Tips for Keeping Your Septic System Running Smoothly

a typical home septic system

While it’s unlikely that the typical homeowner gives much thought about their septic system until it backs up, following some simple guidelines will help ensure that you don’t need to have the system pumped as often, and have fewer septic emergencies.

Be Careful of What You Put in Your Septic System

Your septic tank, like your own digestive system, needs a healthy balance of bacteria to function properly. The bacteria work by breaking down the waste that goes into the system. Here are some common substances that interfere with this process and should never enter your septic system:

  • Kitchen grease or oils — They create a layer of inactive scum.
  • Drain cleaners — Even a small amount will kill the healthy bacteria in your tank.
  • Hazardous household chemicals like paint thinner, antifreeze, and gasoline — They need to go to your municipality’s hazardous waste collection center.
  • Anti-bacterial soap — You have to read labels carefully!

Although there are many additives on the market designed to clean out your system, these products are an “unnecessary evil,” according to the National Environmental Services Center publication, “Maintaining Your Septic System — A Guide for Homeowners.”

Be Aware That Appliances May Affect Your System

Hot tubs and water softeners can dump hundreds of gallons of water into your septic system at once, stirring up the accumulated solids and pushing them into the drainfield, which can lead to system failure.

Allow water from your hot tub to cool down first, then drain it directly onto the lawn. Water softeners have the additional problem of depositing salt into the septic system. Always consult a professional about how to route water from a water softener safely.

When Your Septic System Backs Up, We’re Your Backup

Even with expert care and maintenance, septic systems can still fail. When that happens, Gotügo has you covered. We serve the entire greater Washington D.C. area with porta potties and restroom trailers that are maintained to the highest standard.

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Posted by gotügo   |   Filed under: Resources
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