Septic Tank Do’s and Don’ts
- Do Enlarge Your Septic System If Needed.
- Don’t Put Hazardous Waste Into the System.
- Do Limit the Number of Solids.
- Don’t Put Anything Non-Biodegradable in Your Septic System.
- Do Install an Effluent Filter.
- Don’t Put Grease or Fat Into the System.
- Do Run Full Dishwasher and Washing Machine Loads.
- Other than a septic safe toilet paper, nothing other than human waste should be flushed into your septic tank. It is important to use a toilet paper that is biodegradable and will dissolve quickly. Look for “Septic Safe” on the package.
What will ruin a septic system?
Any paper products like tissues, paper towels, tampons, or sanitary products, even some heavier toilet paper, will clog your system if you flush enough of it. Wet wipes are another product that you should never flush into a septic system.
What is safe for septic tanks?
Some products that you already use and have around the house are safe for your septic system. Vinegar (white vinegar and apple cider vinegar), Borax, OxiClean, and baking soda are some products that can be used to clean very well and be septic-system safe.
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 should you never put in a septic tank?
Don’t put things that aren’t biodegradable into your septic tank system such as:
- Cigarette butts.
- Disposable diapers.
- Paper towels.
- Sanitary napkins or tampons.
Should you put additives in your septic tank?
There is little scientific data to suggest that you should add bacteria or enzymes to your septic system. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that biological additives do not appear to improve the performance of healthy septic tanks.
Is Dawn dish soap septic safe?
Yes, Dawn Platinum is septic safe!
Is Pinesol septic safe?
A: Yes! Following the recommended use of any Pine-Sol® product will not harm your septic system.
Is toothpaste septic safe?
Believe it or not, but certain brands of toothpaste can actually harm your septic system. When possible, look for a natural paste or a baking soda-based toothpaste. If that is not possible, always avoid any pastes that have polyethylene in them.
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 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!
Can you use bleach with a septic tank?
You might consider bleach to be a great cleaner to use for your septic system. Unfortunately, that mindset is a dangerous one to have because it’s usually recommended to avoid using bleach in your septic system. The chemicals within bleach can kill the bacteria that your septic tank relies on.
What happens to poop in a septic tank?
The inlet pipe collects the water waste in the septic tank, long enough that the solid and liquid waste is separated from each other. Inside the tank bacteria from the wastewater breaks down the solid waste. These bacteria decompose the solid waste rapidly allowing the liquids to separate and drain away more easily.
Is yogurt good for septic tanks?
If you are having trouble with your system, add some helpful bacteria by putting yogurt, activated yeast, or even some beer down the drain. These helper bacteria will only help keep a system healthy, so if you’re still having trouble it’s time to bring in a professional for an inspection, pumping, or possible repair.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.
A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
Things You Should Never Put in a Septic Tank
- What is the significance of maintaining a healthy septic tank
- And What Goes Into Your Septic Tank
- Septic Tank Do’s and Don’ts
- How Do Things Get Into Your Septic Tank
- What Cleaning Products Can Be Used in the Home That Are Septic Safe
- How to Dispose of Garbage for a Healthy Septic Tank
- How to Use the Toilet for a Healthy Septic Tank
- How to Tell If Your Septic Tank Is Full
- The Importance of Keeping Your Septic System in Good Working Order
If your septic system is properly maintained, it should provide you with no problems; nevertheless, you must be extremely cautious about what you put down your drains. Knowing what should and should not be flushed down your septic tank will help you avoid costly septic tank problems in the future. This is also true for your waste disposal system. To provide an example, a frequently asked topic about the waste disposal is whether coffee grounds are harmful to septic systems or not. Is it harmful to a septic system to use coffee grounds?
In general, the most often asked questions by homeowners are: What should I put in my septic tank and what should I not put in my septic tank?
Why Is It Important to Maintain a Healthy Septic Tank?
Your septic system is an extremely important component of your property. While it frequently goes unseen, it is operating around the clock to dispose of the garbage generated by your household. The fact that many homeowners do not notice their septic tank on a regular basis leads to a high rate of failure or forgetting to schedule basic septic tank repair. The failure to maintain your septic system can result in a variety of problems, including:
- Leach fields and septic tanks that are overflowing or oozing
- A disagreeable sewage odor
- Overflowing toilets leading in the accumulation of harmful waste in your home
Maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis is necessary for a variety of reasons, including the following:
1. Property Value
When it comes time to sell your land and house, a septic tank inspection may reveal problems that indicate your system hasn’t been properly maintained for a long period of time. This might result in you losing out on a possible sale.
2. Good Health
Proper septic tank maintenance can result in serious health consequences if wastewater that has not been correctly treated is allowed to leak into your well, yard, and nearby surface water. If your septic tank has been ignored for an extended period of time, backwash may run into your home, introducing bacteria into your home.
3. Protects the Environment
On a daily basis, wastewater is disseminated below the surface of the earth in an amount of over 4 billion gallons. Groundwater contamination can occur as a result of untreated or inadequately treated domestic wastewater, and this can be harmful to the ecosystem.
A faulty septic system may cause the release of viruses, bacteria, and hazardous chemicals into local waterways, as well as into the ground, streams, lakes, and rivers, among other places, causing devastation to local ecosystems and the death of species.
4. Financial Savings
Routine cleanings of your septic tank are less expensive than replacing it. You may have your tank inspected by a service professional to verify that it has been properly cleaned and to check for indicators of structural deterioration such as leaks, cracks, and other issues. Make Contact With A Septic Expert
How Do Things Get Into Your Septic Tank?
Septic systems remove floatable debris such as fats and oils from solids and digest organic stuff in the wastewater they process. In a soil-based system, the liquid waste from your septic tank is discharged into different perforated pipes that are buried in chambers, a leach field, or other particular components that are designed to gently release the effluent into the ground. The following are examples of how objects can get into your septic tank:
- Waste such as diapers, cigarette butts, and coffee grounds that degrade slowly or are not entirely flushed down drains
- Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted by washing machines. There are no bacteria in the drain and tank septic field to break it down
- Therefore, it is not broken down. When garbage disposers are used often, they might discharge an excessive amount of solid waste into your septic system. It is possible for shrubs and tree roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field
Septic Tank Do’s and Don’ts
What you put in your septic tank will have a significant impact on its capacity to perform its function. Coffee grounds, for example, are not compatible with septic systems. It is possible to save yourself a lot of headaches and money by educating everyone in your home about what is and isn’t acceptable for your septic tank. You can also extend the life of your septic system and protect the health of your property, family, and the environment by educating everyone in your home.
Things You Should Never Put In Your Septic Tank
You should never put the following items in your septic tank, and you should avoid the following items in your septic tank as well.
1. Do Enlarge Your Septic System If Needed
In the event that you intend on adding an addition to your house that will increase the floor area of your home by more than 15%, increase the number of plumbing fixtures, or increase the number of bedrooms, you may need to consider expanding your septic system to accommodate the increase in space.
2. Don’t Put Hazardous Waste Into the System
Do not, under any circumstances, introduce harmful chemicals into the system. Never dump paint, paint thinners, gasoline, or motor oil down the toilet or into the septic tank. A septic tank receives what is known as the “kiss of death.”
3. Do Limit the Number of Solids
A large amount of solids flushed down the toilet will cause your septic tank to fill up extremely quickly. You should not flush the following objects down the toilet:
- Cat litter, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, dental floss, disposable diapers, earplugs, sanitary napkins or tampons are all acceptable substitutes for these items.
If you have a septic tank, you should never dump coffee grinds down the toilet. It is recommended that you avoid introducing materials into the system that do not degrade fast as a general rule.
4. Don’t Put Anything Non-Biodegradable in Your Septic System
Don’t put materials into your septic tank system that aren’t biodegradable, such as the following:
- However, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, paper towels, plastics, sanitary napkins or tampons are prohibited.
5. Do Install an Effluent Filter
Make certain that an effluent filter is installed on your septic tank. This will assist to reduce the amount of particles that exit the tank and will extend the life of your system.
6. Don’t Put Grease or Fat Into the System
Perhaps to your surprise, grease and oil can cause a septic system to fail by clogging up the drain field and contaminating the soil around it, causing it to fail. Soil that has been polluted will be unable to absorb and assimilate liquids from your system. If you have major problems with your septic tank system, you may be forced to replace it.
7. Do Run Full Dishwasher and Washing Machine Loads
Dishwashers and washing machines should only be used when they are completely loaded.
Alternatively, select the appropriate load size for your washing machine. It is inefficient to wash tiny loads of clothing with huge amounts of water since it wastes both electricity and water.
8. Don’t Put Any Chemicals Into Your System
Don’t flush chemicals down the toilet, such as the following:
- Gasoline, insect or weed killers, oil, photographic chemicals, paint thinners, solvents, and other compounds
If you have one of these, it has the potential to pollute your septic tank, endangering the water supply for your entire area. Make a Time for Consultation
What Household Cleaning Products Are Septic Safe
Another important piece of septic tank advice is to be cautious when selecting the cleansers and chemicals that you use around your house or business. Your septic tank’s ability to operate correctly is dependent on the presence of ‘friendly’ bacteria. The problem is that many disinfectants, bleaches, and household cleansers are especially formulated to kill bacteria. Use organic and biodegradable home items wherever feasible to reduce the likelihood of septic tank issues. If you use drain cleaners, never let them enter the system since even a tiny amount of these harsh chemicals may wreak havoc on the microorganisms in the system and create septic tank issues.
There are a variety of opinions on this subject.
Many people believe that running Epsom salt through their septic tanks will help to break down waste.
To observe the acidic advantages of Epsom salt, you’d have to flush a significant amount of it into your tank.
1. Safest Bathroom and Toilet Cleaners
Your bathroom may retain a lot of germs, so it’s important to clean it on a regular basis. However, you will require septic-safe cleansers such as:
- Green Works 99 percent naturally derived toilet bowl cleaner
- CLR Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover
- CLR BathKitchen Foaming Action Cleaner
- CLR BathKitchen Foaming Action
It is not recommended to use crystal drain cleaners to unclog plumbing blockages in your toilet or sink since they might be hazardous to your septic system.
2. Safest Floor Cleaners
The following are examples of safe floor cleaners:
- BISSELL Advanced Professional SpotStain + Oxy
- ECOS PRO Neutral Floor Cleaner Concentrated 1:128
- BISSELL Pet Stain and Odor
- BISSELL Advanced Professional SpotStain + Oxy
3. Safest Dishwashing Detergents
Regardless of whether you’re using the dishwasher or cleaning your dishes by hand, the following are some safe options:
- A few examples include: Dropps dishwashing pods, Amway Home Dish Drops automatic dishwashing powder, Aldi Foaming Dish Soap, and more.
4. Safest Kitchen, All-Purpose and Glass Cleaners
These items are completely safe to use around your home:
- Cleaners from Amway include L.O.C. Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Green Works 98 percent Naturally-Derived GlassSurface Cleaner Spray, ECOS Glass + Surface Cleaner Vinegar, and ECOS Glass + Surface Cleaner Vinegar.
5. Safest Odor Removers
Here are several odor-killing options that are safe for septic systems:
- In addition to Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray, ECOS Pet Kitty Litter Deodorizer, and Earth Friendly Products Everyday Stain and Odor Remover are also recommended.
Garbage Disposal Tips for a Healthy Septic Tank
Many people are unaware of this vital piece of septic tank knowledge, but you should avoid using your garbage disposal more than necessary. If you absolutely must have a trash disposal, choose for a top-of-the-line type that grinds waste finely, as this will aid in the decomposition of waste materials and the prevention of septic tank problems by reducing the amount of time waste takes to disintegrate. You may also set up a kitchen waste compost bin so that you don’t have to throw potentially hazardous products into your garbage disposal system.
1. Don’t Pour Coffee Grounds Down Your Drain
Are coffee grounds beneficial to your septic system? You might be wondering if this is true. or “Do coffee grinds in a septic tank pose a problem?” When composted in the ground, ground coffee beans ultimately break down, but they do not dissolve in the septic system, even when employing an enzyme-rich septic tank activator, as is the case with most other organic waste. Is it true that coffee grounds are detrimental for septic systems? The texture of coffee grinds is coarse. As a result of pouring these grounds down your garbage disposal, they will accumulate in your septic tank like gravel, and you will ultimately need to pump them out of the tank because they do not breakdown quickly.
This layer will need to be pumped out and hauled away by a professional.
Please do not dump coffee grounds down the sink drain once again. As an alternative, compost your coffee grounds so that you may use them in your garden or dispose of them properly.
2. Only Dispose of Rotted Soft or Unconsumed Perishables Into Your Garbage Disposal
Bananas, tomatoes, and oranges that are over a year old are OK. However, avoid using your trash disposal for anything that might cause sludge to build up along the inner walls of your sewage pipes or clog a drain.
3. Consider an Alternative to Your Garbage Disposal
Consider making a compost pile in your backyard out of your outdated vegetables as an alternative to throwing it away. Rather from ending up in your septic tank or landfill, decomposing vegetables and fruits may nourish and feed the soil, accomplishing a more beneficial function than they would if they ended up in a landfill.
Toilet Tips for a Healthy Septic Tank
In addition to following the above-mentioned garage disposal recommendations, you should also consider the following toilet recommendations to keep your septic tank in the best possible condition.
- Decrease the number of times you flush the toilet. Using the toilet numerous times before flushing is recommended. Make use of toilet paper that is designed for use with a septic tank. When it comes to toilet paper, the type that breaks up easily when wet is the best choice. It is not recommended to use a disinfecting automated toilet bowl cleanser, such as those containing acid compounds or bleach. Using these products, you may destroy the bacteria in your septic tank that is important for a productive operating system with a gradual release, ongoing action. Tampons should not be flushed into the toilet. Tampons in a septic system is an issue that many individuals have and are perplexed by the answer to. This is due to the fact that there are now tampons available that are so-called bio-degradable and can be flushed down the toilet. Tampons, on the other hand, are among the items that should not be flushed down the toilet or into a septic tank. If you want to be on the safe side, never dump tampons down the toilet
- This is the greatest rule of thumb here.
How to Tell If Your Septic Tank Is Full
When properly maintained, your septic tank is an efficient means of disposing of the wastewater generated by your household. Septic systems must be pumped out on a regular basis in order to work effectively. Many people are unsure as to when this type of action is required in their situation. The following are some indications that it is time to pump your septic tank:
1. Pooling Water
If you notice huge pools of water near your septic system’s drain field, this might signal that the system has overflowed, especially if it hasn’t rained recently. When your tank reaches capacity, the solid waste in the tank might block the drain field of the field pipe system, causing liquid to rise to the surface. If you see this, your tank will need to be properly pumped out.
This might signal an overflowing septic system if you notice huge pools of water surrounding your drain field, especially if it hasn’t rained recently. Your tank’s solid waste can become clogged in the drain field of your field piping system, which will drive liquid to the surface when the tank exceeds its carrying limit. This indicates that you should get your tank properly pumped. The odor-causing gasses that can emanate from your drains, toilets, drain field, and outside septic tank area can begin to emanate as the septic tank begins to fill up.
3. Sewage Backup
The odor-causing gasses that can emanate from your drains, toilets, drain field, and outside septic tank area can begin to emanate when the septic tank begins to fill up with waste. A foul stench coming from outside or inside your home might indicate that your septic tank has been overflowing and needs to be drained.
4. Slow Drains
If you discover that your home’s drains and toilet flushes are still slow after you’ve tried to clear them, it’s possible that you have a clogged septic system.
5. Gurgling Water
Another symptom that your septic tank is overflowing is gurgling sounds pipes coming from your drains or toilet bowl. This is something that you would definitely want an expert to come in and check.
6. Lush Lawn
If your grass looks unusually lush or green, especially near the drainage field, it might be an indication that you have a clogged septic tank that needs to be drained.
7. Trouble Flushing
An further sign that your septic tank needs to be cleaned is if you’re experiencing difficulties flushing your toilet or if the water you’re trying to flush is not being absorbed by the toilet.
Maintaining a Healthy Septic System Is Important
The plumbing and septic systems in your house play an important part in the overall comfort of your home. It is critical that you pay some consideration to these issues and that your septic tank is kept in good working order. The proper upkeep of your septic tank is essential if you want the plumbing in your house to function properly. Unattended septic systems may result in serious obstructions, backups, and even wastewater pouring into the surrounding area. You’ll want to engage in regular septic system maintenance in order to avoid these kinds of problems.
Contact Mr. Rooter of Syracuse, N.Y., Your Septic System Professionals
Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Syracuse, New York, is comprised of a group of qualified specialists that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to attend to your septic tank problems. Septic tanks are something that our skilled team at Mr. Rooter has a lot of experience with. Once we’ve been in and completed the cleaning, maintenance, or repairs to your septic system, we’ll provide you instructions on how to keep up with the best upkeep of your system when we’re not there to help you. It is critical to understand the principles of your home’s septic tank and how it operates in order to recognize problems as they occur.
In addition to video drainage inspections, we have sophisticated diagnostic equipment that allow us to discover and correct issues before they become expensive repairs.
Request an Estimate for the Job
Caring for Your Septic System
You wouldn’t ignore routine maintenance on a high-priced automobile. You should also not neglect the maintenance of your septic system. It is possible to spend as much as $20,000 to replace a broken septic system; thus, you have a strong incentive to keep your system in good working order. Septic systems provide the same functions as municipal treatment facilities, but on a smaller scale, and are thus less expensive. Instead of employing experts and specialists to ensure that everything runs properly, you, the homeowner, are responsible for it all.
Protect the Parts
Take a look at the records that came with your home to find out where all of the components of your system are placed so that you or your guests don’t accidentally damage them. Never drive across a drainfield or a ditch. Beyond the possibility of a pipe cracking, the weight of a car compacts the soil, making it less absorbent and less able to absorb water. Maintain a safe distance between plants and trees and the septic tank and the drainfield.
Their roots can slither into pipes and cause them to become clogged. Although grass on the drainfield should be encouraged since it absorbs water and avoids erosion, it should be discouraged because it will sink its roots into the pipework.
With a normal system, you may arrange a pump truck to come out on a regular basis (typically every three to five years). By being cautious about what goes down your drains, you may be able to extend the time between service calls. Consult with your pumper for guidance. If you have a maintenance contract (which is necessary with some systems), you should let the technician know when pumping is required. Pumping costs $200 to $400, depending on how readily the lid can be opened. If it’s buried, you may have to pay an additional $100 unless you want to dig it up yourself.
In addition, inquire about the condition of the baffles, which are responsible for keeping scum out of the intake and outflow.
Control What Goes In
Perhaps you’ve heard that some materials are beneficial to septic systems while others are detrimental. Here’s the truth about what’s good and terrible to flush down the toilet and what shouldn’t be. Too much water, from any source, can cause your system to become overloaded. Roof water should be diverted away from the drainfield using gutters. Install water-saving toilets and appliances, or at the very least, repair toilet leaks and stagger laundry loads to conserve water. As a precaution, advise guests to refrain from taking long showers or turning on the faucets at full blast while they are at your home.
- Utilize your trash disposal exclusively to clear up the fine scraps that have accumulated in your drain strainer if you have one.
- In a septic tank, fats decompose and become scum.
- Consider creating a compost bin for food waste as well.
- However, even a small amount of drain cleaning might be harmful.
- In rare instances, the salty output produced by water softeners can cause significant damage to a septic system.
- If your health department does not allow it, contact your local health department.
- Alternatively, a salt-free water softener (costing around $1,000 or more) can be installed.
Instead, use the time to clean the tank. Instead, pump on a regular basis. Others have negative consequences, such as releasing the scum in the tank, which causes it to block the drainfield. Some additives are ineffective, while others have negative impacts.
During the wet season, take a walk through your drainfield. If you smell sewage or notice that grass is growing particularly quickly and lushly in one location, it’s possible that your drainfield is clogged. Inquire with a septic repair firm for assistance. It is recommended that you have a professional examination (costing around $100) performed at least once a year if you have an alternative system with mechanical parts, filter screens, pumps, or other components that can go out of alignment.
If you’re looking for further information, see Should You Repair or Replace Your Septic System?
Q:Good morning, Tim. According to your profile on AsktheBuilder.com, you’ve been a master plumber for over 40 years. I just relocated from a city home that relied on a city sewer system to a rural retirement home that relied on a septic tank system. What information can you provide me on septic tanks? At my last residence, I experienced clogging difficulties in my main drain pipe, and the drain-cleaning company determined that the cause was grease. In terms of drain lines in a home, what are some best practices to follow and how does one ensure that they are always in proper working order?
- Frank’s situation reminded me of my own 12 years ago when I relocated from a metropolis on a municipal sewer system to rural New Hampshire with a septic tank system.
- The drain lines in any home, whether or whether it is linked to a city sewer or a septic tank, are the first thing to discuss.
- A plumbing drain pipe should have a slope of 3/16 inch every foot of run, in my view, to achieve the best performance.
- This is something you do not want to happen since solid material resting in a drain pipe might begin to pile up and cause a blockage.
- You would do well to use old paper towels to soak up any oil that has accumulated on your cooking pots and pans.
- This includes cleaning grease-covered plates with old paper towels before putting them into the dishwasher.
- If you prefer, you can use flushable wipes, but do not flush them down the toilet.
To see why you should never ever flush these textiles, watch my video about flushable wipes at AsktheBuilder.com.
In addition to being an excellent product, it will prevent grease from clogging septic tank leach fields.
Every month or so, I throw around 15 gallons of very hot water down my kitchen sink.
Every week, I dump 10 gallons of water into the tallest toilet in my house as quickly as I can, and then I flush it.
Trying not to be gross, but the closest comparison I can come up with is to image blowing one’s nose.
Septic tanks are magical boxes, as long as they are used properly, which they are in most cases.
That is the absolute maximum amount of material that should ever be placed in a septic system.
Natural bacteria begin to devour the waste at this point.
Leach fields are usually often composed of a network of pipelines through which wastewater is dispersed to a very well-drained soil that is particularly sandy.
During this process, various bacteria and oxygen work together to filter the wastewater.
It may be almost as clean as rainfall once it has been filtered by the beneficial bacteria and oxygen in the soil.
During its journey to the ocean, the water naturally flows downwards!
This bleach is so potent that it may destroy the bacterium that consumes the waste materials.
The same may be said with paints.
It’s critical to have your septic tank pumped every two or three years to keep it in good working order.
Despite how absurd it may seem, my neighbor’s manhole is buried around four feet beneath his driveway.
That’s a huge blunder on my part! Subscribe to Tim’s free newsletter and tune in to his latest podcasts to stay up to date. Visit AsktheBuilder.com for more information.
Septic Safe Products and the Ones to Avoid
In addition to being an ecologically favorable option for homeowners, a septic safe wastewater treatment system is sometimes the only option for cottages and rural residences that are not connected to the municipal sewage system. In addition, it implies that what you flush down the toilet is significantly more crucial, and this includes your cleansers and other household products. Continue reading to discover more about septic systems and how your cleaning products might have an impact on their operation.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “SEPTIC SAFE”?
If you were born and reared in a city, it’s likely that you have little awareness about septic tanks and systems. Septic systems are an alternate drainage solution for rural households that do not have access to centralized sewage infrastructure. To answer all of your questions, Septic Systems are a type of drainage system. They transport waste and water from a residence to a specialized septic tank, where microorganisms are used to separate waste from the surrounding water. This type of tank makes use of perforated pipes that discharge the water into a piece of soil known as a drainage field.
As a closed-loop system, septic systems are useful in the Zero Waste Movement’s attempts to reduce waste.
WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE SEPTIC SYSTEMS
The advantage of using a septic tank over a sewage system is that they are significantly less expensive and more durable. Because it is a closed system that does not require any external energy, it does not produce a monthly cost and can endure for decades before it has to be upgraded. Septic systems make a good contribution to the health and well-being of the local ecosystem from an environmental perspective. During the process of pushing water through a drain field, it serves to nourish local bacteria and microorganisms, which in turn supports the growth of both plants and bacteria in the area.
- As a result, if toxins-containing items are introduced into these systems, they can have severe consequences not just for the mechanisms of the tank, but also for the entire ecosystem.
- Septic systems are not designed to protect groundwater from the chemicals contained in some home items.
- When purchasing new appliances, look for ones that are most suited for septic systems, such as high-efficiency toilets or washing machines that are Energy Star certified.
- Please choose natural laundry detergent that is made for both high-efficiency and normal machines.
- There are several natural alternatives to synthetic disinfectants that are safe for use in a septic system, for example.
Some of the stronger natural disinfectants, such as hydrogen peroxide and thyme oil, may still need to be diluted with water before being injected into the system due to their intensity; this is especially true for the thyme oil.
HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS TO AVOID
Water softeners are devices that soften water.
- Water softeners have the potential to damage the microorganisms in the septic tank, resulting in higher amounts of waste and grease being released into the drain field.
Oil, gasoline, paint thinners, solvents, photography chemicals, weed or bug killers are just a few examples of what you may get away with.
- It is possible that these pollutants will poison Septic Systems and endanger the water supply.
Using Cooking Oil
- It is possible for solidified frying fat, such as that from bacon, to build up in the tank and cause blockages in the entering and exiting pipes.
- While these oils are pleasant to the touch, they have the potential to block the drain field and coat the waste within the tank, making it ineffective at decomposition.
Kitty Litter is a type of litter that is used for cats.
- The majority of kitty litter is made of clay, which can block pipes.
CLEANING PRODUCTS TO AVOID
Cleaners and disinfectants that are antibacterial
- Antibacterial and disinfectant products are not required in most household circumstances (they were originally developed to sanitize hospitals), and they will kill beneficial bacteria that aid in the proper functioning of your septic tank.
Chlorine Bleach is a kind of disinfectant.
- A septic tank’s microorganisms might be killed or disrupted if it receives too much bleach. Additionally, it is hazardous to aquatic life. It is very likely that the bleach from your wastewater is being released directly into the groundwater if your septic tank is located close to a natural water system
- If your septic tank is located close to a natural water system, it is very likely that the bleach from your wastewater is being released directly into the groundwater through your septic system.
Drain Cleaners that are chemical in nature
- When these materials are used to unclog the drain, they destroy the microorganisms in the tank, resulting in the need for expensive repairs.
Products containing methylisothiazolinone are referred to as
- Methylisothiazolinone is a synthetic compound with antibacterial characteristics that is found in a variety of consumer items. It is most often found in cleaning products, where it serves as a synthetic preservative. Apart from the fact that it is a frequent allergy, various investigations have revealed that it is also poisonous to aquatic life.
SEPTIC SAFE CLEANING PRODUCTS
Natural ingredients at their best.
- Please remember that your septic tank does not filter out chemicals or pollutants, and that the waste it produces is returned directly into the surrounding ecosystem. This is why it is critical to utilize natural cleansers that will not contribute to the rising quantity of synthetic chemicals that are severely harming our natural environment.
- Product formulations should only contain biodegradable substances that will degrade in a natural setting, rather than persistent synthetic compounds that might accumulate in a product. Inquire as to whether your cleaning products, especially those used on a regular basis such as dishwasher detergents, are truly non-toxic and completely biodegradable.
Certified by a third party
- It is critical to seek third-party certification that the items that flow through your septic system and into the environment will not have a harmful influence on the ecosystem. Examples of such organizations are Ecocert and The Environmental Working Group. By doing so, you may be confident that the items you select are truly better for the environment and are not merely making unfounded “green” claims for the sake of branding. To determine which products are best for your septic system, see the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Cleaning Guide rating.
SEPTIC SAFE CLEANING PRODUCTS LIST
Septic systems are quite fragile. A 1,000-gallon septic tank may be completely decontaminated with just two gallons of chlorine bleach, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While even a tiny amount of the wrong chemicals may cause havoc on your septic system, the majority of all-natural cleansers are safe to use on your system. Natural cleaning solutions that are non-chlorine, non-ammonia, non-antibacterial, non-toxic, and biodegradable can assist you in keeping your septic system in good operating condition.
- Baking soda, borax, and salt are all ingredients in distilled white vinegar.
SEPTIC SAFE BATHROOM CLEANERS
While it’s simple to utilize all-natural cleaning solutions in the majority of places of your house, the bathroom is one area where chemical cleansers are almost always a given. A clean bathroom is crucial for your health, but cleaning your shower, tub and other bathroom surfaces does not require the use of harsh chemicals to get the desired results. These natural bathroom cleansers are highly effective and do not harm septic systems:
- The natural enzymes in white vinegar will break down soap scum and foul smells
- White vinegar is inexpensive and readily available. Baking soda – The abrasive texture of baking soda is ideal for polishing brass bathroom fittings. To get optimum disinfection power on surfaces, mix 12 cup of borax with 12 cup of water.
TOILET CLEANERS SAFE FOR SEPTIC SYSTEMS
The toilet is infamous for being a filthy environment. It might be tempting to use strong cleaning agents to ensure that germs are completely destroyed. Many toilet bowl cleaners contain bleach, and others are even formulated with hydrochloric acid to remove stains from the bowl. Natural, plant-based cleansers, on the other hand, are robust enough to clean your toilet while still being the safest for the health of your septic system and the health of your family. Make sure to avoid using cleansers that include hazardous ingredients such as harmful bleach or ammonia as well as phosphates and petroleum-based compounds, which can disrupt your septic system.
Here is a list of natural toilet cleansers that are safe to use in a septic tank:
- Baking soda is a scouring agent that is both affordable and effective. Pour half of a small box of baking soda into the toilet bowl and leave it to rest for at least an hour. Immediately after mixing, flush the liquid down the toilet before cleaning it with a toilet brush. White Hard water stains in the toilet bowl may be broken down with the aid of household vinegar, which has a high acidity. Pour one cup of vinegar into the bowl and let it aside overnight. In the morning, scrape the surface. If you use baking soda along with the vinegar, you’ll find that their effects cancel each other out and become ineffectual.
SEPTIC SAFE CLEANING
Natural cleaning solutions are generally considered to be safe for use in septic systems. Take the guesswork out of selecting items for use in septic systems by using a product comparison chart. “Septic Safe” is a label that appears on products that are safe for use in septic systems. Most of these materials are natural and biodegradable, and they will appropriately degrade within the tank without interfering with the bacteria’s ability to function. Consumer items such as housekeeping and cleaning products are one of the most serious threats to septic systems.
Being environmentally conscious means using items that are safe for septic tanks and taking responsibility for what you put in the water and the soil.
Products that you use on a regular basis, such as laundry detergent and dish soap, should be handled with extra caution. Even if you have centralized sewage, use septic-safe products to keep your home and yard clean.
SEPTIC SAFE CLEANERS: FAQ
In the world of septic systems, there is contradicting information regarding what is safe and what is potentially dangerous. Here, we clarify the air on some often asked issues about septic cleaners:
1. IS VINEGAR SAFE FOR SEPTIC SYSTEMS?
Vinegar is completely harmless to septic systems and will not do any damage to them. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are wonderful cleaning tools that may be used throughout the house, including the laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, and other areas. Because it is non-toxic and 100 percent natural, vinegar of any kind is completely safe for your septic system and your household.
2. WHAT DRAIN CLEANERS ARE SAFE FOR SEPTIC SYSTEMS?
Drain cleaners are famously harsh because they are required to be so. It might require a significant amount of force to break through the buildup in pipes. However, only a few drain cleaners, when used in moderation, are suitable for septic systems. Drain cleaners that foam, solidify, or crystallize can cause harm to the system and should not be utilized. To avoid causing harm to the system, use septic-safe liquid drain cleaning only when absolutely necessary. Non-chemical methods such as a pipe snake can be used to safely clear clogged drains that have become stubborn.
SAFE SEPTIC CLEANING WITH ASPENCLEAN
To ensure that all of their laundry detergents and cleaning chemicals are completely septic-safe, AspenClean employs the same natural, biodegradable, and ecologically friendly cleaning materials as they use in their professional cleaning service. It is possible to ensure that your home will receive a high-quality clean while not causing damage to your septic system by utilizing natural laundry detergents, dish soaps, as well as their house cleaning services and supplies.
Septic Tank Cleaning Fort Collins: Never Put These Items Down the Drain If You Have a Septic Tank
A septic tank is something that most people are familiar with, and they are generally aware that they should get it cleaned every three to five years at the absolute least. But did you know that even if you get your tank serviced on a regular basis, there are things you might be doing that could be causing significant damage to your system and shortening the life of your tank? At Lion Home Service, we understand a thing or two about septic systems, and we also understand that it is sometimes what you don’t flush down the drain that may help to extend the life of your system and prevent a potentially hazardous sewage backup in your home or business.
Follow the instructions below, and if you have any questions or need help, please contact Lion Home Service in Fort Collins.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
In your house, if you perform an action that requires the flushing of a toilet or the washing of the garage floor, the water that is generated must be disposed of in some manner. Depending on whether you have a septic system or not, the water will either travel into pipes that will transport it away from your house and over to a central water treatment facility, or it will go directly to your septic tank.
This container retains your wastewater and allows any particles to sink to the bottom of the container. When the water level in the septic system reaches a specific level, it is allowed to exit and run into your drain field, where it evaporates.
Caring For Your Septic Tank
After all, everything you flush down the toilet goes into a holding tank that is ultimately emptied, so you might ask why it matters so much what you flush down the toilet. There are two important considerations to bear in mind. First and foremost, whatever you flush down the toilet must be biodegradable, which means it must easily decompose in your tank. Items such as flushable wipes, cotton swabs, and even paper towels can not entirely decompose in a septic system, which might result in a major backup.
For the second time, you should never flush or wash anything down the drain that might potentially harm the beneficial bacteria in your septic system or contaminate groundwater.
Also, keep in mind that once the wastewater in your septic tank reaches a particular level, it will begin to run into your drainage system.
List of Items To Never Put Down the Drain
With the two most essential kinds of goods that might affect your septic system now defined, let us offer two lists of common home products that should never be flushed down the toilet or down the sink. Read them carefully and then distribute them to the rest of your family so that everyone is aware of what is and is not acceptable to flush down the toilet.
- Paint, gasoline, motor oil, weedkiller, solvents such as paint thinner, bleach, insecticide, herbicide, drain cleaner, and medications (particularly antibiotics) are all prohibited.
- Toilet paper
- Disinfectant wipes, paper towels, tissues, dental floss, cigarettes butts, coffee grinds, cat litter, condoms, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, and other similar items
Despite the fact that this is not an exhaustive list, it should provide you with a general notion of the kind of items you should avoid flushing down the toilet. Cleansing products and even toilet paper that has been classified as safe for septic systems should be substituted instead. However, while knowing how to correctly care for your septic system may appear to be a burden, it will save you and the environment from any pollution concerns, and it will no doubt keep your septic system functioning smoothly for many years to come.
Signs Your Septic Tank Is Full
In the event that it has been several years since you last had your septic tank cleaned, or if you aren’t sure whether or not it has ever been done, it is critical that you arrange an appointment as soon as possible. There are times when tanks will fill up; nevertheless, you’ll want to get it emptied out before it becomes an issue. But what if you already have a nagging feeling that something is wrong? The following are some clear symptoms that your septic tank may be overflowing with waste:
In the event that you discover significant pools of water near your septic system’s drain field, it might be a sign that your tank is overflowing and that the wastewater isn’t being allowed to naturally evaporate.
Odors Coming From Drains
In the event that you notice an irritating odor every time you take a shower or turn on a faucet, it is possible that your tank is full and sewage is beginning to back up in the pipes, resulting in the odor being produced.
If the water isn’t draining as rapidly as it used to, it might be an indication that your septic tank is overflowing and needs to be cleaned.
When a tank is completely filled, sewage will begin to overflow or back up into the pipes. If the situation is severe enough, sewage can even back up into your home’s drains, which is not only distasteful, but it also poses a substantial health danger to you and your family members.
Particularly Green Grass Around Your Drainfield
Sometimes you may detect pools of water around your drain field, but other times you may only notice that the grass around it is exceptionally lush and green. This is frequently another indication that your septic system is about to overflow.
Contact Lion Home Service For Septic Tank Cleaning
Do not allow your septic system to reach the point where it is overflowing with waste. Septic tank cleaning should be performed on a regular basis by Lion Home Service in Fort Collins. We are a family-owned and run business that serves the whole Northern Colorado region, including Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Windsor, and Fort Collins, among other cities. Call today to receive your no-obligation quote. We look forward to being of service to you!