Do you know how to take proper care of your septic tank? Make sure that you avoiding these five common septic tank mistakes.
- You’re flushing large quantities of paper products. Yes, toilet paper is made to flush down the toilet. And no, you probably won’t have an issue if all you are flushing is toilet paper. But paper products besides toilet paper — including tampons, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, and baby wipes — will likely cause clogging, which could do significant (and expensive) damage to your septic tank system.
- You’re doing too much laundry at once. Just one load of laundry requires quite a lot of water. So doing five loads of laundry back-to-back puts a lot of stress on your septic tank system. One of the best ways to protect your septic tank system is to spread your laundry out throughout the week as opposed to doing it all at once.
- You’re using your garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are a big, big no when it comes to septic tank systems. Dumping things like fruit, extra pasta, stray chicken bones, leftover grease, and uneaten vegetables down the garbage disposal might be incredibly convenient, but it is also incredibly damaging to your septic tank system. Remember, any solid waste that is dumped into your septic tank is broken down anaerobically by bacteria. Dumping in too much solid waste can disrupt this process. And dumping items like oil and grease can seriously jeopardize the performance and longevity of your septic tank system, as once they start to cool, they also solidify, potentially clogging your septic lines.
- You’re using chemical tank additives. Lots of septic tank products make claims that they can break up sludge and unclog drain fields, but the reality is that most of these products do a lot more harm than good. Even some biologically based septic additives that might seem harmless can actually do serious damage to the good bacteria that are responsible for breaking down waste. You’re best off avoiding them. In order to minimize the amount of chemicals that are being pumped into the tank, it also a wise idea to opt for all-natural cleaning products as opposed to harsh chemical cleaners when you are cleaning toilets, washing sinks, and scrubbing tubs. Try things like baking soda, vinegar, and tea tree oil.
- You’re not pumping your septic tank on a regular basis. The easiest way to keep your septic tank performing optimally? Make sure to get it pumped on a regular basis. Scheduling a simple tank pump every two to three years (how often you need to schedule one will depend on the specifics of your system and how heavily it is used) can significantly prolong the lifespan of your tank, as well as prevent any problems, like clogging.