Nothing can replace yearly septic tank maintenance performed by a professional. However, just because you faithfully bring a plumber in to assess and maintain the septic system doesn't mean you're off the hook. Homeowners should also engage in septic tank maintenance that helps the system run well. While you shouldn't attempt to pump out the tank, inspect the sludge levels or ascertain the aerobic capabilities of the drainfield - all tasks that the pro will do - here's what you can do.
- Conserve water. Perhaps the single, most important maintenance tasks homeowners can do, conserving the amount of water your household uses means the septic system will function better. For example, install water-saving devices like faucet aerators, showerheads or toilets. Don't let faucets or toilets leak. Never flush the toilet or run water unless you need to, and run full loads when washing dishes or clothes.
- Don't put bleach down the drains. It can destroy the delicate biological balance required in the tank to break down solids and waste.
- Be careful of what you put down the drains while preparing food. Fat, grease and food scraps are hard on the septic system.
- Avoid using a garbage disposal. Food scraps - even food that's ground up - put undue stress on the septic tank. Keep a strainer over the drain to prevent food from going down the drain, and use the garbage to dispose of it instead.
- Don't dispose of harsh chemicals in the drains, which eventually make their way into the septic tank and disrupt the waste process. Acid-based cleaners, paint thinners and other chemicals should be disposed of elsewhere.
- Choose your household cleaners and products wisely. The best products to use are biodegradable, which are gentle on the septic tank system.
- Make sure your home's drainage system is diverted away from the septic tank.
- Surrounding trees should be planted far away from the tank, and existing ones removed if they're too close, because tree roots can interfere with the tank and drainfield.
- Never let heavy equipment near the tank, nor should you drive over the tank or install a patio or heavy construction project over it. The pressure of the equipment or concrete will cause the tank to shift and disrupt the breakdown of waste.
To schedule yearly septic tank maintenance, get in touch with a local expert today. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today. We're happy to help you with septic tank maintenance or any other pluming need.