Septic Tank Care and Maintenance

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A septic tank is essentially a miniature natural waste treatment plant. It works by holding water and wastes in an enclosed area so that bacteria can go to work on the solids in it and break them down into liquids and gasses. Septic systems are the most widely used type of waste disposal throughout rural and suburban United States areas. The septic system in your home is one of the vital parts of your property. Without a functioning septic system, you can’t even legally sell your home – so it makes sense to maintain and care for it properly.

Proper septic tank care involves preventive maintenance and common sense precautions. To keep your septic system in top working order, you should follow some simple rules.

1.Periodic pumping and cleaning of your septic tank is a necessary maintenance step. If the tank isn’t drained and cleaned on a regular basis, the sludge of solids in the bottom will eventually overflow into the leaching field, clogging it and causing backups and odor, not to mention a health hazard. Most experts recommend having the septic tank cleaned every 2-3 years. If there’s a foul odor around the septic tank, or if it’s clogging and overflowing, it may need to be cleaned sooner.
2.Be careful what you flush. Anything that the bacteria in the septic system can’t digest will be left to clog it up. The fewer solids that get flushed, the happier your septic tank will be.
3.Use a toilet paper that degrades easily to avoid a buildup of solids that will clog your septic system so that you need to have it pumped sooner. High wet strength toilet paper that doesn’t break down easily in water is harder for your septic tank to deal with.
4.Conserve water. The more waste goes into your septic system, the sooner you’ll have to have it pumped. Set your toilet to use less water with each flush, or switch to a toilet the uses 1-2 gallons of water per flush.
5.By the same token, avoid overloading your septic system. It needs time to deal with wastes and fluids if it’s going to do so efficiently. Don’t run the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time that someone is showering, or do all the family laundry in one day.
6.Avoid pouring grease or oil down the toilet or your drains, and reduce the use of the garbage disposal.
7.Don’t overdose on the detergents, soaps and other chemicals to avoid killing the bacteria that do all the dirty work.
8.Your septic tank doesn’t need an additive, but a once a month treatment with a natural drain and septic tank cleaner (Drain Line and Septic Tank Cleaner) can help keep drains and pipes running efficiently and clear away the gunk that collects along the insides of pipes.

Do be very careful of the septic tank products that you choose. Avoid those with lye or other caustic ingredients that can do more harm than good.
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