If you're a new homeowner with a septic tank, it's important to familiarize yourself with the basics of septic system maintenance. After all, septic tanks are an integral part of your new home and require regular care and attention to function properly. Here are three essential tips for maintaining your septic tank that every homeowner should know.
Avoid Using Your Disposal
Your kitchen garbage disposal is not your septic tank's best friend. When you put food debris in your garbage disposal, you're clogging up your septic tank and slowing down the digestion process. In fact, home repair expert Bob Vila states that food waste can increase the solids in your septic tank by 50 percent, wreaking havoc on the system. So instead of using your disposal, you should dispose of food waste in the trash or, preferably, compost it.
Watch What You Put Down Your Drains
The things that go down your drains can have a big impact on how well your septic tank performs. So it's important to be mindful of what you put down your drains and avoid flushing anything that isn't biodegradable or safe for your septic system, including:
- Cigarette butts
- Coffee grounds
- Cat litter
- Paper towels
- Feminine hygiene products
- Chemical cleaners
Schedule Routine Pump-Outs
Most residential septic systems need to be pumped out regularly. Exactly how often depends on the usage and size of the tank. For example, a 2,000-gallon septic tank with only one person living in the home would only need to be pumped out once every 25 years. However, a heavily used 1,000-gallon tank for a family of ten would need to be pumped annually.
Proper septic system maintenance and routine pump-outs help remove solid waste that accumulates in the bottom of the tank over time. It is also important to have your septic tank inspected at the same time, especially if you notice any signs of trouble, such as slow-draining sinks, strong odors near the tank, wet patches in the yard above the tank, or gurgling noises from drains. Regular inspections can help identify and address problems before they become serious and costly to repair.
Septic system maintenance is essential for every homeowner. Regular inspections, being mindful about what goes down your drains, and scheduling routine pumpings are all key elements of keeping your system running smoothly. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your septic system remains in good working condition for years to come.
Contact a professional to learn more about septic system maintenance.