Having a septic tank is an investment. In order for it to function correctly, you have to take good care of the entire system from beginning to end. The best way to prevent any sort of problem is to follow these tips for maintaining your septic tank.
Don't Use Your Toilet as a Garbage Can
You may be tempted to throw all of your personal supplies directly into your toilet and flush them away. However, items like paper towels, condoms, cotton swabs, diapers, tissues, or plastic can easily clog up your pipes and lead to a full system back up. Also, try to avoid throwing used cleaning products down the toilet. This can hurt or kill the microbes that break down your waste, which is not a good idea. Never flush extra drain cleaner, bleach, paint thinner, motor oil, or other toxic cleaning supplies.
Place Your Tank in a Safe Location
If you have the chance to choose where your tank is installed, always choose a location that is far enough away from your home so children or pets don't bump into it and damage it. Additionally, avoid planting a garden around it, as long and thick roots can actually damage the tank. Never build a shed over the system or use heavy machinery nearby, as these both can end in disaster if things go wrong.
Keep Water Usage to a Minimum
You might think your septic tank has an unlimited capacity, but it actually doesn't. If you pump too much water into the tank, it can stir up solid waste and release it into the drain field, causing a failure of the system. One way to avoid this happening is to install eco-friendly, low-flow faucets, shower heads, and toilets. Additionally, make smart choices about your water usage, such as spreading out laundry cycles or emptying any hot tub or whirlpool in batches rather than all at once.
Generally, you are supposed to get your entire tank pumped out once every two to three years. This is a process that needs to be done by a professional, as they can analyze the contents of the tank to make sure that waste is being broken down successfully. Additionally, emptying the tank allows you to check for and fix problems.