- 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.
- Using septic-safe toilet paper is one way to help take care of your septic tank. This toilet paper is specifically designed to break down best for your septic system. You also don’t want to use too much toilet paper if you have a septic system.
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.
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.
How do I keep my septic tank 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.
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.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
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?
Can I shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
What should you not 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.
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.
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
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.
Is mouthwash bad for septic tanks?
The septic system is a digestive system, Seagraves said. Chemicals such as bleach, disinfectants and antiseptics, even mouthwash, can kill the bacteria and bring the digestive process to a halt. These should be put down the drain sparingly, if at all.
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 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.
• The total amount of wastewater produced by a household The amount of solids in wastewater is measured in cubic meters. a measure of the size of the septic tank
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
Toilets with a high level of efficacy 25 to 30 percent of total home water use is attributed to toilet flushing. 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 every flush or less in some instances. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the quantity of household water that gets into your septic system; aerators for faucets and showerheads with high efficiency Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restrictions.
Water waste may be reduced by selecting the appropriate load size.
Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week as much as possible.
Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than normal ones. Energy Star appliances and other products may save you a lot of money on energy and water bills.
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:
- Septic systems are made up of a variety of live organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. In addition to killing these creatures, dumping poisons down the drain might damage your septic system. It makes no difference if you’re standing at the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, or the laundry sink:
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
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 critical. Typical septic systems include a tank into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and solid waste is segregated from liquid waste. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be used for other purposes. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field where it is treated.
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.
Taking Care of Your Septic System
This system, buried deep below in your yard, is the most underappreciated and underrated asset a homeowner can own. It works tirelessly for you and your family on a daily basis, yet most people don’t give it a second thought, let alone acknowledge or appreciate everything that it accomplishes. What exactly is it? Your sewage treatment system. Normally, your septic system is relegated to the back of your mind’s attention. Is it really necessary to think about your septic system when you have so many other important things on your mind?
- Your septic system is essential for maintaining a healthy and safe home since sewage treatment is required.
- The good news is that septic system maintenance is quite simple and inexpensive, and it costs far less money than having your septic system fixed or replaced.
- Please read on for more information.
- Both must be kept in good working condition in order for your septic system to function correctly and thrive.
Inspections and Pumping
You should have your septic system tested by a septic service specialist, such as those at Myers, at least once every three years! For both commercial and residential properties, our professionals are qualified and educated to conduct comprehensive and honest septic tank inspections. Examination of all pipelines, measurement of scum and sludge levels, and evaluation of drainfield quality are all part of a comprehensive inspection of the septic tank. In the case of an alternative system with electrical float switches, pumps, or other mechanical components, your septic system should be examined at least once a year.
- a T-shaped outlet in the septic tank restricts the exiting of waste materials from the tank and the subsequent movement of waste materials to the drainfield.
- It’s also necessary to pump your tank out if the sludge layer reaches the top of the tank’s outlet within 12 inches of the outlet opening.
- You will receive a service report following the completion of the inspection and pumping.
- Notate everything that was done, as well as the sludge and scum levels that were discovered by the service expert, as well as the overall condition of your septic system.
- Early detection and repair of your septic system will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Myers’s service technicians will assess the condition of your septic system and provide recommendations for any necessary repairs or replacements. We are a full-service septic system supplier, so if you have any septic system requirements, we can meet those needs as well!
Use Water Efficiently
Water efficiency is not only important for the environment, but it is also important for your septic system and your budget as well. The septic system receives and treats all of the water that a residence delivers through its pipes. Dishwashing, showering, toileting, and washing are all included in this category. As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, “the average indoor water use in a typical single-family home is over 70 gallons per person, per day.” The greater the amount of water that enters the septic system, the faster the septic tank fills up with waste.
- Saving water and conserving energy are two of the most straightforward and cost-effective strategies to help protect and extend the life of your septic tank.
- A leaky faucet or a constantly running toilet is not only inconvenient, but it may also waste up to 200 gallons of water every day.
- Not only are you squandering perfectly excellent water, but you are also filling up your septic tank more quickly, putting additional strain on your system.
- For example, you may replace your old toilet with a more energy-efficient one.
- Changing your toilet to a more efficient toilet is a simple approach to ensure that the integrity of your septic system is maintained.
- Washers with the ENERGY STAR certification have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and they use 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water.
- Make an effort to wash your clothing in the appropriate load size.
- If you are unable to select a load size, only full loads of laundry should be washed.
- Washing all of your laundry in one day is not recommended.
- Some homes utilize hot tubs as an additional source of water consumption.
- When you empty the water from a hot tub into your septic system, it might overflow the system and agitate the sediments into the drainfield, leading it to collapse ultimately.
However, rather than dumping all of that water into your septic system, you should direct the cooled water onto the turf or manicured parts of your property in accordance with local regulations.
Properly Dispose of Waste
It doesn’t matter if you flush anything down the toilet, grind it up in the trash disposal, or pour it down the shower drain; everything that goes down the drain ends up in your septic system, and I mean everything. It doesn’t matter what you flush down the toilet; everything from food scraps to grease to cat litter gets up in your septic system. Other than human waste and toilet paper, do not flush anything down the toilet, including but not limited to:
- Cleaning materials such as cooking grease or oil, nonflushable wipes, photographic solutions, feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, and coffee grounds Product categories include: cat litter, paper towels, pharmaceuticals and medications, and more. Chemicals often found in the home, such as fuel, oil, insecticides, antifreeze, paint, and paint thinners
Cooking grease or oil, non-flushable wipes, photographic solutions, feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grinds, and other similar materials Pharmaceuticals and medications; cat litter; paper towels; Petrol, oil, pesticides and antifreeze; paint and paint thinners; gasoline and oil; pesticides and antifreeze
Maintain Your Drain Field
Your drain field is a critical component of your septic system’s overall performance. The septic tank is responsible for separating sludge and scum from treated water. The treated water drains into the drain field, where it eliminates impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank and flushes it down the toilet. The wastewater from your tank is discharged onto your drain field, where it trickles via a series of perforated pipes, past a layer of gravel, and down into the soil until it reaches the groundwater.
- Increased particles in the septic tank might block the pipes in the drain field, preventing water from draining from the system properly.
- Parking on your drain field is prohibited, as is the use of heavy equipment or machinery on your drain field.
- Planting trees away from your drain field will prevent roots from creeping into your septic system and causing damage.
- Drain fields are best covered with grass, which is the most appropriate type of cover.
- Excess water can cause the wastewater treatment process to slow down or stop completely, as well as overflow the drain field.
Why It’s Important to Take Care of Your Septic System
There are a variety of reasons why maintaining your septic system is crucial. When a septic system fails, improperly treated waste can seep into the groundwater, contaminating nearby wells, streams, lakes, and ponds, among other things. Family, friends, neighbors, and other members of the community are thus exposed to toxins and the risk of contracting waterborne illnesses such as dysentery, hepatitis, and typhoid fever, which are caused by bacteria and viruses originating from human waste. Waterborne nitrates and phosphates in home wastewater can create excessive algae development in lakes and streams, causing aquatic life to become disrupted and producing aesthetic concerns for your town.
- If your community’s septic system is not properly maintained, it may suffer a loss in tourism revenue.
- In addition, repairing or replacing a septic system is quite expensive.
- You may save thousands of dollars in the long run by investing a little amount of money upfront to have your septic system tested and pumped.
- It is possible that building permits may not be obtained for certain properties, resulting in a decrease in the total value of your property and the surrounding neighborhood.
- Every year, you should get it examined to ensure that it is in proper working order.
- Your septic system should be handled in the same manner as your plumbing system.
- It will save you a significant amount of money while also ensuring the safety of your family and the environment.
Our service technicians will make certain that your septic system is well-maintained and will endure for many years in the future. Call us now for a fast, no-obligation quote on all of your septic system requirements.
How to Care for a Septic System
Article in PDF format Article in PDF format Your septic system must be properly maintained in order for your home’s plumbing system to continue to operate at peak performance. Fortunately, it is a rather simple process. By flowing water through your septic tank, you can locate it, check it, and ensure that it is in proper working order. Keep an eye on your sludge and scum levels to make sure they don’t get to dangerous levels. Every few years, you should have your system pumped out by a qualified technician.
- 1 Locate your septic tank by following the path of your sewage pipe. Sewer pipes might be found in the basement or crawlspace of your home. In order to locate your septic system’s general position, follow the route of the sewage line. Return to the outdoors and have a look about in that region to see where your septic tank is located.
- Determine the location of a pipe that you are certain is a drain, such as a pipe that comes from the toilet or a sink, then follow that it until it joins to a bigger pipe. Your sewage pipe is the largest of the two pipes. Having found the position of your septic tank, you should make a map of its location so that you can easily locate it in the future. Septic tanks are typically located at least 15 feet (4.6 meters) away from your home.
- 2 Remove the dirt that has accumulated on the top of your tank. If your tank is buried underground, you’ll need to dig a hole through the top of it in order to check and get access to the tank. Remove enough dirt off the tank’s top and the manhole using a shovel to allow you to look through it.
- When digging, take care not to damage the septic system by driving the shovel blade into it. Allowing only enough space to check the tank so that it may be buried again after you’re through so that it isn’t visible
- s3 Check the septic tank for cracks or other signs of deterioration. When you open the top of the tank, make sure to glance over the top of it. Check the tank for evidence of deterioration such as rust, dents, fractures, or any other visible symptoms of wear and tear. An assessment and, if necessary, repairs from a septic tank professional will be required for serious damage.
- The presence of significant corrosion and rust may indicate that it is time to replace your tank.
- 4 Flush a toilet to ensure that the tank is functioning correctly. 5. By simply flowing water through the connections in your plumbing system, you can determine whether or not your plumbing is functioning properly and reaching the septic tank. Place yourself near the tank, have someone flush a toilet, and listen for the sound of water moving to the tank
- Water bubbling through the ground or a fracture in the system indicate that your tank needs to be repaired by a septic tank professional.
- If you see water rising up through the ground or a fracture in the system, your tank is in need of repair from a septic tank professional.
- 1 Cut a 10 ft (3.0 m) PVC pipe in half lengthwise, removing 6 inches (15 cm). In order to test the quantity of scum in your septic system, you will need to construct a measuring stick out of PVC pipe first. Small sections of pipe can be cut away from a larger pipe using either an electric saw or pipe cutter.
- It is quite inexpensive and can be obtained at home improvement stores and on the internet
- PVC pipe If required, use sandpaper to smooth the edges of the pipe that has been cut
- The pipe should be cut equally in order to generate a straight edge that can be inserted into an elbow joint.
- With an elbow junction, attach the smaller segment to the larger pipe with hot glue. Insert the smaller part into a PVC elbow joint once it has been cut to size. On seal the pipe and joint together, apply adhesive to both surfaces. Then, slide the bigger pipe into the connection and use glue to secure the two pieces together.
- It is possible to obtain elbow joints that will suit your PVC pipes at your local hardware or home improvement store. Superglue should be used, and there should be enough to form a tight seal.
- 3 Attach plastic covers to the ends of the pipe on both sides. Using plastic caps that are meant to fit over PVC pipes, seal both ends of the “L” shaped pipe to prevent leakage. They should be able to snap securely into place in order to form a seal.
- Plastic caps for PVC pipes may be found at hardware and home improvement stores, as well as on the internet.
- 4 Insert the pipe until it comes into touch with the scum in the septic system. In order to determine the depth of the scum in your tank, you must measure two levels. Fill your tank with liquid and insert the short end of the “L” shaped pipe into the manhole until the short end makes contact with the top of the liquid. Make sure the long side of the pipe is sticking straight up. This is the uppermost layer of the scum layer.
- If you want an exact measurement, you should let the pipe float on the surface of the water.
- 5 Place the pipe against the opening of the manhole to ensure that it does not move while in use. Mark the pipe at the top of the manhole with a marker to indicate its location. To take your initial measurement, mark the pipe so that it is level with the top of the manhole, which will serve as a reference point. In order for the pipe to be floating on top of the scum layer, it must:
- Take care to ensure that the line you draw is straight and even. In order to make it more visible against the white PVC tubing, use a black marker.
- 6 Push the pipe through the scum and mark it once again on the other side. After you’ve taken your measurements of the scum on the top layer, push the pipe down into the scum until it meets the bottom of the dense layer of scum and reaches the wastewater layer, then repeat the process. Then mark the pipe at the point where it is level with the top of the manhole opening.
- Continue to hold the pipe stationary while pressing it against the bottom of the tank to ensure that it does not move after the marking is done. This layer will have significantly less resistance and will indicate that the bottom of the scum layer has been reached.
- 7 To determine the depth of the scum, measure the distance between the markings. Remove the pipe from the septic tank and place it somewhere safe. To determine the distance between the two markings, use a ruler or tape measure to measure the distance. In your tank, this represents the depth of the scum. You should get your tank pumped if the scum layer has grown to near 6 inches (15 cm) of either or both the bottom of the exit baffle or the pipe visible through the entrance of the manhole.
- Keep track of your measurements so you can refer back to them later and share them with a professional sewer-system contractor if required.
- 1 Make use of a 10-foot (3-meter) length of PVC pipe with caps on both ends. A clean PVC pipe may be used to construct a pipe that will be used to measure the amount of sludge present in your tank. Place plastic covers on both ends of the pipe to ensure that it is completely airtight.
- PVC pipes and plastic caps may be purchased at hardware stores and on the internet. Make certain that the plastic tops are properly snapped into place.
- 2 Tie a white cloth around one end of the pipe to secure it. You’ll need a white cloth or towel to use to measure your sludge level so that you can readily see the stain markings that the sludge will leave behind on the cloth or towel. Tie a towel around one end of the pipe and then wrap tape over it to make sure it is tight and secure
- The tape may be any sort you choose to use, but make sure you use enough to hold the fabric to the pipe.
- 3 Push the pipe all the way down into the septic tank. 4 If you have recently measured the scum layer, just insert the pipe through the hole in the scum layer to confirm the measurement. Push the pipe all the way down to the bottom of the tank and secure it in place with a rubber band
- For an accurate measurement, it is critical that you keep the pipe completely steady.
- 4Allow the pipe to rest for 3 minutes before using it. Maintain constant pressure on the pipe until the sludge layer resettles and colors the cloth at the end of the pipe. Wait at least 3 minutes to enable the sludge to stain the material in a noticeable way on the cloth. Set a timer to allow you to concentrate on maintaining the pipe’s stillness. 5 Remove the pipe and use a measuring tape to record the stain’s measurement. After 3 minutes, carefully remove the pipe and place it on the ground. The depth of your sludge layer may be determined by using a ruler or tape measure to measure the stain on your towel. It is necessary to pump your tank if the sludge layer has grown to within 12 inches (30 cm) of the exit baffle.
- Wait 3 minutes after inserting the pipe. Maintain control of the pipe until the sludge layer resettles and stain the cloth at the end of the pipe. You should wait at least 3 minutes to allow the sludge to discolor the cloth effectively. Set a timer to allow you to concentrate on maintaining the pipe’s stability. 5 The pipe should be removed and the stain measured. Take a deep breath and carefully remove the pipe from the wall. To determine the depth of your sludge layer, use a ruler or tape measure to measure the stain on the towel. It is necessary to pump your tank if the sludge layer is less than 12 inches (30 cm) from the exit baffle.
- 1 Have your septic system pumped every three years. The normal household’s septic system should be pumped out once every few years to ensure that it is in proper working order at all times. If the levels of sludge or scum in your tank become too high, you may need to have your tank drained sooner rather than later.
- When using an alternate method that includes electrical float switches or mechanical components, get your tank examined at least once each year. It is important to have your system cleaned as soon as possible if your sludge or scum levels are too high.
- 2 Make contact with a septic tank professional to have your tank pumped out. Septic tank pumping should be performed by a professional septic tank specialist who is equipped with the necessary equipment and training to do the job correctly. Look for qualified septic tank specialists in your area by searching online.
- Arrange an appointment for a time when you’ll be available to see them pump your tank to ensure that everything is done correctly
- Before hiring a firm, read internet reviews about them to ensure that you are working with high-quality personnel. 3 Provide the professional with any measurements that you’ve taken yourself. You should submit any measurements you took yourself to the septic tank specialist who will use them to determine the level of sludge and scum in your system. They could be able to assist them when they pump the septic system.
- If you want to make sure they’re being honest, you might compare your measurements to theirs as well.
- 4 Keep detailed records of any work done on your septic system, including cleaning and repairs. Keep records of any professional work done on or pumping your septic system in a safe location at all times. They can be useful in the future if you need to verify the work that has been done or if your septic tank has been damaged.
- 4 Keep detailed records of any work done on your septic system, including cleaning and maintenance. Save all documents from every time a professional performs work on or pumps your septic system in a safe location. When you need to check what work was done or whether your septic tank is damaged, they may be quite useful.
- 1 Reduce water use by installing high-efficiency toilets. Up to 30% of your household’s water use might be attributed to toilet flushing. Older toilets use far more water to operate, and this additional water eventually makes its way into your septic system, causing damage and wear. Make sure to replace your old toilets with high-efficiency toilets in order to extend the life of your septic tank.
- In order to decrease water use, install high-efficiency toilets. Up to 30% of your household’s water use can be attributed to toilets. When compared to newer toilets, older toilets consume significantly greater amounts of water, and this additional water eventually makes its way into your septic system, creating damage. Change out your old toilets for new, high-efficiency toilets in order to extend the life of your septic tank.
- 2 Use water-saving showerheads to save water. Showerheads with high water efficiency and flow restrictors will assist you in reducing the quantity of water you use in the shower. The reduction in the volume of water entering the tank will maintain your septic system in better condition for a longer period of time.
- Showerheads with minimal water consumption are available for free in some areas. Check with your local government or go online to see if there is a program available in your area.
- 3) On your washing machine, select the appropriate load size for your needs. Water and energy are wasted when many little loads of laundry are washed in your washing machine at the same time. Setting your machine to the optimum load size will help you save money on your water bill. Tip: If your washing machine does not enable you to select the load size, be sure you wash complete loads of clothing every time you wash. 4 Grease should be disposed of in a container in the rubbish. Grease may cause major blockages in your pipes and increase the amount of scum in your septic system. Don’t pour grease down the sink’s waste disposal. Pour it into a separate container and dispose of it in the garbage instead.
- Make use of a container that can be closed tightly to prevent grease from leaking out
- If at all possible, substitute vegetable-based soaps with animal-fat-based soaps in your home.
To prevent grease from spilling, choose a container that can be tightly closed. Make an effort to avoid using animal fat-based soaps in your house if at all possible;
- Use a container that can be closed tightly to prevent grease from leaking out
- If at all possible, use vegetable-based soaps in your household rather than animal-fat-based soaps.
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About This Article
Summary of the Article Extend your laundry across two or more days to give your septic tank time to heal in between loads of laundry to properly care for your septic system. If you have a garbage disposal, use it only when absolutely necessary to avoid clogging the drain fields. Pour 1 liter of sour buttermilk down the toilet every few months to provide beneficial bacteria to the tank and help it to break up waste. It is also recommended that you have your tank pumped by specialists every 2 to 3 years for a family of 4, and every 4 to 5 years for a family of 2, to avoid the accumulation of sludge in the tank.
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Synopsis of the piece For septic systems, spread out your washing over a couple of days or more in order to allow your septic tank to recuperate between loads. If you have a garbage disposal, use it only when necessary to avoid clogging the drain fields. Pour 1 liter of sour buttermilk down the toilet every few months to provide beneficial bacteria to the tank and help it to break down waste. Additionally, have the tank pumped by specialists every 2 to 3 years for a family of 4, and every 4 to 5 years for a family of 2, in order to prevent the accumulation of sludge in the system.
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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).
Keep a copy of this receipt as proof of purchase. 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
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.
- Septic systems are made up of a variety of live organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. In addition to killing these creatures, dumping poisons down the drain might damage your septic system. Whatever the sink (kitchen, bathtub, or utility sink), remember to wash your hands after.
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.
- Minor faults with a septic system can quickly escalate into major and expensive difficulties. When compared to the expense of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system, which can run into the thousands of dollars, correcting minor faults and paying maintenance costs of a few hundred dollars every few years is a steal. Keep an eye out for the warning indications of an overflowing septic system.