3 Things Every Homeowner Must Know About Their Septic System

Posted on: 4 September 2019

Have you recently purchased a home that has a septic system? Are you currently under the impression that this is exactly the same as being hooked up to a city sewer system? While it's true that a septic tank is relatively low-maintenance when compared to other aspects of your home, there are still things that need to be done in order for it to continue working optimally. If you've never had a septic tank before, some of these things may not be that obvious to you while others may sound ridiculously simple. The most important things that you need to do or to remember about your new tank include:

Regular pumping: One of the easiest mistakes to make about not being hooked up to a city sewer system is to think that you'll be needing a septic tank pumping on an annual basis. This is not accurate. Instead, a healthy septic system will only need to be pumped out every few years. The exact timeframe will depend upon the tank size and household usage, but you should reasonably expect to have it cleaned out every three to five years. If your tank fills up more quickly, you may need a larger tank or you may need to talk to a septic tank professional about what else you can do to keep your particular septic system healthy.

Avoid antibacterial products: Antibacterial soaps, sprays, and so forth are advertised as ways to keep you and your family healthy. Unfortunately, they are often indiscriminate about the microorganisms that they kill. A septic tank relies on various beneficial species of bacteria to digest the sewage solids that enter the container. When these bacteria are killed off by antibacterial products, more frequent septic tank pumping is going to be needed. Whenever possible, at least avoid antibacterial dish soaps. Washing your dishes well and thoroughly will get rid of any bacteria they contain anyway - whether you're using antibacterial soap on them or not.

Prevent extraneous items: The only solid things that should be entering your septic tank are toilet paper, sewage, and bits of food debris from dishes. You should not be flushing things like paper towels, cat litter, baby wipes, and so on. These things do not break down in a septic tank and will soon cause it to become blocked up. Only a septic tank pumping has the potential to restore the tank to a functional state. Even then, you might even need a more thorough and expensive manual cleaning to remove the bits that are clogging up the system before you can use it again.