How to Care for Your Septic System

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Toilet (Photo: @photovs via Twenty20)
Caring for your home and other big-ticket possessions requires regular maintenance. You need to service your car and change its oil. You need to clean your floors. You need to keep your appliances in good running order. And, if your home has a septic system, you need to get it regularly serviced.

Have your septic tank pumped regularly

Septic tanks need to be pumped. How often depends on a few factors, namely the size of the tank and the number of people that live in your home. But no matter how big your tank, and how few people live in your home, the rule of thumb is to have it pumped every three to five years.
If you don’t pump your septic tank, serious damage can result, which will be expensive to fix and repair, and might even require you to install a whole new tank.

Be conscious with your water use

One of the quickest ways to wear out a septic tank is by using it a lot, so you want to limit your water use. The single most important thing you can do when trying to limit your water use is be cognizant of any potential leaks or drips. Even if you just have a shower faucet that is dripping a little bit, that can result in thousands of gallons of water over the course of the year.
As soon as you notice drips or leaks, fix them. And if you can, try to save water by taking shorter showers, using lower water pressure, and cleaning your clothes and dishes in water-saving settings.

Avoid putting harmful cleaners and chemical products down the drain

Your septic tank is full of bacteria and microorganisms, which play a vital role in breaking down the sewage. Those bacteria and microorganisms attack sludge and slime, and help make your sewage something that can pass through a water treatment system.
If you put harmful cleaners full of serious chemicals, like bleach or drain cleaners down your drains, they’ll end up in the septic tank. Once there, they’ll kill the bacteria and microorganisms, and keep them from doing their jobs. This results in solid build up in your septic tank, which is bad news.

Buy a toilet that uses less water

Many modern toilets are designed to use less water than traditional toilets. If you purchase one of these toilets, you’ll instantly start using less water on a daily basis.

Don’t put household items or grease down the toilet or drain

It’s important to never flush anything down the toilet that doesn’t belong there. That means if it’s not toilet paper or something that came from your body, don’t put it down the toilet.
Similarly, don’t put fat or grease down your sink drains. Instead, dispose of them with other methods.

Have regular inspections from a plumber

In addition to having your septic tank pumped regularly, it’s a smart idea to have it frequently inspected by a plumber. Have a plumber come out every year or two and inspect your septic system, so they can tell you if there are warning signs you should be aware of.

Don’t plant trees on top of your septic field

If you can, keep trees away from your septic field. As trees grow taller, their roots grow deeper and stronger, and begin to attack things in the ground. This can include the pipes of your septic system. Keep trees away, and your septic system will last longer.