for regular pumping.
Maintain the Area Around Your System
- Water runoff should be kept away from your system. Drainage systems should be installed to move water away from septic tanks and drainfields. The soil above your system should be somewhat mounding to aid in the discharge of surface water. If heavy rains cause water to pool around your septic system, avoid flushing it down the toilet
- This will prevent damage to your system. Stay away from your septic tank, drainfield, and drainfield replacement area. Heavy equipment and livestock should not be allowed on your property. The pressure can compress the earth and cause damage to the pipelines and other infrastructure. Before you plant a garden, landscape your yard, build a structure, or install a pool, be sure you know where your septic system is and where it will be replaced. Make sure your system is appropriately landscaped. Grass is the most effective cover. Placement of concrete or plastic over your septic system is not recommended. It is best to plant trees and plants away from your septic tank and drainfield in order to prevent root intrusion into your drainage system. Depending on your needs, an aseptic service specialist might suggest landscaping choices for surrounding your septic system
Keep meticulous records on the operation of your septic system. Understand the location of the system and have a schematic of its layout on hand. Your local health agency may be able to provide you with information on its size and location. It is also a good idea to keep track of the maintenance performed on the system. These records will be useful if there are any problems with your home, and they will also be beneficial to the next owner of your property.
Don’t Ignore Problems
Minor septic system faults can quickly escalate into major, expensive concerns. When compared to the expense of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system, which can run into the thousands of dollars, addressing minor faults and paying maintenance costs of a few hundred dollars every few years is a bargain. Don’t ignore the warning signals of a failing septic system.
- Septic System 101 Video
- Do-It-Yourself Septic System Inspection Video
- Septic System 101 Video
- Septic System 101 Video Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
- Safety of the Septic Tank Lid
- Symptoms of a Failing Septic System
Q:Good morning, Tim. According to your profile on AsktheBuilder.com, you’ve been a master plumber for over 40 years. I just relocated from a city home that relied on a city sewer system to a rural retirement home that relied on a septic tank system. What information can you provide me on septic tanks? At my last residence, I experienced clogging difficulties in my main drain pipe, and the drain-cleaning company determined that the cause was grease. In terms of drain lines in a home, what are some best practices to follow and how does one ensure that they are always in proper working order?
Frank’s situation reminded me of my own 12 years ago when I relocated from a metropolis on a municipal sewer system to rural New Hampshire with a septic tank system.
The drain lines in any home, whether or whether it is linked to a city sewer or a septic tank, are the first thing to discuss.
A plumbing drain pipe should have a slope of 3/16 inch every foot of run, in my view, to achieve the best performance.
This is something you do not want to happen since solid material resting in a drain pipe might begin to pile up and cause a blockage.
You would do well to use old paper towels to soak up any oil that has accumulated on your cooking pots and pans.
This includes cleaning grease-covered plates with old paper towels before putting them into the dishwasher.
If you prefer, you can use flushable wipes, but do not flush them down the toilet.
To see why you should never ever flush these textiles, watch my video about flushable wipes at AsktheBuilder.com.
In addition to being an excellent product, it will prevent grease from clogging septic tank leach fields.
Every month or so, I throw around 15 gallons of very hot water down my kitchen sink.
Every week, I dump 10 gallons of water into the tallest toilet in my house as quickly as I can, and then I flush it.
Trying not to be gross, but the closest comparison I can come up with is to image blowing one’s nose.
Septic tanks are magical boxes, as long as they are used properly, which they are in most cases.
That is the absolute maximum amount of material that should ever be placed in a septic system.
Natural bacteria begin to devour the waste at this point.
Leach fields are usually often composed of a network of pipelines through which wastewater is dispersed to a very well-drained soil that is particularly sandy.
During this process, various bacteria and oxygen work together to filter the wastewater.
It may be almost as clean as rainfall once it has been filtered by the beneficial bacteria and oxygen in the soil.
During its journey to the ocean, the water naturally flows downwards!
This bleach is so potent that it may destroy the bacterium that consumes the waste materials.
The same may be said with paints.
It’s critical to have your septic tank pumped every two or three years to keep it in good working order.
Despite how absurd it may seem, my neighbor’s manhole is buried around four feet beneath his driveway.
That’s a huge blunder on my part! Subscribe to Tim’s free newsletter and tune in to his latest podcasts to stay up to date. Visit AsktheBuilder.com for more information.