How do you take care of a septic tank?
- Use a garbage disposal sparingly. It can clog the drain field and leads to more waste water. Using a garbage disposal means more frequent pumping of the septic tank, ideally every year. Put a liter of spoiled buttermilk down the toilet and flush it once every few months.
How do I keep my septic system healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
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 is the best thing to put 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 bacteria to my septic tank?
Do I need to add bacteria to my septic tank? Healthy septic tanks already have enough bacteria to support the biological processes that treat human waste and wastewater. By adding more bacteria in the tank, you create conditions in which bacterial populations compete against each other.
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?
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!
What will ruin a septic system?
Substances like motor oil, paints, varnishes, and floor wax will damage organisms in your tank. This bacterium is necessary to keep your soil and groundwater free from pathogens. Instead of putting these oils down the drain, refer to your city’s waste management for recommended guidelines to dispose of these chemicals.
Is RIDX good for your septic?
So what’s the problem with additives like Rid-X? According to the EPA and the Ohio Department of Health, not only are additives like Rid-X not recommended, but they actually have a detrimental and potentially hazardous effect on your septic system’s waste treatment process.
How do you dissolve sludge in a septic tank?
How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping
- Install an aeration system with diffused air in your septic tank.
- Break up any compacted sludge.
- Add a bio-activator or microbe blend.
- Maintain the aeration system.
- Add additional Microbes as required.
What are the do’s and don’ts of a septic tank?
DON’T flush material that will not easily decompose, such as hair, diapers, cigarette butts, matches, or feminine hygiene products. DO conserve water to avoid overloading the system. They kill the bacteria needed to decompose wastes in the septic tank and drain field. DO use substitutes for household hazardous waste.
Is beer good for septic tanks?
Do not flush meat, buttermilk, yeast, vegetables, beer etc. down your drain to “Feed” your septic system. This will kill the good bacteria in your septic system.
What breaks down sewage in a septic tank?
Enzymes go to work on the scum, and bacteria goes to work on the sludge. The microbes eat the waste and convert large portions of it into liquids and gases. This process allows the septic tank to push the now-treated wastewater out to the drainfield.
What kills bacteria in septic tanks?
For example, while chlorine bleach is a useful disinfectant in the home, it kills beneficial septic tank bacteria. In addition to bleach, avoid constant use of antibacterial soap and harsh drain cleaners. Also, many toilet bowl cleaners have bleach or hydrochloric acid, which kills septic tank bacteria.
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.
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.
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 professional can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscape, depending on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep all roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainwater drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
Best septic tank treatments for rural homeowners
If you reside in a rural area of the United States, the chances are good that you will not be linked to a municipal water and sewer system. This means that your water will come from a well, and your body waste will be disposed of in a septic tank. It is the latter that we will be discussing in this article. After all, while septic tanks are capable of decomposing human waste on their own, they occasionally require assistance, and it is at this point that we as homeowners turn to the internet for information on the finest septic tank treatments available.
- Consider it to be akin to re-digesting the solids before sending them to a distribution box (D-box) and then out onto a leaching field to break them down.
- If anything isn’t operating properly, you may find yourself stuck with obstructions and a buildup of gasses.
- After all, septic repairs are not inexpensive – I had to have my leaching field replaced a few years ago, which resulted in a bill of several thousand dollars.
- In all likelihood, it will require pumping, however we have been able to go even longer without the need for pumping.
Here are 5 of the greatest septic tank treatments that we’ve come across that you may use if you need to give your septic system a little more TLC:
Green Gobbler Septic Saver Pacs
A septic saver that is designed to digest grease and fats while also breaking down paper and organic debris in order to keep your sewage line and septic tank free of blockages. It also aids in the reduction of smells, no matter how offensive they may be! To use Septic Saver, simply drop one pack into your downstairs bathroom toilet and flush it once a month for preventive septic tank maintenance. Each bag of Septic Saver contains six water-soluble packs; to use, simply drop and flush one pack into your downstairs bathroom toilet once a month for preventive septic tank maintenance.
Rid-X Septic Tank Treatment Enzymes
This is the brand that you’ll see the most advertisements for on television, and in our experience, these enzyme pacs are really effective! Septic backups are prevented by continually breaking down household waste – the natural bacteria and sophisticated enzymes begin working instantly to target paper, protein, oils, and grease. Rid-X is available in a variety of sizes. One packet of provides a one-month treatment for septic tanks ranging in capacity from 700 to 1,500 gallons. To use, simply insert a pouch in your toilet and flush it down the toilet.
Instant Power 1868 Septic Shock
Septic Shock unclogs and deodorizes blocked, foul-smelling septic systems while also aiding in the digestion of soap, paper and grease. Pouring two liters (one container) of bleach directly into the toilet and flushing it will introduce millions of helpful bacteria to the system. This product comprises bacterial/enzyme strains of lipase (grease), protease (protein), cellulose (paper), and alpha amylase, which work together to breakdown system-clogging waste and debris.
Bio-Tab for Septic Systems
Using this ecologically friendly septic tank treatment will not affect your plumbing or septic system because it is non-corrosive and non-poisonous. Each container has a year’s worth of supplies (14 no-mess pills), as well as a calendar on the lid to keep track of your monthly use. Bio-Tab is made up of organisms that have been considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is non-toxic to people and animals.
Walex Bio-Active Drop-Ins Septic Additive
Each month, you’ll receive a box that is safe for all types of plumbing and environmentally friendly – just put it in the toilet and flush it. With each dose, billions of bacteria and septic-specific enzymes are released, assisting in the prevention of blockages and the dissolution of solid materials. The use of Bio-Active helps to replenish the biological population of beneficial worker bacteria and enzymes, which are responsible for solids reduction. Each package contains 12 packets, which is enough for a year’s supply.
Purchases made through the retail links in our product evaluations result in commissions being earned by us.
On AG Daily, there is sponsored content.
7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System
Every editorial product is chosen on its own merits, while we may be compensated or earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of our affiliate links.
As of the time of writing, the ratings and pricing are correct, and all goods are in stock.
Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.
Preventing and treating problems with your septic system is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Failure to maintain your septic system, on the other hand, might result in significant financial loss, since digging up and rebuilding a septic system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What Is a Septic System?
Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.
Get Familiar With Your Septic System
Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.
Have It Pumped Routinely
Every three to five years, the ordinary residential septic system should be pumped (that is, the sediments should be removed). According on the size of the tank, the typical price of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600. When you contact a septic service company, they will also inspect your septic tank for leaks and evaluate the sludge layers in your tank for any problems. Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank.
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. Some of the luxurious, pricey ones that include lotions and additional plys may clog your system or introduce unwelcome substances into it.
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.
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
Septic tank systems are notoriously difficult to maintain and may be quite expensive when they fail. Over the course of almost two decades, we’ve only had to pump our septic tank once. Here’s how we maintain our system running smoothly: DIY Septic Tank Treatment
Natural Enzyme Action
Septic tanks, like your stomach, require the presence of beneficial bacteria and enzymes in order to break down the particles that travel through them. It is possible to obtain these helpful bacteria and enzymes from a variety of sources, but one of our favorites is rotting tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins known as Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes, and they break down pectin.
Lipase, hydrolyzes, and lyase are all members of the pectinase family of enzymes that are capable of breaking down pectin and plant cell walls in the natural environment, therefore aiding in the decomposition and recycling of waste plant materials.
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
It is simple and inexpensive to treat a septic tank with DIY solutions. We “feed” our septic tank 3-4 rotting tomatoes every 3 months or so, which we do through our garbage disposal. The idea is to make sure that you split up the tomato and pass only half a tomato or so at a time through the water while it is running to ensure that it is properly flushed out. As an alternative, if you don’t have access to a garbage disposal, you may throw two or three large rotting tomatoes in a bag (chances are they’re already packed away in a bag in your refrigerator and starting to liquefy anyway!).
Dump them into a toilet (but don’t use bleach!) and flush them away.
Normally, having rotten tomatoes every few months isn’t a big deal because the garden overproduces in the spring, summer, and fall, and there are always a few extras available.
At the very least, they aren’t going to waste completely.
Toilet Paper No-No’s
When we had our septic system pumped for the first time in more than two decades, we were assured that it was totally unnecessary because the system was operating well and looked fantastic. During our conversation, the gentleman shared numerous true horror stories of systems he’d witnessed at his place of employment where the families utilized “fluffy” toilet paper. That one where the cute little bears in the advertisements are pleased of themselves for not having any lint left behind? You know the one I’m talking about.
Image courtesy of Ian Haycoxis (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
He especially inquired about the brand of tissue we use, which is Scott Tissue.
Alternatively, if you don’t happen to have any rotting tomatoes on hand, you may use baking or brewing yeast to bring healthy bacteria to your tank as an alternative.
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally
Yeast and sugar are excellent natural septic tank cleaners, and here’s an easy method for using them.
Septic Tank Cleaner
2 cups granulated sugar 5 cups of hot water (optional) 3 tbsp. active dry yeast Sugar and yeast should be dissolved in water. Pour the mixture into a toilet (that does not contain bleach!) and flush it. This is best done at night so that the yeast may continue to work throughout the night; do not flush for at least 3 hours after completion.
1Avoid flushing raw or cooked meat down the toilet, down the garbage disposal, or any other form of introducing meat into your septic system; meat is NEVER a helpful bacterium. 2. Never add oils, grease, or fat in any form (solid or liquid) to your tank. This includes, but is not limited to, cooking oils, bacon grease, meat grease from draining ground beef/turkey, and other fat-containing foods. 3Avoid flushing anything other than garbage and toilet paper down the toilet; this means that feminine products should be disposed of in the trash, baby diapers and wipes should be disposed of in the trashcan, and so on.
Even while such personal wipes claim to be safe for the septic system, they take a very long time to degrade and are thus ineffective. Have you tried the rotten tomato technique yet? Mention@Budget101com Alternatively, Budget101 can be tagged.
Love this DIY Septic Tank Treatment Idea? Pin it!
On December 5, 2020, the information was updated. However, while this isn’t an enjoyable topic for polite discussion, having your septic system back up into your home is far from pleasant. There are actions that you can do to not only avoid septic issues in the future, but also to guarantee that the process of breaking down flushed waste proceeds as it should.
A Well-Functioning Septic System
The title of this article may be “The Care and Maintenance of the Gut in Your Yard,” which would be more descriptive. Understanding the necessity and advantages of eating dietary fiber, alkaline-forming foods, and taking probiotics for your own gut health will help you recognize the similarities between keeping a healthy septic system and maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are some items that you should avoid putting into any septic system, just as there are certain substances that are favorable to putting into our own digestive systems.
If you wait until there is a problem, you have waited too long and should contact a septic cleaning firm to pump your tank immediately.
Septic System Care and Maintenance Tips:
- A family of four living in a house with a 1,000-gallon tank should have their septic system cleaned every four years, according to the EPA. Inquire with your local septic cleaning firm about how frequently you should contact them
- Avoid using bleach-containing solutions to clean your toilets since it kills the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of waste particles in your septic system. Try this all-natural toilet cleanser
- It works great.
- When you add yeast to your septic system, it helps to aggressively break down waste particles, which is beneficial. Using the first time, flush a 12-cup package of dried baking yeast down the toilet. After the initial addition, add 14 cup of instant yeast every 4 months for the next 4 months. For those who are planning to install or have their existing septic system pumped, it’s a good idea to know precisely where it is in your yard so that you don’t have to dig up a lot of your lawn when the system is pumped in the future. With a tape measure, measure the precise distance between the septic tank lid and the home, and then snap a photo of the exact distance with your mobile phone to prove you were accurate. Maintain a copy of the snapshot in a home maintenance file on your computer for future reference.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living and healthy lifestyle writer who has written seven non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She lives in Hawaii with her family. Since 2004, she has contributed to the Farmers’ Almanac as a writer.
It is important not to flush any sort of wipe down the toilet, regardless of whether the box specifically states that they are “flushable.” These objects have the potential to block your home’s plumbing, as well as the pipes in the street and the important machinery at the wastewater treatment facility. The water in which personal care wipes, dental floss, paper towels, and tissues are flushed does not dissolve them rapidly – or at all – therefore they are not safe to flush down the toilet. Personal care items, cleaning supplies, and other home garbage should be disposed of appropriately, either in the trash, the recycling bin, or at your local domestic hazardous waste disposal facility.
- The term “septic system” refers to an individual wastewater treatment system (conventional septic systems, innovative/alternative (I/A) systems, or cesspools) that uses the soil to treat tiny wastewater flows, which are typically generated by a single residence.
- Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations today.
- In a normal septic system, there are three main components: the septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainfield, which are all connected by pipes known as conveyance lines.
- Primary treatment is the term used to describe this separation procedure.
- Flowing from the tank into a distribution box, which distributes the wastewater uniformly into a network of drainfield trenches, is how partially treated effluent is removed from the environment.
Once in the subsurface soil, this effluent is further cleaned and filtered before being released back into the environment (secondary treatment). No pollution of groundwater occurs when the septic system is properly maintained and operated.
Additional Resources for What is a Septic System?
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, a properly maintained septic system should be pumped out at least once every three years! Regular maintenance is the most crucial factor in ensuring that your septic system is in good working order. Pumping on a regular basis helps to keep particles from leaking into the drainfield and blocking the soil pores. While the frequency of pumping depends on the amount of consumption, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection advises that systems be pumped at least once every three years for households without a trash disposal.
- The frequency with which you pump should be determined by the amount of water that has accumulated and the amount of water that has been pumped in the past.
- It is astounding how many system owners assume that if they have not experienced any difficulties with their systems, they do not need to pump out their tanks.
- Solid materials sink to the bottom of the tank when your system is utilized, resulting in the formation of a sludge layer.
- In most cases, correctly engineered tanks have adequate room to safely store sludge for up to three to five years at a time.
- As the amount of sludge in the system rises, more solid wastes are allowed to escape into the soil absorption system (SAS).
When hiring a pumper, be certain that they are licensed by the local Board of Health, and always insist on receiving a paid receipt from the pumper that clearly outlines the terms of the transaction and the amount you paid (how many gallons were pumped out of the tank, the date, the charges, and any other pertinent results).
In addition, a copy of this report is forwarded to the local Board of Health by the pumper.
Additional Resources for How often should I pump out my septic system?
- Once every 3 to 5 years, have the system examined and pumped out. If the tank becomes overburdened with sediments, the wastewater will not have enough time to settle before it overflows down the drain. After that, the extra solids will be carried to the leach field, where they will block the drain pipes and the soil. Always know where your septic system and drain field are in relation to your house and keep a detailed record of all inspections, pumpings, repairs, contract or engineering work for future reference. Keep a sketch of it on hand for when you go to the service center. The drain field should be planted above the septic system with grass or small plants (not trees or bushes) to help keep the system in place. Controlling runoff through imaginative landscaping may be an effective method of reducing water consumption. Install water-saving devices in faucets, showerheads, and toilets to limit the amount of water that drains into the septic system and into the environment. Replace any dripping faucets or leaking toilets, and only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are completely full. Avoid taking long showers. Roof drains as well as surface water from roads and slopes should be diverted away from the septic system. Maintain a safe distance between the system and sump pumps and home footing drains as well. Take any remaining hazardous substances to a hazardous waste collection station that has been approved by the local government. Use bleach, disinfectants, drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in line with the directions on the product labels. Only utilize septic system additives that have been approved for use in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). In Massachusetts, it has been found that the additives approved for use have no detrimental effect on the particular system or its components, or on the environment in general.
- Non-biodegradables (cigarette butts, diapers, feminine items, and so on) and grease should not be disposed of down the toilet or sink. The use of non-biodegradable materials can clog the pipes, and grease can thicken and block the pipes as well. Cooking oils, fats, and grease should be stored in a container and disposed of in the garbage
- Paint thinner, polyurethane, antifreeze, insecticides, certain dyes, disinfectants, water softeners, and other harsh chemicals should all be added to the system to ensure that it works properly. Septic tank malfunctions can be caused by the death of the biological component of your septic system and the contamination of groundwater. Typical home cleaners, drain cleaners, and detergents, for example, will be diluted in the tank and should not do any damage to the system
- And Make use of a garbage grinder or disposal that drains into the septic tank to eliminate waste. If you do have one in your home, you should use it only in extremely limited circumstances. The addition of food wastes or other solids lowers the capacity of your system and increases the frequency with which you must pump your septic tank. If you utilize a grinder, you will have to pump the system more frequently. Trees should be planted within 30 feet of your system, and vehicles should not be parked or driven over any section of the system Tree roots may block your pipes, and heavy cars may cause your drainfield to collapse
- However, you can prevent this from happening. You should not allow anybody to work on your system or pump it without first ensuring that they are licensed system specialists
- Wash an excessive number of loads of clothing in your washing machine. Doing load after load deprives your septic tank of the time it needs to properly process wastes and causes the entire system to become overwhelmed with surplus wastewater. As a result, you might be overflowing your drain field without giving yourself enough time to recover from the inundation. To calculate the gallon capacity and the number of loads per day that may be safely pumped into the system, you should speak with a tank specialist. Cleaning the plumbing or septic system using chemical solvents is recommended. Microorganisms that devour toxic wastes will be killed by “miracle” chemicals that have been developed. These items have the potential to pollute groundwater as well.
Key Actions for Septic System Do’s and Don’ts
Septic systems that have been properly maintained can assist in preventing the spread of disease and other illnesses. System failures can have serious consequences.
- Your failure to maintain your water system could pose a serious health hazard to your family and neighbors, degrade the environment, particularly lakes, streams and groundwater, reduce the value of your property while also being extremely expensive to repair
- And put thousands of water supply users at risk if you live in a public water supply watershed and fail to maintain your system.
Keep an eye out for the following warning signals of a malfunctioning system:
- Surface sewage over the drainfield (particularly after storms)
- Sewage backups in the home
- Lush, green vegetation over the drainfield sewage smells
- Toilets or drains that are difficult to empty
If your system fails, the first thing you should do is call your local board of health, which must authorize all modifications and the majority of repairs before they can be carried out or installed.
The board of health will inform you of the steps that must be taken. In the event that your system fails, call your local Board of Health immediately!
Key Actions for Failing Septic Systems Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
It’s easy to forget about your septic tank, which means it’s also simple to forget about the regular maintenance that needs to be performed on it. You rely on your septic system on a daily basis, so if you neglect to do routine maintenance, you might find yourself in a stinky situation.
Why are Treatments Important?
Septic tanks function by transporting wastewater from your property down into a tank. Afterwards, bacteria within the tank dissolves and eats the waste, dividing it into solids and liquids as a result. The liquids are subsequently channeled into the earth through perforated pipework. A drain field is the name given to this particular stretch of terrain. When liquids move through the drain field, the layers of rocks, minerals, and dirt purify the water before reintroducing it to the groundwater system, resulting in cleaner water.
A septic tank treatment should be applied on a regular basis in order to give the beneficial bacteria in the system a boost.
Along with monthly treatments, it is advised that you empty your tank once every two years or sooner if possible.
Different Types of Treatments
The use of inorganic acids or alkalis can quickly clear a clog, since these potent substances have the ability to dissolve any blockage in seconds. However, since they are so strong, if they are not properly diluted, they might eliminate the vital bacteria that is required for your tank to function properly. If this occurs, raw sewage can run into the drain field, resulting in unpleasant aromas, leaking into nearby groundwater, and the general weakening of your drainage system. Gasoline Peroxide — When used in the right concentrations, hydrogen peroxide may be an excellent clog-removal solution that does not affect the bacterial environment in your tank.
As a result, it is not a smart alternative for long-term maintenance of your septic tank.
They are effective as a septic tank treatment because they break down oils, grease, and fats that accumulate at the bottom of the tank.
Instead, they seep into the groundwater system and have the potential to inflict ecological harm; as a result, they are prohibited from usage in some jurisdictions.
These function by increasing the number of bacteria in the system and introducing enzymes that break down fibers, scum, and solid waste. When you keep your tank’s ecology healthy, you’re also helping to keep the rest of your system healthy, including the drain field and local groundwater systems.
Type of Septic Tank Treatment – Septic tank treatments are available in a number of forms, with the most popular being pods, tablet form, powder, and liquid. Pods and pills are the most common options since they are handy and come in pre-packaged quantities that are easy to administer. Powders, on the other hand, are a little more difficult to work with because they require you to measure out the exact amount for the size tank you are using. When it comes to liquids, the doses must be calibrated in the same way that powders are, however these sorts of treatments are only intended for major blockages and not for routine cleaning.
- As an alternative, you must take into account the size of your septic tank.
- The medication may have the unintended consequence of disrupting the bacterial environment and altering the enzyme balance to an excessive degree.
- Price – When purchasing a treatment, price should always be a consideration, and in this situation, price does influence the quality of the therapy.
- Tank treatments that are reasonably priced range in price from $15 to $35 for a product that will last a number of months.
The Most Recommended Treatments
- The Best Overall: Cabin Obsession Septic Tank Treatment
- Excellent for Those on a Budget: Cabin Obsession Septic Tank Treatment Green Gobbler SEPTIC SAVER Bacteria Enzyme Pacs
- Best for Clogs: Green Gobbler SEPTIC SAVER Bacteria Enzyme Pacs Septic Shock, 1868, with Instantaneous Power
- The Most Effective Monthly Treatment: When purchasing in bulk, Walex BIO-31112 Bio-Active Septic Tank Treatment Drop-Ins are the best value. GreenPig Solutions 53 Concentrated Septic Tank Treatment is also a good choice.
Super Terry knows Septic Systems
Don’t be concerned about sewage or a flooded front yard; we’ll make sure your septic system is operating at peak efficiency and safety. To book an evaluation, please contact us by phone or online.
Septic Tank Treatment Guide
Application Instructions for Septic-Flow Shock
For Slow or Sluggish Drain Fields/Septic Tanks:
Begin with 3 gallons of product to get you started. 1 gallon of product should be used through the toilet, sink, or drain that is closest to the septic tank outlet. Next 1 gallon of product should be applied directly into the drain field soil. After one week, add another gallon of water. Allow enough of water to flow through the septic system drain field to ensure that it is evenly distributed.
For Drain Field and Leach Field Maintenance:
Utilize 1 gallon every 6 months, discharging it down the toilet or the nearest drain that is closest to the septic tank.
Restoring Failed Drain Fields or Leach Systems:
Start with 5 gallons of product to get the ball rolling. Drain field soil should be treated with at least 3-4 gallons of product applied directly to the soil. The remaining 1-2 gallons should be applied through the distribution box / cleanout or septic tank hole. If your system is clogged with water, attempt to drain out as much extra water as you can before treating it. Fill the distribution box with 40-80 gallons of water, using a hose, to make sure that the product gets through the complete system of the drain fields.
- If the soil is extremely sluggish or entirely “locked,” as is the case with clay type soils, the instructions may need to be repeated.
- The discharge of these gasses may occur when the tank is opened, and measures should be made to ensure that you do not breathe in any of the gasses.
- Septic systems are designed to treat and disperse relatively modest quantities of wastewater generated by single or small groups of residential or commercial buildings.
- To help households and state and local governments better manage their septic tanks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers information and technical support.
- Homeowners’ Guide to Resources You are not alone if your septic tank has failed, or if you know someone who has experienced the same problem.
- The proper maintenance of your septic system will assist to prevent your system from failing and will help to protect your investment in your property.
In addition to contaminating the ground water that you and your neighbors consume, failing septic systems have the potential to harm surrounding rivers, lakes, and coastal seas. Ten steps to ensure that your septic tank and system are in proper working order:
- Determine the location of your septic tank and drain field. Keep a sketch of these areas in your files for future reference. Maintain your septic system by having it examined at least once every three years. Do not dispose of home hazardous trash in sinks or toilets
- Instead, use a garbage disposal. Continue to avoid ingesting other household things such as dental floss, feminine hygiene products, condoms, diapers, and cat litter
- Make effective use of water
- Only grass should be planted over and near your septic system. A blockage or damage to the system might be caused by roots from neighboring plants or shrubs. Don’t forget to avoid applying manure or fertilizers directly into the drainfield. Vehicles and livestock should be kept away from your septic system. Your pipes and tank may be damaged as a result of the weight, and your system may not drain correctly if the earth is compacted. Make sure that your gutters and basement sump pumps do not flow into or near your septic system. Before adding any additives, be sure to check with your local health authority. In addition to being ineffective, commercial septic tank additives can be hazardous to your system since they do not eliminate the need for frequent pumping. Examine whether or not your drainfield is truly draining away from your property and whether or not there is any standing water on the drainfield area.
What is the operation of a septic system? A conventional septic system is made up of four major components: a pipe leading from the house to the septic tank, a drainfield, and the soil itself. In the soil, microorganisms consume and eliminate the vast majority of toxins from wastewater before it reaches groundwater. An underground, waterproof container, often built of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as the septic system’s holding tank. It retains wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to settle out (forming sludge) and oil and grease to float to the surface (as scum).
- Septic tanks are designed with compartments and a T-shaped outlet to prevent sludge and scum from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region of the yard.
- A septic tank is emptied into a drainfield, where it is treated by the soil before being released back into the environment.
- It is your responsibility to maintain your septic tank.
- Did you know that keeping your septic system in good working order helps to safeguard your home’s investment?
- The design, construction, and maintenance of your septic system are all critical to ensuring that it provides long-term, efficient treatment of household wastewater.
- A faulty septic tank has the potential to pollute groundwater, which might be used as a source of drinking water.
- Pump Septic Tank on a Regular Basis You should have your septic system examined by a professional at least once every three years, and you should have your tank drained as often as required (generally every three to five years).
- Every year, dripping faucets can waste almost 2,000 gallons of water.
- The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system.
- Cleaning up after yourself can stress or damage the biological therapy that is taking place in the system.
It can also pollute surface waterways and groundwater if you flush home chemicals, fuel, oil, pesticides, anti-freeze, and paint down the toilet. What is the best way to maintain my septic tank/system?
- Septic system maintenance can be aided by the use of bacteria and enzymes. Utilize a septic system product that can assist in restoring free flow to soap-laden, blocked dirt and clay in your system. Soaps and detergents from household use eventually clog the soil and clay surrounding the septic field, preventing it from functioning properly. The fact is that even flushing the tank will not clear the clogged drain field lines. Only grass should be planted over and near your septic system. A obstruction or damage to the drain field might be caused by roots from surrounding plants or bushes. Any section of your septic tank system should not be used for car parking or driving. This can result in the soil in your drainfield becoming compacted, as well as damage to the pipes, tank, and other septic system components. Maintain a safe distance between the drainfield and roof drains, basement sump pump drains, and other rainwater and surface water drainage systems. Flooding the drainfield with excessive water causes treatment processes to slow down or stop completely, and it can cause plumbing fixtures to back up.
What are the benefits of keeping my septic tank/system in good working order? One of the most important reasons to keep your septic system in good working order is to save money! Septic systems that are failing are extremely expensive to repair or replace, and inadequate maintenance is frequently the cause. It is a bargain when you consider the cost of replacing your complete septic system if you get your system tested on a regular basis (at least every three years). Depending on how many people live in the house and the size of the system, your system will require pumping every three to five years, depending on how old it is.
Other important benefits of safe sewage treatment include the prevention of the spread of infection and illness, as well as the protection of water resources.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are two aquatic plant nutrients that can result in ugly algal blooms if they are not controlled.
How to Maintain a Septic Tank
If your home relies on a septic tank to dispose of waste water, it’s critical that you understand how to keep it in correct operating condition and avoid costly repairs. The following are the fundamentals of maintaining your home’s septic tank system: A concrete septic tank that is ready for installation.
How a Septic Tank Works
A septic tank is a huge, underground tank having an input for the drain pipe that runs from your house and an outlet that connects to the field lines that are buried in your yard. Solid waste is allowed to settle out of the tank, and the breakdown process is initiated by the natural action of anaerobic bacteria in the tank. Solid material is retained in the tank by baffles, while liquid is allowed to flow into perforated field lines buried in the yard by the baffles. As the water soaks into the soil, the work of aerobic bacteria completes the process of decomposition of any leftover waste matter.
How to Find the Location of Your Septic Tank
First and foremost, you must discover the position of your septic tank in your yard so that it may be examined and maintained as necessary. It is typical for septic tanks to be positioned at least five feet away from the home, with the top of the tank sunk several feet below earth. Some pointers on where to look for your septic tank are as follows: Finding a septic tank with the use of a webcam.
- If you have a plat of your land (available from your county environmental office), it should indicate the position of the septic tank in your yard. The overall position of the tank and field lines may sometimes be determined by the presence of better grass or more lush plants in the yard. To determine the position of your septic tank, it is possible to install a video camera down a drain and trace the distance to the tank
- However, this method is not foolproof. The top of a buried septic tank may be located with the use of a probing equipment, such as a thin metal rod, once you have determined where it is located in general. When probing, exercise caution to avoid harming drain pipes, field lines, sprinkler systems, or underground utility wires.
Probing a septic tank’s top in order to determine its location.
When to Pump Out a Septic Tank
It is recommended that a septic tank be pumped out every three to five years in most cases, depending on its size and the number of people in the house. If you are experiencing drainage issues, such as slow-draining bathtubs or toilets that tend to back up after flushing, contact a qualified sewage contractor as soon as you see a problem and reduce your water use until the problem has been identified and remedied.
Excavating a septic tank in order to pump and clean it out.
Septic Tank Dos and Don’ts
Use the following guidelines to maintain your septic tank system and ensure that it continues to function properly:
- As soon as you’ve located your septic tank, make a note of its exact position for future reference
- Maintain frequent inspections of your septic tank
- Every three to five years, you should pump out your septic tank. Make use of toilet paper that is biodegradable and breaks down quickly. Pumping out a septic tank is a simple process. Conserve water in order to keep the amount of water that goes into the tank to a minimum. Never flush grease or harsh chemicals down the toilet or down the drain, including solvents, bleach, drain cleaners, insecticides, gasoline, and paint, among other things. Do not flush nonbiodegradable things down the toilet or down the drain, including dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, condoms, feminine hygiene products, face tissue, and cigarettes. It is not permissible to construct or pave on or near a septic tank or field lines. Planting trees or plants on or near a sewage tank or field lines is not recommended. It is not recommended to plant a vegetable or herb garden on or near a sewage tank or irrigation lines. If your drains are clogging or emptying slowly, contact a reliable septic tank provider right once.
If you do regular septic tank maintenance and take steps to maintain your system operating correctly, your system will offer you with many years of trouble-free operation. Dee Massey is employed by Hulsey EnvironmentalPlumbing Services, Inc., a company based in Gainesville, Georgia, and specializes in environmental plumbing. More information may be found on their website, which can be found at.