Do not put cigarette butts, paper towels, sanitary tampons, condoms, disposable diapers, anything plastic or similar non-biodegradables into a septic tank system. Avoid washing food scraps, coffee grinds, and other food items down the drain.
- Don’t put paint, varnish, paint thinner, antifreeze, old prescription medications, antibacterial soap, pesticides, gasoline, kerosene, oil or anything similar down the drain. Ever! These chemicals will kill the bacteria in your septic tank, and worse than that, they’ll pollute the nearby groundwater – including your well.
What products Cannot be used with a septic tank?
But to make it even clearer, here are the top ten household products to avoid when you have a septic tank.
- Fabric softeners.
- Latex products.
- Antibacterial soap.
- Drain cleaners.
- Dishwasher and laundry detergent.
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.
Can you put bleach in toilet with septic tank?
Toilet bowl cleaners and bleach/chlorine based cleaners should be avoided or minimized. Look for chlorine bleach or chemical sodium hypochlorite on product labels. Using these products could result in your septic tank backing up, creating costly repairs, contaminating your drinking water, odors and much more.
Should I add anything to my septic tank?
You don’t need to add more, feed them or support them at all. If you add more bacteria without more waste, the bacteria will only eat each other. The bacteria are anaerobic, so they don’t even need air. All your tank needs to stay in shape is regular inspection and pumping to remove the solid sludge layer.
Can you use Drano with a septic system?
Will Drano® products harm my septic system? No, all Drano® products are septic safe drain cleaners and will not upset the bacterial action in septic systems. Use Drano® Max Build-Up Remover on a monthly basis to replenish the bacteria in the septic system that help break down toilet paper and organic matter in pipes.
Are long showers bad for septic systems?
Washing frequent, small loads of laundry or taking exceptionally long showers every day is all it takes to overload your septic system with too much water. The primary treatment tank needs time to break up solids before partly-treated water can enter the drain field.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
Are dead animals good for septic tanks?
This is false. Rotting meat just adds unnecessary and foreign bacteria to your septic tank. At best, this will do nothing. At worst, bones and fur from a dead animal will clog up your system.
Is Lysol toilet bowl cleaner safe for septic systems?
It’s safe for plumbing and septic tanks, and cleans and disinfects both above and below the water line. Angled Spout for Hard-to-Reach Areas – This bottle is easy to use in urinals and toilets of all sizes. Allow cleaner to sit for at least 10 minutes then brush the entire bowl or urinal and flush.
Is Epsom salt good for septic systems?
While Epsom salt doesn’t cause damage to your septic tank, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should go flushing it into your tank. Many individuals think flushing Epsom salt in their septic tanks will break down waste. While salts can unclog a toilet, the effect Epsom salt has on your septic system will be minimal.
Is it OK to put yeast in your 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.
Do I need to add enzymes to my septic tank?
But septic tanks don’t really need help from extra additives. As long as you are only putting wastewater and toilet paper down the pipes, the tank can take care of its job on its own. Putting anything extra in can cause more harm than good and it’s best to stick to the tanks natural ecosystem when possible.
What is the best bacteria to put in septic tank?
Much like your stomach, septic tanks need good bacteria and enzymes to break down the solids that pass through it. These beneficial bacteria and enzymes can come from several sources, but our favorite is actually rotten tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins called Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes.
How do I put good bacteria in my septic tank?
Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.
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.
Caring for Your Septic System
You wouldn’t ignore routine maintenance on a high-priced automobile. You should also not neglect the maintenance of your septic system. It is possible to spend as much as $20,000 to replace a broken septic system; thus, you have a strong incentive to keep your system in good working order. Septic systems provide the same functions as municipal treatment facilities, but on a smaller scale, and are thus less expensive. Instead of employing experts and specialists to ensure that everything runs properly, you, the homeowner, are responsible for it all.
Protect the Parts
Take a look at the records that came with your home to find out where all of the components of your system are placed so that you or your guests don’t accidentally damage them. Never drive across a drainfield or a ditch. Beyond the possibility of a pipe cracking, the weight of a car compacts the soil, making it less absorbent and less able to absorb water. Maintain a safe distance between plants and trees and the septic tank and the drainfield. Their roots can slither into pipes and cause them to become clogged.
With a normal system, you may arrange a pump truck to come out on a regular basis (typically every three to five years). By being cautious about what goes down your drains, you may be able to extend the time between service calls. Consult with your pumper for guidance. If you have a maintenance contract (which may be necessary with some systems), you should allow the technician to inform you when pumping is required for your system. Pumping costs $200 to $400, depending on how quickly the lid can be opened.
When the tank is completely empty, have it examined for leaks and have them repaired as soon as possible. In addition, inquire about the condition of the baffles, which are responsible for keeping scum out of the intake and outflow. If they are missing or in poor condition, they should be replaced.
Control What Goes In
Perhaps you’ve heard that some materials are beneficial to septic systems while others are detrimental. Here’s the truth about what’s good and terrible to flush down the toilet and what shouldn’t be. Too much water, from any source, can cause your system to become overloaded. Roof water should be diverted away from the drainfield using gutters. Install water-saving toilets and appliances, or at the very least, repair toilet leaks and stagger laundry loads to conserve water. As a precaution, advise guests to refrain from taking long showers or turning on the faucets at full blast while they are at your home.
- Utilize your trash disposal exclusively to clear up the fine scraps that have accumulated in your drain strainer if you have one.
- In a septic tank, fats decompose and become scum.
- Consider creating a compost bin for food waste as well.
- However, even a small amount of drain cleaning might be harmful.
- In rare instances, the salty output produced by water softeners can cause significant damage to a septic system.
- If your health department does not allow it, contact your local health department.
- Alternatively, a salt-free water softener (costing around $1,000 or more) can be installed.
- Instead, use the time to clean the tank.
- Others have negative consequences, such as releasing the scum in the tank, which causes it to block the drainfield.
During the wet season, take a walk through your drainfield. If you smell sewage or notice that grass is growing particularly quickly and lushly in one location, it’s possible that your drainfield is clogged. Inquire with a septic repair firm for assistance. It is recommended that you have a professional examination (costing around $100) performed at least once a year if you have an alternative system with mechanical parts, filter screens, pumps, or other components that can go out of alignment.
In order to ensure that this occurs, your local health department or state environmental agency may compel you to get into an automatically renewing contract with them. If you’re looking for further information, see Should You Repair or Replace Your Septic System?
Understanding Your Septic System
Knowing the basics of septic systems, whether you’re installing or living with one, is beneficial when making decisions about your home. If you follow these procedures, you will be able to extend the life of your system, learn what to do if something goes wrong, and analyze your alternatives if you ever need to expand your system due to a home renovation project. This type of sewage treatment system, which is utilized by one in every five households in the United States and almost half of all households in the South, cleans wastewater equally as well as municipal systems in cities.
When it comes to septic systems, the average life expectancy is 25 to 30 years.
How septic systems work
All septic systems are composed of two major components: a tank in which particles settle to the bottom and a drainfield (also known as a leachfield) in which water dissipates after passing through it. Detailed information regarding the sort of system you have should have been included in the documents you got when you purchased your home. If the specifics have become hazy due to the passage of time, get out those old documents and do some research. It’s possible that your local health department or state environmental agency has backup data as well.
According to typical septic systems, gravity moves wastewater from the home into the septic tank, which then transports it to a drainage field. The septic tank is a large underground container that is often built of concrete, polyethylene, or glass fiber. Water collects there for a long enough period of time for the components to separate. Every few years, a septic pumping firm will come in and remove the greases and oils that have risen to the surface as scum, as well as the solids that have sunk to the bottom as sludge, and transport them to an approved disposal location.
A system of perforated pipes or drain tiles is installed in trenches or on a gravel bed one to three feet below the surface of the ground.
As water trickles out of the pipes, the soil and its microorganisms function as natural filters, removing impurities from the water as it passes through them.
However, it isn’t a possibility for every single lot.
It will only work if there is adequate of well-draining soil above the water table to support it.
You’ll need an alternative system if your soil type, property size, or proximity to a wetland prevents you from using a conventional system. An alternative system is one that includes an improved septic tank, drainfield, or both. These systems are more expensive to install than simple systems, however the cost varies greatly based on your location, your local environmental standards, and the technology you require to be installed. Here are a few examples of the most prevalent kinds. Treatment alternatives are number one.
- It is possible to get away with a smaller drainfield—one that is built on a site that does not drain well—or with a site that is adjacent to a lake or stream, in which case you must adhere to tougher environmental regulations.
- They break down materials considerably more quickly than the anaerobic bacteria found in traditional septic tanks, resulting in cleaner water being discharged into the drainage field.
- It is possible to use an aerobic unit to replace or supplement a septic tank, or to function in conjunction with one.
- Filtering water is accomplished by the use of a huge underground or above-ground box that is filled with sand.
- After that, the water trickles through the sand before draining into the drainfield below.
- It also serves as an alternative to drainfields by enabling fluids to drain into the earth under the surface.
- Alternatives to Drainfields Alternate treatment systems fall into two categories: those that treat the drainfield end of the process and those that treat the process itself.
- These systems aid in the safe dispersion of water in areas where soil conditions are poor or when there is insufficient open space for a normal drainfield.
- It is utilized in situations where the soil is thin or contains excessive clay, or where the water table is very high.
- Water trickles out over a vast area in controlled dosages from a pump chamber in drip irrigation, which costs between $2,500 and $15,000, depending on the size of the drainfield.
Because the plumbing is just 6 to 8 inches belowground, you may need to filter the water first, maybe with an aerobic unit, due to the shallow depth of the pipes. In addition, you’ll need a filter and frequent maintenance to keep the system from becoming clogged.
9 Ways You’re Destroying Your Septic Tank
Unlike those of us who live on municipal sewer systems, those who live on septic tanks need pay closer attention to what happens when they flush the toilet or where all of the dishwater goes. If they do not, they may find themselves in trouble later on down the road. Listed here are the most typical mistakes that homeowners do when it comes to abusing their septic tank, in order to assist you in protecting your house from damage. These should be avoided at all costs, or else you will be forced to pay the price (literally).
1. Flushing Paper Products
Not everything that is made of paper is acceptable for flushing down the bathroom toilet. Paper goods such as tissues, paper towels, tampons or sanitary products, as well as certain thicker toilet paper, may clog your system if you flush an excessive amount of them down the toilet. Wet wipes are yet another product that should never be flushed down the toilet or into a septic system. Even the “flushable” wipes have been demonstrated to not break down as they should, resulting in serious consequences.
Keep the paper goods that you flush down the toilet as basic as possible.
Everything else should be disposed of properly.
2. Pouring Grease Down the Drain
You might believe that dumping grease down the kitchen sink or flushing it down the toilet is totally OK while the grease is still hot. This is just incorrect, people. Grease is one of the most detrimental substances to your septic system. After cooling, it congeals and clogs the pipes almost immediately. As with the arteries leading to the heart, fatty diets cause them to become blocked with fatty deposits. Flooding is caused by clogged drains, which results in a lot of money being spent. The most effective technique to deal with grease is to allow it to cool and harden before scraping it into a container or sealable bag that can be thrown away immediately after.
3. Using Too Much Drain Cleaner
It is intended to be used in drains, so if you pour a little extra down the sink, it will perform even better. That appears to be rational, doesn’t it? Wrong. When you pour large volumes of harsh chemicals or drain cleaner down your sink or toilet, you are causing irreparable damage to your pipes and plumbing system. Your plumbing will deteriorate first and foremost as a result of dangerous substances. For the second time, they eliminate the beneficial bacteria in your tank that digest and break down waste to keep your system operating properly.
“Too much of everything is bad,” as my grandmother used to say, and she was right.
4. Introducing Additives to Your System
Those advertisements for a septic tank enzyme supplement that you see on TV every now and then? It asserts that natural enzymes aid in the breakdown of waste, increasing the efficiency of your system and boosting its overall performance. Make no mistake: septic tank additives can potentially do more harm than help to your septic system. The enzymes break down materials too quickly, causing the smaller particles to float to the surface and then spill out into your drain field, clogging it up even worse.
The use of any additives or chemicals in your septic system is not recommended under any circumstances. What is the solution? Don’t do anything. Allow your tank to operate in its natural state, as it was intended.
5. Flushing Cat Litter
You might believe that because kitty litter includes waste, it is okay to flush it down the toilet. That is not true, and many individuals continue to flush it down the toilet, causing damage to their septic system. Cat litter can be extremely destructive to plumbing, and if it is flushed down the toilet, it can cause a severe blockage. Cat litter is often composed of clay, and pouring it through your pipes or, more critically, into your septic tank can cause difficulties since, unlike garbage, clay does not decompose.
When it comes to litter removal, it is preferable to keep it away from your plumbing and dispose of it in the garbage.
6. Neglecting to Pump Your Tank Regularly
If you don’t get your septic tank drained on a regular basis, you’re increasing the likelihood of it failing. This is one of the disadvantages of using a septic system rather than a municipal water connection. tanks have a limited capacity and must be emptied every 3 to 5 years, or even more frequently if you use your system frequently. If you don’t drain your tank eventually, it will back up and overflow into your home through your plumbing fittings, causing damage. Nobody wants to be responsible for that shambles!
7. Planting Trees and Shrubs on Your Drain Field
Many homeowners like the aesthetics of having trees in their yards. Additionally, having a lovely lawn with well-kept trees and bushes increases the curb appeal of a property, which is especially important for older or historic homes. In contrast, planting them right on top of your septic system (also known as the drain field) might result in serious and expensive difficulties down the line. The restricting roots of those towering trees and shrubs, once they begin to dip their roots deeper and deeper into the earth, have the potential to infiltrate a drain field.
When this occurs, they have the potential to grow directly in the path of your drain pipes, preventing wastewater flow.
8. Washer Lint Overload
However, if you wash a lot of synthetic clothing, the lint and fibers in the unclean washing water can seep into your septic system and cause it to overflow. If you have a septic system that is overflowing, call a professional. The beneficial bacteria and enzymes that work so hard to break down solids are unable to digest synthetic fibers, and as a result, the system becomes overburdened, resulting in costly system repairs. Installing a lint filter on your washer’s drain is one option. Alternatively, The Family Handyman provides a wonderful instruction on how to build one for yourself on their website.
9. Installing a Garbage Disposal
Unless you have a tank-based septic system in place, it is not suggested that you install a garbage disposal in your house. The food in your tank does not drop to the bottom, despite the fact that the bacteria are grinding it up into minute particles. As a result, solids pile up quicker than the bacteria can break them down. If you do have a disposal, exercise extreme caution while putting things down it. Non-food objects may find their way into your garbage disposal, even if you are extremely careful.
One option for dealing with food waste is to compost it, which can then be used in your garden later on.
Septic systems require special attention and maintenance to ensure that they continue to perform properly.
If you take proper care of your septic tank, it will last you for years with little maintenance required.
Submit Your Email Address Now to Receive Your FREE eBook! FounderEditor-in-Chief I enjoy renovating ancient buildings, working with my hands, and sharing the excitement of doing things yourself with people. Everything can be taught if you just give it the opportunity to do so.
Lansing State Journal
- If you live in a rural region, you are most likely aware with the concept of septic systems. Though it is not difficult to maintain a septic system, it is necessary to take some precautions in order to guarantee that the system continues to work effectively. Water conservation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), involves four critical steps: examine and pump on a regular basis
- Utilize water effectively
- Appropriately dispose of waste
- And keep your drainfield in good working order. Inspect and pump on a regular basis. ‘Pumping your tank on a regular basis is the most crucial component of septic system upkeep,’ according to Nathan Foote of Health Services Expeditors in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. “For a household of four or more members, I recommend that the septic tank be pumped once every three or four years. Because it inhibits solid material from entering into the absorption system, it is extremely significant.” Using or misusing a trash disposal on a regular basis may necessitate more frequent pump-outs
- Nevertheless, a professional can assist you in determining the best course of action. It is critical to note that a septic tank can only be pumped by a contractor that has obtained a license and clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency. Make effective use of water. As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average indoor water use in a normal single-family home is roughly 70 gallons per person, per day
- Yet, “even a single leaking or running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day.” In Foote’s opinion, “daily loading rates are critically crucial.” There is no domestic home drainfield intended to handle more than 300 gallons of water per day, thus it is vital that you keep a close eye on your water consumption to avoid overtaxing your system. Houselogic.com recommends that you make sure your gutters channel water away from your drainfield and that you consider installing water-saving appliances as well as high-efficiency toilets and showerheads to help avoid serious problems in the future. Also, don’t put off doing all of your laundry until the next Saturday. Instead, spread your loads out over the course of the week to prevent overburdening the system. Foote also advises that a water softener and/or sump pump should never be allowed to drain into a septic tank, according to the manufacturer. This is an important concern for Michigan homes since sump pumps may pump hundreds of gallons of water in a single day, which is significant. The water from a sump pump should be dumped at least 20 feet away from your property, according to industry standards. Additionally, reduce water consumption during periods of high rainfall or quick snowmelt. Waste should be disposed of properly. Keep in mind that whatever you flush down the toilet or pour down the drain will end up in your septic system. Save for human waste and toilet paper, never flush anything down the toilet except for human waste and toilet paper. Consider the contents of your rubbish disposal as well. “Many individuals have a tendency to treat their disposal as if it were a garbage can,” Foote observed. The trash must be disposed of someplace, and it will most likely wind up in your septic system,” says the author. Things like coffee grounds, egg shells, raw vegetables, cooking oil, fat, and grease, among other things, should not be disposed of through the garbage disposal. It should be safe to consume small portions of cooked food off a plate
- But, excessive usage of your garbage disposal raises the likelihood of problems and means you may have to pump your septic tank more regularly. Consider creating a compost pile for food waste and avoiding the use of the garbage disposal as much as you can. Also keep in mind that a septic system contains live organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by a home. Your septic system’s ability to function is dependent on the presence of a healthy population of essential bacteria. Disposing of anything hazardous down the drain may cause these creatures to die, which can cause damage to the drainage system. You should avoid using chemical drain openers, and “never pour oil-based paints, solvents, or significant volumes of harmful cleansers down the drain,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When cleaning your toilet bowl, stay away from hazardous or anti-bacterial cleansers, especially ones that include blue or green dye, as the dye has been shown to harm beneficial microflora in the system. Houselogic.com advises against wasting money on additions that “promise to break down sludge in the tank and so increase the period between pump-outs” since some additives are ineffective and others have negative side effects, according to the website. Keep your drainfield in good condition. Because the drainfield is such an important component of your septic system, it must be properly cared for and maintained. Keep vehicles and vehicles from parking or driving on the drainfield, and make sure trees are planted at a safe distance from the drainfield to prevent roots from getting into the system. You may find a list of local specialists on the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® website at if you have concerns or problems with your septic system and need to consult a professional.
Quick Guide to Septic Tank Problems and Solutions
Septic tanks are extremely convenient since they allow you to just forget about them and get on with your life as usual – this is one of the many benefits of having one. However, it is good to make a note of what may potentially go wrong in order to avoid being caught off guard if there is a problem. There is very little that can go wrong with the septic tank itself; it may suffer structural damage or begin to deteriorate over time, but the vast majority of issues with septic tanks are caused by the plumbing and soakaway system that is installed beside it.
All septic tanks and soakaway systems will eventually have problems.
The most typical problem with a septic tank is the same one that may occur with any plumbing or drainage system: a clog in the system. A clog in the line that connects your home to your septic tank is normally reasonably easy to clean using standard plumbing tools and techniques. It is possible that a blockage is caused by tree roots infiltrating drainage pipes at certain points. A professional will know the appropriate course of action to take in order to resolve the situation. This can be more difficult to resolve.
Septic Tank Overflow
It is possible that your septic tank will begin to overflow after a period of particularly rainy weather, with septic tank effluent emerging at ground level or backing up the pipes of your system. The fact that any septic tank effluent makes its way into ditches or streams – regardless of how this occurs – must be replaced with a sewage treatment plant by January 2020 – or before this date, if the land is sold – should not be overlooked.
It is possible for the soil surrounding the soakaway to become blocked at times. If sludge and scum are not cleaned from the tank on a regular basis – we recommend once every three years or so – they might accumulate and be transferred to the soakaway, which is a problem. In septic tank systems, the movement of particles from the tank is the most prevalent cause of failure. A failure to adhere to a regular maintenance plan might result in clogging of the perforated distribution drain pipe or of the pores in the soil walls of the soakaway if they are not cleaned regularly.
It’s also possible that your waste plumbing system may get more sluggish and lethargic as time goes on, and that your system will begin to back up into your bath or shower.
Septic Tank Maintenance
One of the most concerningly prevalent causes of septic tank problems is that they are not emptied as frequently as they should be by the homeowner. A septic tank can only retain a year’s worth of sludge before it needs to be emptied, which means it must be done once every twelve months. Another issue that is sometimes overlooked by individuals is the issue of an increasing number of people utilizing the system. For example, if you have acquired a property that previously only had one or two people living in it and you now have a family of four or five people, you may discover that the current system – particularly the soakaway – is unable to cope with the increased daily flow of water.
- In reality, the septic system is frequently overlooked.
- When it does not cause any issues, we prefer to go on as if nothing has happened.
- Septic tank troubles may be a big pain in the neck.
- We will be able to adequately address the situation before it deteriorates further.
- The majority of septic problems are caused by issues with the plumbing and drainage system.
- To give you a heads-up, we will be looking at the many types of septic tank problems, as well as the factors that contribute to them and the solutions available.
- This blockage in the pipes is generally produced by a buildup of pressure between the foreign item and the pipe, which causes the obstruction.
It is possible that you may need to get it carefully inspected in order to undo the damage.
If the issue is mechanical in nature, it can be simply resolved with the proper plumbing equipment.
A particular amount of bacteria must be present in order for a septic system to work correctly.
Allow some time for the bacteria to colonize and begin doing its work.
The length of time it takes for the treatment to take effect is determined on the amount of sludge present in your septic system.
Please keep in mind that bacteria proliferate swiftly and consume every organic matter contained within your tank.
When opposed to harmful chemicals, they are absolutely risk-free.
Chemicals would simply serve to loosen up sludge and introduce more toxins into your body.
One of the contributing factors may be excessive water consumption.
Inadequate maintenance might also result in a tank that is overflowing.
An overflowing tank can also be caused by a lack of naturally occurring microorganisms in the tank.
Your plumbing system may also suffer from design defects, which might lead to this problem.
When pipes get clogged or broken, tanks begin to overflow.
They harden along the lines, preventing your drain field from functioning properly.
The soil around the pipes has the potential to get blocked, resulting in a variety of difficulties.
The result of this is that you may notice foul-smelling aromas, damp areas, and an excessive amount of grass growing around your drain field.
It comes to the point where even filling your tank won’t be enough to fix the problem.
Our product, the SDB 500, aids in the biological reduction and prevention of smells, as well as the rise in the efficiency rate of digestion inside your septic system, both of which are beneficial.
The frequency with which you apply this product will be determined by the amount of time you spend using your septic system. More information about this incredible product may be found by clicking here.
Snake In The Toilet Through The Septic?
Was there a snake in the toilet? It’s understandable if you’re a little alarmed to learn that anything like this can happen. However, we want to reassure you that this is a rare occurrence and you may rest confident. Nonetheless, we are frequently asked this issue, and we thought it would be a wonderful topic to debate and address. When you sit on the toilet in almost any house, there is only about 10 inches of water in the tank and a lot of bends in the pipes between you and the outdoors. Not all snakes are capable of underwater navigation, and the ones that are are nonvenomous snakes from Florida.
Up From Below
This may appear to be the most reasonable explanation: a snake has managed to sneak into your septic system and into your toilet. This can occur if you have a septic tank lid that is loose or poorly fitting, or if another portion of your septic tank is damaged. Snakes will not seek out your sewage or attempt to gain entry into your residence. However, if one were to fall into your tank, it is probable that it might attempt to escape by climbing up a sewage pipeline. When this has happened in the past, it has generally happened on the first level of a building.
Again, while this is an extremely unusual occurrence, it has occurred.
Down From Above
Snakes aren’t flying around in the sky, so what are we talking about? It is most likely that your sewer system is not a sealed system. If you glance up at your roof, you will most likely notice a vent pipe protruding from the surface of your roof. This is a straight passage from the entrance on the roof to the main sewer line, which is a good thing. While there is normally a bend in this conduit, it is not impossible for a snake to descend down from above and enter through it. This is exceedingly implausible, and furthermore, what is the source of the snake on your roof?
Poisonous Septic Snake?
In reality, the likelihood that the snake is toxic is exceedingly remote. How many of us are willing to sit around and wait to find out? We’d most likely scream and flee the scene. Perhaps we will remember to close the toilet lid after we have used it! Running out of the bathroom and allowing the snake to crawl out to hide is not something you want to do.
How Can I Prevent A Snake In The Toilet?
Of course, none of us would ever want something like this to happen to ourselves. Regularly cleaning and inspecting your septic system is the most effective approach to avoid this situation from occurring. This will ensure that the lid, as well as any openings, are completely sealed.
At the same time, all of the mechanical components will be thoroughly examined. Give us a call, and if it has been a while since you had your septic system examined, or if you are unsure when the last time was, we will come out and look it over for you. Posts from the recent past
What to Do In the Event of a Septic Tank Emergency
It is believed that septic systems can only endure for a certain amount of time before failing, thus it is always advisable to plan for a septicemergency before one occurs so that you can react as swiftly and decisively as possible when the situation arises. If you ever find yourself in a position where you have an aseptic tank emergency, it is critical that you do not panic, no matter how dire the situation appears to be. It is important to realize that a broken septic system has the potential to expose you, your family, and your neighbors to viruses and diseases from the sewage, and that panicking will not help anybody in this situation.
In particular, you’ll want to keep your eyes, ears, and nose peeled for the following:
- The presence of gurgling in your plumbing system
- Fixtures that are slow to drain
- Noxious scents emanating from the drainfield region after a strong rain or prolonged water consumption
- Your basement is flooded due to a backup of water
- Backups from a septic tank or piping
- Water accumulating in the drain field
Preventative measures that should be taken It is critical that you do not use more water than you absolutely need to in order to prevent your system from failing more quickly than typical. After all, using too much water is one of the primary reasons that septic systems fail in the first place. You’ll also want to avoid utilizing chemicals because they will do more damage than good to your body’s overall health. Prevent paving over, driving over, and parking on top of your septic system by following these guidelines.
Laterals are used to transport waste water from the septic tank to the drainage system.
Always make certain that your yard drainage and downspouts are moved to different areas of your lawn to avoid flooding.
Because septic systems are subterranean, it is difficult to check them properly for signs of malfunction.
Emergency If you ever discover that you have sewage in your property, raise the lid of the septic tank and check the amount of water in it to determine the cause.
If the water level in your tank is lower than the outlet, you may need to hire a plumber since there is a possibility that a pipe that runs between your tank and your house is clogged.
Prepare to get your tank pumped so that you will have a little more time to think about what to do next.
In the case that the drainfield becomes flooded, it is recommended to postpone having your tank pumped since emptying the tank might cause it to float, which can result in burst pipes and other problems.
If you have dogs or children, you may want to consider erecting a fence around the property to ensure that they do not wander into the area.
Is it better to repair or replace?
Standing water or sewage stench is almost often the result of a broken pipe, which can be quickly repaired for less than $600 in most cases.
If it is your drainfield that has entirely failed, it is likely that you will want a new drainage system installed.
Having said that, there is still a potential that you may be able to re-use your septic tank, which can save you a significant amount of money. Do everything you can to avoid and deal with a septic system problem, but know when it’s time to bring in a professional for assistance. Source: