As a smart septic owner, you want to keep your septic system healthy and maintained. Proper use and maintenance of your septic system starts with a little knowledge.
Understanding your septic system and how to take care of it is the first step to better health. It also saves money and helps the environment. SepticSmart Week is Sept. 14-18, but we have too many tips to confine to just one week!
We’re giving you one set of tips for each week in September, such as how a septic system works, what not to put down the drain, the importance of getting your well water tested, and more.
Think at the Sink
More than one in five households depends on septic systems to treat their wastewater. Safeguard your family’s health, protect the environment, and save you thousands of dollars on repairs by maintaining a healthy septic system.
Don’t pour fats, grease, and solids down the sink! They can clog pipes and damage your septic system over time.
Do keep harmful materials collected in an airtight container and dispose of them.
Be aware of cleaning supplies and use them in moderation, as excessive use of antibacterial and harsh chemicals can harm your septic system.
Don’t Strain Your Drain
Efficient water use improves the operation of a septic tank and reduces risk of septic failure. Not straining your drain can save you money and protect you and your family’s health.
Don’t run your shower, washing machine, and dishwasher at the same time. This will increase the risk of backup into your home or a flooded drain field.
Do spread out your water use throughout the day and look for the ENERGY Star and WaterSense labels when purchasing water-based appliances.
Be aware of your household water use and stagger water use throughout the day so you don’t overburden your septic system.
Keep it Clean
Confirm that your well water meets local drinking water standards by conducting a water quality test in your well once a year. Testing your well water for harmful bacteria, contaminants, and acidity protects your family’s health. It can also indicate if your septic system is functioning properly. Catching potential problems early may also help you minimize cost to remedy any problems with your well.
Don’t flush medications or excessive amounts of harmful chemicals down the drain or toilet because they can also contaminate your well.
Do test your well water at home, or contact your local health department for assistance. You can also use a state certified laboratory.
Be aware and ensure your well water is safe to drink, which will protect you and your family’s health. Find one in your area by calling the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
Shield Your Field
Septic drain fields are typically a set of plastic pipes and underground infiltration trenches. They accept partially treated wastewater from a septic tank and disperse it into the soil. There, it is naturally treated by beneficial bacteria through a chemical interaction and filtration
Don’t park vehicles or plant trees or shrubs on your drain field.
Do maintain a grassy lawn over your drain field that’s free of larger deep-rooted vegetation. This provides optimal conditions for your drain field and for your septic system.
Be aware that drain fields are typically installed 6 to 12 inches below the ground surface, so the weight of a vehicle could damage the pipes or compact the soil and make it difficult for wastewater to filter into the ground. Roots from trees and woody shrubs could become entangled with the pipes obstructing the drainage process.
Don’t Overload the Commode
Remember your toilet is not a trash can. Harsh chemicals from drain cleaners and some cleaning products can harm your septic system, and should be used sparingly. Flushing such items down the toilet can clog your pipes and damage your septic system, which can result in costly repairs.
Don’t flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper. Everything that goes down your toilet ends up in your septic system.
Do be septic smart. Always dispose of these non-flushable items in the trash: plastics, medication, cotton, dental floss, toxic substances.
Be aware that items such as diapers and baby wipes, hygiene products, cigarette butts, and cat litter belong in the trash, not your toilet. They do not decompose in your septic tank and can shorten the life of your system.
Crews Environmental is the leading company for septic services in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. We are available 24/7 for any emergency pumpout needs! Call us today at 239-347-0644 to schedule a same-day appointment!