For most of us, septic systems are right where they belong - out of sight!! It's all too easy for them to be out of mind as well, and that could be a mistake that costs you dearly! No two ways about it, whether your system is new or old, has high flows or low flows, it's a system that needs attention and planning to keep it at its best, and running cleanly (and safely) for years. It's far, far, easier to maintain a system then to fix one, so be proactive and maintain it! Here are some basic and important tips.
Even Latex Paint is a Not Safe for your
Septic System, and Thinners and Oil
Based Paints Are Dangerous to Add
Pump your Septic Tank Regularly
The most fool proof way to keep your system healthy. You and your regular septic fellow (and you do have one, yes?) should discuss the schedule that you should be pumped at. The number of people living at the home, the amount of water used, and the size of your tank are all variables that should be evaluated by someone in the trade.
Your septic system is not a trash can
Take note: What you put in it, can't come out, so anything - and I mean anything - that doesn't degrade over a fairly short life span could be shorting the life of your system. This includes food! Most food has too much fiber to be broken down quickly, so don't hook up that garbage disposal - it could cost you more than you think. Even small amounts of food can quickly overwhelm a system that is not being taken care of properly. So, whatever you call it, garbage grinder, garbage disposal, either get it removed or don't put one in. As another note, they are often illegal in towns that have septic systems. In Massachusetts, your system has to be specially rated to handle food, according to Title V guidlines. Plastics, grease are all big no-no's too, as they also won't break down fast enough.
Watch the Bleach and Anti-bacterials Volume in your Septic System
Your system relies on bacteria to function - it's the bacteria who does the real dirty work. If you're using a lot of bleach, or even anti bacterial soaps, your literally killing your systems ability to do what it does best. Used in small amounts, the bacterial will survive, so try to limit or eliminate these products from entering your system, and where possible, add additional bacterial to keep it running smoothly. Check products like dishwasher detergents, soaps, laundry detergent for the magic words: "safe for use with septic systems."
A Good Overview of Your Septic Systems
4. A good overview of how your septic systems works and should be maintained is linked here and was produced by the Wellfleet Comprehensive Wastewater Committee
Are you looking for an inspector for a Title V, or just looking for a reliable septic pumper? I'd be happy to share my "Best of the Best" in this area, so just reach out and let me know.
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