How to Take Care of Your Septic System

How to Take Care of Your Septic System
  • Written on June 21, 2021 By Stanley Martin

Get your proverbial gloves ready because we're getting down and dirty to discuss a topic that many homeowners shy away from: septic tanks. As many as five households nationwide have a septic system that needs to be maintained. If you're someone who hasn't lived with a septic tank or a homeowner trying make sure you're taking the best care possible of your home's septic system, we've compiled some tips to make maintenance a breeze.

  1. Understand yourseptic system. The first step to taking care of anything is understanding the nitty gritty details and learning about it! Your septic system is most likely comprised of a septic tank and a drain field, soil absorption field or a pump. The tank does the bulk of the job and digests organic matter then separates the water from things like oil and grease and solids. If you have a soil-based system, the liquid (aka effluent) is released through pipes into the soil, so you don’t see a thing! If you have a pump system, the effluent flows through sand, sawdust or another type of medium to remove pollutants.
  2. Don’t put off having your tank pumped. This is one appointment you shouldn't put off, just like the dentist! Septic tanks are strong, but they need regular care to stay that way. The average septic tank should be pumped every three to five years. When it’s pumped, the solids are removed, making sure it doesn’t build up to cause any blockages or backups. When you get this done, make sure your technician also examines sludge layers and inspects for leaks.
  3. Be mindful of yourwater usage.All of the water a household uses ends up in a septic system -- this includes water from your dishwasher, sink, washing machine, etc. The average person uses up to 70 gallons of water per day and the average septic tank can hold up to 1,250 gallons. Things like a leaky faucet or a running toilet can add unnecessary water to your tank. Each of our Stanley Martin homes is equipped with ENERGY STAR-qualified features to ensure you're using high-efficiency products that limit water usage and lower energy costs from the moment you move in.
  4. Take the trash out. Another way to make sure your septic tank doesn't fill up is to not flush anything besides what should be in a toilet. Things like baby wipes, dental floss and paper towels should be thrown in the trash and never flushed. These items take a lot longer to break down and can build up very quickly in a small tank.
  5. Beware of"septic-safe"products. While the name seems like a solution to septic problems, it is actually shown to hurt your tank even more. These products can clog drain field line, create acids that corrode concrete tanks and eliminate good bacteria. It may not be necessary to throw out all of the products that you've bought simply because you have a septic system, but those made with natural ingredients are even better than those labeled "septic-safe".
  6. Think before you pour.Before your pour something down the drain, take a second to think of the toxins in it. Pouring certain liquids down your sink can end up harming the septic system and cause blockages. Avoid chemicals like drain clog products, cooking grease and oil-based paints. Doing this will limit the amount of grease and solid particles in your tank and in turn, reduce how full your tank is.

We hope these tips help make sure that you, your home and your septic system all work in harmony together!