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Are Septic Tanks a Pain to Maintain?

Some homes do not have septic tanks because their waste line is directly connected to the street sewer system. If you happen to have a septic tank in your home, there are certain steps that you can take when it comes to proper care and maintenance.

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Rainwater should have proper drain lines

Rainwater that falls on your roof should be directed to the street through pipe lines. This will minimize the amount of rain that fall directly on the yard or drain field. A watery drain field won’t be as effective in neutralizing liquid waste compared to a dry one.

Avoid overloading the septic tank

To minimize the amount of waste that goes into the septic tank, make sure that all your fixtures are functioning properly. It is also best to minimize the amount of water consumed, as water also passes through the septic tank. Use flow reducer nozzles and use the right amount of water when washing clothes and dishes.

Don’t plant trees near the septic tank

Tree roots can damage the septic system. Hence, trees should be planted at least 100 yards away. Trees with larger roots like willows should be planted even farther.

Don’t flush foreign objects into the toilet

This includes toilet paper, sanitary napkins, cigarette butts, cat litter and coffee grounds. These can obstruct the septic tank.

Get a high quality garbage disposal

Garbage disposal grinds excess food debris in your kitchen sink so it can be drained. However, it can double the load that the septic tank needs to handle. A high quality garbage disposal grinds food debris finally, making it easier for the tank to neutralize waste. Your trusted plumbing company can give you an advice on which garbage disposal is best to use if you have a septic tank. If you can avoid using a garbage disposal, it would be better practice. Use a strainer instead to catch food debris and prevent them from going into the drain.

Avoid using heavy chemicals and cleaners

Using caustic cleaners can harm the performance of the septic tank because it can kill the good bacteria that digest the solid waste. Other chemicals like paint thinners, varnish, motor oils and gasoline should also not reach the drain lines. Not only do they affect the septic tank but they can also contaminate the groundwater.

Maintain the tank regularly

The waste in the tank needs to be siphoned at regular intervals. If you have a 1,000 gallon tank, it is recommended that you have it cleaned after every 3 to 5 years. Be reminded however that you should not clean it on your own or open the tank without the proper equipment. It contains gases that are dangerous when inhaled and are also flammable. This is something that should be done by experienced professionals.

Are septic tanks a pain to maintain? Not really. As long as you follow the above recommended steps and use the septic tank properly. If you have any more questions, contact your nearest plumbing professional.

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