Homeowners are Surprised that Septic Sewer Systems Require Maintenance To Avoid Costly Repairs
Owning a home with a septic system comes with its own set of responsibilities, distinct from those of properties hooked up to municipal sewer systems. Although septic systems are highly efficient and eco-friendly when maintained correctly, they can become problematic if neglected. David Wilson, with Seattle Plumbing, Draind, and Rooter Pros shared some advice with septic sewer line maintenance, his company cleans, repairs, and installs hundreds of septic fields every year. "Most property owners who have never owned a home with a septic line, quickly realize how significant the maintenance aspect is to avoid costly backups". Here are some simple-to-follow and essential tips on how to properly care for their septic systems.
Regular Inspections are a Must
Start by scheduling regular inspections. Septic systems should be examined by professionals every one to three years. An inspection allows experts to assess the tank's condition, measure sludge and scum layers, and identify potential issues before they become significant problems.
Pumping the Septic Tank
Routine pumping of the septic tank is another crucial maintenance step. How often you need to pump depends on several factors, such as the size of the tank, the number of people in the household, and the volume of wastewater generated. Generally, tanks should be pumped every three to five years to remove sludge and prevent overflows.
Mind What Goes Down the Drain
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to maintain a healthy septic system is to be mindful of what goes down the drain. Avoid disposing of items like oils, fats, and grease, which can clog the system. Similarly, chemicals like bleach or paint can disrupt the bacterial balance needed for breaking down waste. Always opt for septic-safe toilet paper and detergents, and never flush non-biodegradable items like feminine hygiene products, diapers, or wipes.
Watch for Warning Signs
Be vigilant for warning signs that indicate a failing septic system. These may include slow drains, unpleasant odors, water pooling in the drain field, or sewage backup. If you notice any of these issues, seek professional help immediately to mitigate damage and expense.
Maintain the Drain Field
The drain field plays a critical role in treating wastewater. To maintain its efficiency, keep it clear of encumbrances. Never park vehicles or place heavy objects on the area, as this can compress the soil and disrupt the system’s effectiveness. Moreover, plant only grass over and near the drain field to minimize soil erosion—deep-rooted plants and trees can cause damage by growing into the system.
Excessive water use can overwhelm a septic system, leading to failure. Implement water-saving techniques such as fixing leaks promptly and using water-efficient fixtures.
In summary, septic system maintenance isn't overly complicated but requires consistent attention. Regular inspections and pumping, along with mindful water use and waste disposal, are key to ensuring the system's longevity and effectiveness. If issues arise, don't hesitate to consult professionals for timely intervention. Adhering to these tips will not only save you money in the long run but will also contribute to a more sustainable living environment.