Septic tanks are an invaluable addition to any home that doesn’t have access to municipal sewage lines. While they require a little extra know-how to maintain, properly cared-for septic tanks should be odorless, unnoticeable, and able to last for the life of a home. That said, taking care of a septic tank isn’t expensive or complicated, and consists of some pretty basic steps. Otherwise you will be dealing with horrible smells and leaks into your yard which can create an unhealthy environment for your yard, you and your family, and anyone else that might be living in your home.
Use “septic safe” products.
This should go without saying, but it’s best to avoid purchasing cleaners, toilet tissue, or drain clearing products that are not explicitly labeled as being safe for use in septic tanks. Septic systems rely on a very delicate biological balance to break down waste, and harsh chemicals and antibacterial products can disrupt this. Paper products that aren’t septic-safe can also clog the lines that run to the leach field, preventing sewage from draining from the tank.
Avoid sending anything but water or waste down the drain.
According to Kamloops Septic Service, anything that isn’t water-soluble, including paper towels or grease, may not be broken down within the tank itself. Even if it doesn’t end up clogging sewage lines, it can build up in the tank, reduce its capacity, and cause it to back up. If you experience any clogging or sewage back up, you will want to have a professional come out and take care of the problem right away.
Have septic tanks pumped every one to three years.
Even though well-maintained septic tanks can handle waste, they will occasionally need to be professionally pumped out. Three years is the longest period of time a septic tank should go without being pumped. If a home is located in a northern climate or is equipped with a garbage disposal, the cooler temperatures and additional solid waste will require a yearly pumping. Homes in the south, without garbage disposals, may be able to get away with waiting three years
Use septic treatments when needed.
While a properly cared-for tank should host enough bacteria to handle waste, it may need an occasional boost. Cold temperatures can slow down how quickly waste is broken down, excess water use may flush out important bacteria, and certain cleaning products may even kill them. Septic treatment products generally consist of beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help break waste down, keeping septic systems optimally functioning.
Unhealthy septic tanks result in “swampy” odors, slow or stopped drains, or even soggy patches of grass. It can create unhealthy conditions and even affect your property value and therefore taking care of your septic system is a must. By following these tips and keeping tanks pumped, sewage lines clear, and beneficial bacteria levels high, homeowners can ensure that they won’t have to deal with sewage backups, leaking tanks, or expensive repairs.