Watch Out For These Septic System Problems

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3 Vital Septic Tank Maintenance Steps

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Have you recently become the owner of a home with a septic tank instead of being part of a city sewer system? Are you now wondering what you need to do to make sure that your tank continues to function properly for as long as possible? Septic tank maintenance isn't difficult at all, but it does still require a little more effort than simply using your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs with the expectation that the city will deal with any issues. Some things that you'll need to have done include:

Emptying the tank: This is, perhaps, the most important aspect of septic tank maintenance. If the septic tank isn't emptied on a regular basis, the septic solids will start to overflow and contaminate the septic tank's leach field. If that were to happen, the solution would be less than ideal and could entail having to move the tank to a new spot entirely. Fortunately, your septic tank should be large enough that it only needs to be emptied every few years. If you're not sure how long it's been since the previous homeowner had the tank pumped out, it might be a good idea to do that now so that you are able to get a better idea of how long it takes your household to fill up the tank.

Tank inspection: Even though a septic tank is buried underground, age or a lack of on-time pumping in the past could have damaged the tank and the surrounding leach field. Ideally, a tank should be inspected every two or three years but it should at least be inspected after every time the tank is emptied out. This preemptive septic tank maintenance can let you know if there are issues with the tank that need to be repaired or if the tank needs to be completely replaced in the near future.

Avoid certain products: Using or flushing certain things down your drain can have an adverse effect on your septic tank as a whole. For instance, antibacterial dish and hand soap can kill off the good bacteria that live in your septic tank and that help break down the solids. Without these good bacteria, your septic tank will fill up much more quickly and could wind up needing to be pumped out every year instead of every few years. In addition, you should only flush minimal amounts of food waste and nothing else besides human waste into your septic system. Things like paper towels, condoms, or any type of cat litter can clog up or damage your system, potentially requiring expensive septic tank maintenance costs to ameliorate.