The septic system in your home is a complex system. It is made up of a plumbing vent, the tank, a pressure transducer, and the leach field, which is necessary for effluent absorption and purification. Many homeowners don’t think much about their septic tank. They run the water and flush the toilet and expect that the materials will go down safely. As the homeowner, it is up to you to make sure your septic system is healthy and functioning properly. If you don’t take proper care of your septic system, you risk damage to the tank or a massive flood in your yard or the home. While caring for your septic tank is very important, it is equally important to know if your system is failing. A few things to look for include:
- Your toilets flush slowly
- Water is backing up into the toilets, sinks, bathtub, and washing machine
- Gurgling sounds when you flush the toilets or when you run the water
- The grass in more green and lush in the septic area
- Puddles and patches of sogginess in the yard
- Craters developing in the soil
- A foul smell in and around the house
If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a professional immediately to have your septic system pumped. To ensure the safety of your septic tank, there are a few tips that you should follow.
#1 Flush Responsibly
Everything that you flush down the toilet is going to end up in the septic tank. It is important that you don’t flush anything that won’t degrade. A few examples of these items include:
- Paper towels
- Cotton swabs
- Feminine hygiene products
- Expired medication
- Disposable diapers
- Coffee grounds
- Cat litter
- Cooking oil and excess grease
- Cigarette butts
Overall, the only thing that you should be flushing is a reasonable amount of toilet paper after going to the bathroom.
#2 Don’t Put any Strong or Hazardous Chemicals Down the Sink or Toilet
You should never flush strong or hazardous chemicals down the sink or drain. These products can seriously degrade the inside of the tank. A few examples include:
- Drain cleaners
- Paint thinner
Any liquids that are safe for household use, such as household bleach, disinfectants, cleansers, and soap can safely be flushed.
#3 Don’t Drive or Build Over or Around the Tank
While the exterior of your tank is strong, you should never drive a vehicle or put anything heavy on the septic tank. You should also avoid building around the tank. When the tank needs to be pumped, the company will need full access to the tank. If you build too closely, it will limit the access that the truck has.
#4 Plant Only Grass Around the Septic Tank
The only thing that should be planted around the septic tank is grass. If you plant trees, bushes or shrubs, it can interfere with the system or it can damage the system.
#5 Use and Enzyme Treatment
You should consider using enzyme treatments such as RID-X every month. Products like these are made up of 100 percent natural active bacteria and enzymes. When flushed down the toilet, the product will make its way to the septic tank and break down the household waste. This will keep the septic system healthy and it will reduce the risk of a septic overflow.
The way that you care for your septic tank has a great deal to do with its health and performance. If you follow the tips listed above, you should be able to avoid a nasty and expensive septic tank overflow.