How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy
- How the Septic System Works.
- Don’t Overload the Septic Tank and Drain field.
- Use an Efficient Toilet.
- Don’t Treat the Toilet as a Garbage Disposal.
- Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain.
- Divert Rain Water From the Septic Drain Field.
- Keep Trees Away from the Septic System.
How much does it cost to maintain a septic system?
- The cost to build a septic tank system varies widely, depending on your location. According to SepticTankGuide.com, a standard or conventional gravity system for a 3-bedroom home on a level site with good soil would likely cost from $1,500 to upward of $4,000.
How do I keep my septic tank healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
What 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.
How much baking soda do I put in my septic tank?
How much baking soda do I put in my septic tank? 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.
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.
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!
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.
Is Ridex good for a septic system?
How additives, like Rid-x, interfere with your septic system’s eco-system. 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.
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 increase 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.
Is Coca Cola bad for septic tanks?
Dumping a few ounces or even a can of Coke®, Pepsi®, RC Cola® or any other soft drink into a septic system won’t hurt the system.
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.
How often should I add bacteria to my septic tank?
Over time, those solids will start to build up. This is why the tank needs pumping every three to five years — because the solids in the tank always rise to the top. If the solids reach the drainfield pipe near the top of the septic tank, tiny particles will enter the drain.
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.
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.
7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System
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Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.
Preventing and treating problems with your septic system is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Failure to maintain your septic system, on the other hand, might result in significant financial loss, since digging up and rebuilding a septic system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What Is a Septic System?
Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.
Get Familiar With Your Septic System
Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.
Have It Pumped Routinely
Every three to five years, the ordinary residential septic system should be pumped (that is, the sediments should be removed). According on the size of the tank, the typical price of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600. When you contact a septic service company, they will also inspect your septic tank for leaks and evaluate the sludge layers in your tank for any problems. Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank.
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.
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 frequency with which a septic tank is pumped is influenced by four key factors:
- 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.
Maintain Your Septic System Naturally
Do not park or drive on your drainfield; it is illegal to do so. Construction: Plant trees at a proper distance from your drainfield to prevent roots from growing into your septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your particular situation. Roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems should be kept away from the drainfield area. In excess water, the wastewater treatment process will slow down or halt completely;
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.
Article in PDF format Article in PDF format Your septic system must be properly maintained in order for your home’s plumbing system to continue to operate at peak performance. Fortunately, it is a rather simple process. By flowing water through your septic tank, you can locate it, check it, and ensure that it is in proper working order. Keep an eye on your sludge and scum levels to make sure they don’t get to dangerous levels. Every few years, you should have your system pumped out by a qualified technician.
- 1 Locate your septic tank by following the path of your sewage pipe. Sewer pipes might be found in the basement or crawlspace of your home. In order to locate your septic system’s general position, follow the route of the sewage line. Return to the outdoors and have a look about in that region to see where your septic tank is located.
- Determine the location of a pipe that you are certain is a drain, such as a pipe that comes from the toilet or a sink, then follow that it until it joins to a bigger pipe. Your sewage pipe is the largest of the two pipes. Having found the position of your septic tank, you should make a map of its location so that you can easily locate it in the future. Septic tanks are typically located at least 15 feet (4.6 meters) away from your home.
- 2 Remove the dirt that has accumulated on the top of your tank. If your tank is buried underground, you’ll need to dig a hole through the top of it in order to check and get access to the tank. Remove enough dirt off the tank’s top and the manhole using a shovel to allow you to look through it.
- When digging, take care not to damage the septic system by driving the shovel blade into it. Allowing only enough space to check the tank so that it may be buried again after you’re through so that it isn’t visible
- s3 Check the septic tank for cracks or other signs of deterioration. When you open the top of the tank, make sure to glance over the top of it. Check the tank for evidence of deterioration such as rust, dents, fractures, or any other visible symptoms of wear and tear. An assessment and, if necessary, repairs from a septic tank professional will be required for serious damage.
- s3 Cracks or damage to the septic tank should be looked for immediately. Check the surface of the tank whenever the top of the tank is exposed. Check the tank for evidence of deterioration such as corrosion, dents, cracks, or any other visible symptoms of wear. An assessment and, if necessary, repairs from a septic tank professional will be required in the event of serious damage to the tank.
- 4 Flush a toilet to ensure that the tank is functioning correctly. 5. By simply flowing water through the connections in your plumbing system, you can determine whether or not your plumbing is functioning properly and reaching the septic tank. Place yourself near the tank, have someone flush a toilet, and listen for the sound of water moving to the tank
- Water bubbling through the ground or a fracture in the system indicate that your tank needs to be repaired by a septic tank professional.
- To ensure that the water is reaching the tank properly if you do not have another person to flush a toilet while you are standing near the tank, turn on a faucet and then go outside to the tank. Advertisement
- 1 Cut a 10 ft (3.0 m) PVC pipe in half lengthwise, removing 6 inches (15 cm). In order to test the quantity of scum in your septic system, you will need to construct a measuring stick out of PVC pipe first. Small sections of pipe can be cut away from a larger pipe using either an electric saw or pipe cutter.
- It is quite inexpensive and can be obtained at home improvement stores and on the internet
- PVC pipe If required, use sandpaper to smooth the edges of the pipe that has been cut
- The pipe should be cut equally in order to generate a straight edge that can be inserted into an elbow joint.
- With an elbow junction, attach the smaller segment to the larger pipe with hot glue. Insert the smaller part into a PVC elbow joint once it has been cut to size. On seal the pipe and joint together, apply adhesive to both surfaces. Then, slide the bigger pipe into the connection and use glue to secure the two pieces together.
- It is possible to obtain elbow joints that will suit your PVC pipes at your local hardware or home improvement store. Superglue should be used, and there should be enough to form a tight seal.
- 3 Attach plastic covers to the ends of the pipe on both sides. Using plastic caps that are meant to fit over PVC pipes, seal both ends of the “L” shaped pipe to prevent leakage. They should be able to snap securely into place in order to form a seal.
- Plastic caps for PVC pipes may be found at hardware and home improvement stores, as well as on the internet.
- 4 Carefully insert the pipe into the septic system until it comes into touch with the scum. You will need to measure two levels in order to determine how deep the scum is in your tank. Fill your tank with liquid and insert the short end of the “L” shaped pipe into the manhole until the short end makes contact with the top of the liquid. Make sure the long side of the pipe is sticking straight up. This is the uppermost layer of the scum layer.
- If you want an exact measurement, you should let the pipe float on the surface of the water.
- 5 Place the pipe against the opening of the manhole to ensure that it does not move while in use. Mark the pipe at the top of the manhole with a marker to indicate its location. To take your initial measurement, mark the pipe so that it is level with the top of the manhole, which will serve as a reference point. In order for the pipe to be floating on top of the scum layer, it must:
- Take care to ensure that the line you draw is straight and even. In order to make it more visible against the white PVC tubing, use a black marker.
- 6 Push the pipe through the scum and mark it once again on the other side. After you’ve taken your measurements of the scum on the top layer, push the pipe down into the scum until it meets the bottom of the dense layer of scum and reaches the wastewater layer, then repeat the process. Then mark the pipe at the point where it is level with the top of the manhole opening.
- Continue to hold the pipe stationary while pressing it against the bottom of the tank to ensure that it does not move after the marking is done. This layer will have significantly less resistance and will indicate that the bottom of the scum layer has been reached.
- 7 To determine the depth of the scum, measure the distance between the markings. Remove the pipe from the septic tank and place it somewhere safe. To determine the distance between the two markings, use a ruler or tape measure to measure the distance. In your tank, this represents the depth of the scum. You should get your tank pumped if the scum layer has grown to near 6 inches (15 cm) of either or both the bottom of the exit baffle or the pipe visible through the entrance of the manhole.
- Keep track of your measurements so you can refer back to them later and share them with a professional sewer-system contractor if required.
- 1 Make use of a 10-foot (3-meter) length of PVC pipe with caps on both ends. A clean PVC pipe may be used to construct a pipe that will be used to measure the amount of sludge present in your tank. Place plastic covers on both ends of the pipe to ensure that it is completely airtight.
- PVC pipes and plastic caps may be purchased at hardware stores and on the internet. Make certain that the plastic tops are properly snapped into place.
- 2 Tie a white cloth around one end of the pipe to secure it. You’ll need a white cloth or towel to use to measure your sludge level so that you can readily see the stain markings that the sludge will leave behind on the cloth or towel. Tie a towel around one end of the pipe and then wrap tape over it to make sure it is tight and secure
- The tape may be any sort you choose to use, but make sure you use enough to hold the fabric to the pipe.
- 3 Push the pipe all the way down into the septic tank. 4 If you have recently measured the scum layer, just insert the pipe through the hole in the scum layer to confirm the measurement. Push the pipe all the way down to the bottom of the tank and secure it in place with a rubber band
- For an accurate measurement, it is critical that you keep the pipe completely steady.
- 4Allow the pipe to rest for 3 minutes before using it. Maintain constant pressure on the pipe until the sludge layer resettles and colors the cloth at the end of the pipe. Wait at least 3 minutes to enable the sludge to stain the material in a noticeable way on the cloth. Set a timer to allow you to concentrate on maintaining the pipe’s stillness. 5 Remove the pipe and use a measuring tape to record the stain’s measurement. After 3 minutes, carefully remove the pipe and place it on the ground. The depth of your sludge layer may be determined by using a ruler or tape measure to measure the stain on your towel. It is necessary to pump your tank if the sludge layer has grown to within 12 inches (30 cm) of the exit baffle.
- Record your measurements so that you can keep track of them later on.
- 1 Have your septic system pumped every three years. The normal household’s septic system should be pumped out once every few years to ensure that it is in proper working order at all times. If the levels of sludge or scum in your tank become too high, you may need to have your tank drained sooner rather than later.
- When using an alternate method that includes electrical float switches or mechanical components, get your tank examined at least once each year. It is important to have your system cleaned as soon as possible if your sludge or scum levels are too high.
- 2 Make contact with a septic tank professional to have your tank pumped out. Septic tank pumping should be performed by a professional septic tank specialist who is equipped with the necessary equipment and training to do the job correctly. Look for qualified septic tank specialists in your area by searching online.
- Arrange an appointment for a time when you’ll be available to see them pump your tank to ensure that everything is done correctly
- Before hiring a firm, read internet reviews about them to ensure that you are working with high-quality personnel. 3 Provide the professional with any measurements that you’ve taken yourself. You should submit any measurements you took yourself to the septic tank specialist who will use them to determine the level of sludge and scum in your system. They could be able to assist them when they pump the septic system.
- If you want to make sure they’re being honest, you might compare your measurements to theirs as well.
- 4 Keep detailed records of any work done on your septic system, including cleaning and repairs. Keep records of any professional work done on or pumping your septic system in a safe location at all times. They can be useful in the future if you need to verify the work that has been done or if your septic tank has been damaged.
- Make sure to put your documents in a file cabinet so that you know where they are
- 1 Reduce water use by installing high-efficiency toilets. Up to 30% of your household’s water use might be attributed to toilet flushing. Older toilets use far more water to operate, and this additional water eventually makes its way into your septic system, causing damage and wear. Make sure to replace your old toilets with high-efficiency toilets in order to extend the life of your septic tank.
- Hire a licensed plumber to install your toilet to ensure that it is done correctly.
- 2 Use water-saving showerheads to save water. Showerheads with high water efficiency and flow restrictors will assist you in reducing the quantity of water you use in the shower. The reduction in the volume of water entering the tank will maintain your septic system in better condition for a longer period of time.
- Showerheads with minimal water consumption are available for free in some areas. Check with your local government or go online to see if there is a program available in your area.
- 3) On your washing machine, select the appropriate load size for your needs. Water and energy are wasted when many little loads of laundry are washed in your washing machine at the same time. Setting your machine to the optimum load size will help you save money on your water bill. Tip: If your washing machine does not enable you to select the load size, be sure you wash complete loads of clothing every time you wash. 4 Grease should be disposed of in a container in the rubbish. Grease may cause major blockages in your pipes and increase the amount of scum in your septic system. Don’t pour grease down the sink’s waste disposal. Pour it into a separate container and dispose of it in the garbage instead.
- Make use of a container that can be closed tightly to prevent grease from leaking out
- If at all possible, substitute vegetable-based soaps with animal-fat-based soaps in your home.
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- Question What might cause a septic system to fail? David Balkan is a writer who lives in New York City. A professional plumber and the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main David Balkan is a licensed professional plumber who also serves as the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service and the President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning, among other positions. With over 40 years of experience as an active owner of these businesses, David is well-versed in the challenges that arise with water service lines, sewers, and drain lines. David has served on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for more than 30 years and is now the Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council’s Committee on Plumbing. As a result of his expertise and solution-oriented approach, Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service has grown to become the biggest and most trusted sewer and water main service in New York City, and the recipient of the 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Plumber with over 20 years of experienceCEO of Balkan SewerWater MainExpert Answer Grease will undoubtedly cause damage to your septic system. It will cover both the outside of your pipes and the inside of your septic tank, making it impossible for your tank to effectively drain water into the earth
- Question What kind of soap is safe to use in septic tanks? David Balkan is a writer who lives in New York City. A professional plumber and the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main David Balkan is a licensed professional plumber who also serves as the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service and the President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning, among other positions. With over 40 years of experience as an active owner of these businesses, David is well-versed in the challenges that arise with water service lines, sewers, and drain lines. David has served on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for more than 30 years and is now the Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council’s Committee on Plumbing. As a result of his expertise and solution-oriented approach, Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service has grown to become the biggest and most trusted service provider in New York City, earning the 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award.Professional PlumberCEO of Balkan SewerWater MainExpert Answer The greatest choice for maintaining your septic system in good operating order is to use soap made from vegetables. If at all possible, use vegetable-based soaps over animal-based soaps. Question Is it possible that using vinegar to wash clothing can cause an issue for septic tanks? No, vinegar will not cause damage to your septic tank. Question What is causing the water to stop flowing out of my septic tank? One of three things is wrong: either there isn’t enough water going into the tank to raise the water level high enough for it to exit through the outlet pipe
- There is a crack in the bottom or side of the tank and wastewater is seeping out, preventing the water level from rising
- Or the outlet pipe is completely clogged. The best course of action is to have a qualified plumber evaluate the system and ensure that everything is operating securely. Question What is the best way to clean the toilet bowl when using a septic system? Choose between pre-packaged items from the store that have the septic safe label on them and a natural mixture of bicarbonate powder and vinegar to clean your toilet. Maintain as much of a natural appearance as possible to prevent destroying the beneficial bacteria in the tank
- Question When I get out of the shower, there is an unpleasant septic stench. Is this normal? There is a dip in the drain that should constantly be filled with water in order to form a seal between the shower and your septic tank, preventing gas from leaking back into your home. It is possible that the gas may leak or that the system will not function correctly, allowing the gas to enter the house and cause the stench. Question What is the location of the septic tank lid? Locate the front of the tank – the front of the tank is where the intake from the house enters the tank. Using a probe, locate the front edge of the tank as well as both sides of the tank. When looking at the tank from the front, the lid should be around 12-16″ (boot length) in. Question Was there anything in particular that caused the stink to emanate from the toilet, and how can I get rid of it? Observe the smell surrounding the toilet’s base. If it is originating from that location and a wax ring was used, it is possible that the ring has degraded. Also, make certain that there is enough water in the bowl to prevent the trap from closing. Question A three-bedroom house with a new septic system will cost about how much to install? $6000
- Question What is the best way to remove scum from a septic system? Remove the manhole cover and dispose of it after using a shovel to scoop out the scum (or a brush to scrape it off).
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Things You’ll Need
- The following materials: a 10 ft (3.0 m) PVC pipe, an elbow joint, plastic caps, adhesive, a marker, superglue, a ruler or a tape measure
- A PVC pipe measuring 10 feet (3.0 m)
- A roll of tape
- A white towel or rag
- A ruler or a measuring tape
About This Article
Summary of the Article Extend your laundry across two or more days to give your septic tank time to heal in between loads of laundry to properly care for your septic system. If you have a garbage disposal, use it only when absolutely necessary to avoid clogging the drain fields. Pour 1 liter of sour buttermilk down the toilet every few months to provide beneficial bacteria to the tank and help it to break up waste. It is also recommended that you have your tank pumped by specialists every 2 to 3 years for a family of 4, and every 4 to 5 years for a family of 2, to avoid the accumulation of sludge in the tank.
Follow the links below for more information, including how to properly maintain your septic system by employing septic safe-safe products. Did you find this overview to be helpful? The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 518,957 times.
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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.
It degrades swiftly and does not “glop” into a clog-inducing mass on the lines. Alternatively, if you don’t happen to have any rotting tomatoes on hand, you may use baking or brewing yeast to bring healthy bacteria to your tank as an alternative.
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally
Yeast and sugar are excellent natural septic tank cleaners, and here’s an easy method for using them.
Septic Tank Cleaner
2 cups granulated sugar 5 cups of hot water (optional) 3 tbsp. active dry yeast Sugar and yeast should be dissolved in water. Pour the mixture into a toilet (that does not contain bleach!) and flush it. This is best done at night so that the yeast may continue to work throughout the night; do not flush for at least 3 hours after completion.
1Avoid flushing raw or cooked meat down the toilet, down the garbage disposal, or any other form of introducing meat into your septic system; meat is NEVER a helpful bacterium. 2. Never add oils, grease, or fat in any form (solid or liquid) to your tank. This includes, but is not limited to, cooking oils, bacon grease, meat grease from draining ground beef/turkey, and other fat-containing foods. 3Avoid flushing anything other than garbage and toilet paper down the toilet; this means that feminine products should be disposed of in the trash, baby diapers and wipes should be disposed of in the trashcan, and so on.
Have you tried the rotten tomato technique yet?
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Whatever your experience level with septic systems, whether you’ve recently moved into a home with a septic system or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll still need to have your septic tank cleaned out on a regular basis. It’s possible that you’re not aware of it, but what you do in between tank cleanings has a significant impact on how well the cleaning goes. It is true that you have an impact on your septic tank cleaning beyond simply following basic septic tank maintenance guidelines, such as conserving water and not dumping cotton swabs down the toilet.
- Some of your household systems and equipment, such as your air conditioning unit, require yearly maintenance, which means that you can arrange a maintenance visit at the same time every year to ensure that everything is running well.
- In addition, a neglected tank might overflow and produce a variety of problems.
- Alternatively, you may request a reminder from the firm two or three years after your previous pumping.
- It may be incredibly beneficial to know what sort of system you have, how large it is, and when and where it was built in order to make informed decisions.
- If you can locate your septic system’s own specific as-built diagram, which displays the position of the tank, you can save a significant amount of time searching for it.
Identifying and anticipating problems before they may manifest themselves and cause issues such as clogs and leaks can help to make your septic visit go much more easily (and save yourself a lot of money on repairs).
Also, don’t wait until the midst of winter to request a pumping, especially if you live in a cold climate; digging out a tank access point while the ground is fully frozen is considerably more difficult (and often impossible).
Another approach to save the technician’s time is to locate the tank’s access point (or access points, if the tank has more than one, as some tanks have) and dig it up yourself before the technician arrives.
Of course, if your tank is equipped with a riser, you will be able to reach it without having to dig or expose anything at all, so you will not have to worry about this.
Essentially, a riser is similar in appearance to a (most likely green) manhole cover in your garden.
These four suggestions will help you guarantee that your septic tank cleaning goes off without a hitch as smoothly as possible.
Upstate Septic Tank, LLC may also provide you with professional maintenance recommendations. Please do not hesitate to contact us whenever you want assistance with septic tank maintenance and cleaning.
Septic Tank Maintenance Tips
Follow these guidelines to keep your septic tank system in good working order and save money on repairs.
- Inspections should be performed every one to two years, and cleaning (pump out) should be performed every three to five years or more regularly, depending on the tank size and number of people that use the system. It is never a good idea to flush cat litter, coffee grinds, diapers, towelettes (including the ‘flushable’ variety), cigarette butts, condoms, grease, dental floss, baby wipes, paints, thinners, pesticides, oils, pharmaceuticals, or excessive amounts of household chemicals. Understand where your system is located. You should construct a diagram or map indicating the placement of the tank in relation to permanent objects such as the corners of your home, steps, or fence posts after you have had the tank pumped. Instruct the pumper to assist you in locating the drainfield. Place it in the appropriate area on your diagram, alongside the location of your drinking water source. Keep this sketch with your septic tank records for future reference. To make it easier to discover the tank lid, place something that can be moved easily over it, like as a birdbath or ornamental rock. Maintain the drainfield’s integrity.
- Increase the height of the barrier to prevent vehicles from driving over the drainfield, which might cause the tank lid and pipes to break and compress the soil, reducing oxygen flow. (Bacteria in the drainfield require oxygen to survive.) Downspouts and other surface water – notably irrigation sprinklers – should be diverted away from the drainfield to prevent clogging. It can be harmed by too much water. Keep anything other than grass growing over the drainfield
- Do not dig or build anything over the drainfield.
- Water should be conserved. Minimize your system’s reliance on wastewater treatment and disposal. Examples of ways to do this include:
- One or two loads of clothes should be washed everyday at the most. Each load of laundry can cause up to 53 gallons of water to overflow into your septic system, so it’s better to spread washing out over the course of the week. Make repairs to leaking faucets and toilets
- Over time, they can cause hundreds of additional gallons of water to enter your septic system. When feasible, use low-flow fixtures and appliances to save water. Low-flush toilets consume between 1.1 and 1.6 gallons of water every flush, which can cut your water cost by up to one-third compared to traditional toilets. Sink faucets with low-flow aerators are available. Showerheads with low flow rates and low-flow washing machines will also help you save water.
- Do not dispose of rubbish using a garbage disposal. It can increase the amount of particles in your septic tank by up to 50%, increasing the frequency with which you must pump out your tank. Caustic drain openers should not be used to unclog clogged drains. Instead, use hot water or a drain snake to unclog the drain. Please check to be that your water softener is not hooked to wash back into your septic tank. Conserve your documents, which should include a copy of your septic tank permit. Avoid the use of septic tank additives, commercial septic tank cleaners, yeast, sugar, and other similar substances. There is no need for these goods, and some of them may be dangerous to your health. Commercial bathroom cleansers and laundry detergents should only be used in small amounts. Make use of a light detergent or baking soda to clean your toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
Be extra cautious when in the vicinity of open or uncovered septic tanks. Falling into a septic tank can result in death by suffocation or drowning if not treated immediately. Even leaning over a septic tank might lead you to pass out and require medical attention.
Septic Tank Alerts Septic Tank Alerts
How to Keep Your Septic Tank Clean
Septic tanks are an integral component of both residential and commercial buildings’ infrastructure. It is their job to keep wastewater separate from solid waste, which is then flushed down the toilet. Septic tank cleaning and maintenance are critical to the operation of the system. It is possible that you may have to deal with a variety of issues such as water pooling, odor, and clogging issues if you do not do so. There are a variety of methods for keeping your septic tank clean and functioning properly.
- The solid waste settles to the bottom of the container, while the surplus water drains away down the drain.
- Some septic tanks are equipped with a warning system.
- Water overflowing or becoming ineffective in septic tanks is one of the primary causes for these issues to arise.
- To avoid wasting water, you must make certain that you do not consume too much.
- Check to see if there is any water leaking from your toilet faucets and taps.
- This will assist you in preventing your septic tank from overflowing completely.
- It has the potential to harm the entire system, rendering it inefficient.
- Keep in mind that it is against the law in many areas to store heavy items on top of septic tanks, so be mindful of this.
- Cigarettes and tissues should never be flushed down the toilet with things like diapers, dental gloss, and feminine hygiene products, among other things.
A few of the chemicals can actually kill the bacteria that live in a septic tank and help it to break down the waste it contains. As a result, be certain that you are aware of what you are flushing down the toilet.
Buttermilk that has been spoiled is one of the most effective methods to feed your septic tank with the bacteria that it need to break down waste in the tank. You may flush a liter of rotten buttermilk down the toilet if you put it in the toilet tank. This is one of the most successful techniques of septic tank cleaning for residential regions, and it is also the most affordable. Aside from all of the upkeep and maintenance, having the septic tanks pumped by expert cleaners is absolutely necessary.
Cleaners who work in the industry utilize industrial-grade equipment to clean them.
If you are unable to clean yourself or do not know how to do it, you should employ specialists who will do the task correctly the first time around.
Maintain them in a clean and well-maintained condition so that you may live in a safe atmosphere.
How To Keep Your Septic System Healthy
The most recent update was made on June 26, 2020 by Choosing to live in the country is a popular choice for many individuals who like the peace and quiet, vast open areas, and natural beauty that the countryside has to offer. What I’m going to talk about today, on the other hand, is something that may not sound or smell all that pleasant: Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal System (OSTDS). Understanding how these systems function, as well as how to maintain them working at peak performance, is vital to the health of your family.
What is a septic system?
Figure 1 is a section-view depiction of a contemporary septic system installed beneath a residential structure. Septic systems are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The traditional septic system is the most popular type of onsite wastewater treatment system (Figure 1). Septic tanks and soil absorption fields, commonly known as drainfields, are two components of a septic system. In order for wastewater to exit a residence, it must first pass through the septic tank, which is an enclosed waterproof container in which solid wastes are separated from liquid wastes.
The partly treated effluent was then discharged onto the drainfield.
Septic systems that use aerobic treatment units (ATUs) are the other type of septic systems that are used in Florida.
An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump.
ATUs are typically found in residences with smaller lots, poor soil conditions, or in homes that are in close proximity to a surface water source. The following factors were critical to the operation and maintenance:
- The wastewater treatment technologies that are used to eliminate toxins from wastewater
- The volume of wastewater that the system is capable of handling
- Solids, nutrients, organic debris, and pathogens are all factors that influence the strength of wastewater.
How to maintain a conventional septic system?
Solids should be removed from a typical three-bedroom home with a 1000-gallon septic tank every three to five years, according to industry standards. Tanks with a smaller capacity must be pumped more frequently. Make sure you don’t put off this work until the tank and sewer are completely full, and the toilet spills onto the bathroom floor. If this occurs, it is possible that a new drainfield will need to be installed.
Do septic tank additives work?
Whether you believe it or not, your septic tank chemicals that “clean” the tank are not actually cleaning the tank. They are either ineffective or may cause sediments to be drained from the septic tank into the drianfield, resulting in clogging difficulties in the drianfield. Other chemicals may be used to create a septic tank effluent that will degrade soil structure and cause the drain field to collapse prematurely as a result.
What can I flush?
When opposed to regular toilet paper, the usage of items such as “flushable” wipes has been promoted as providing a superior cleaning experience in recent years. There are a number of methods in which these items are advertised, including as “septic-safe,” “break down like toilet paper,” and “safe for sewer and septic.” However, as compared to ordinary toilet paper, they tend to take far longer to decompose, which is an issue. Consequently, they may cause significant clogs in sewage systems and must be manually removed from lift stations.
Be aware that anything you flush down the toilet or grind down the trash disposal, or whatever you pour down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system and must be treated accordingly.
A simple rule of thumb is to avoid flushing anything other than the 4Ps.
Paper and puking are the other two options.
Think about it when you’re at the sink.
It is possible to eliminate or minimize the usage of the trash disposal, which will dramatically reduce the quantity of fats, grease, and sediments that enter your septic tank and eventually block its drainfield.
Inspect and pump your system on a regular basis, dispose of water in an appropriate manner, utilize water effectively, and keep your drainfield in good condition, and you should have a system that is almost issue free.
Please see this page for additional information about septic systems. Posting date: June 26, 2020, 0byYilin Natural Resources, Water are some of the categories. Septic Additives, Septic System, Septic Tank, Yilin Zhuang, Clogged Pipes.