Septic Tank Secrets

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Septic systems and their maintenance are very important. We rely on the system for clean, drinkable water and if it is not maintained properly the water will become contaminated and cause water borne illnesses, illnesses that can be very serious. Not only that, improper care of your system will lead to its failure and a large bill to fix it. Some of these systems start at four or five thousand dollars but can cost as much as $40,000. The good news is there are things you can do to keep your system running correctly.

Failure of the septic system usually means failure of the sort in the drain field and not in the tank. How does soil fail? It may not let liquids drain through or get blocked up with solid matter like bio mat or washing machine lint.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your septic system working.

Use a filter on your washer. Not a nylon trap or a screen for lint but an actual inline filter. The filter connects to the washer’s discharge line. It costs about $140 but it will be worth it. Washing machine lint is one of the main reasons septic systems fail. It is amazing but I read that one family produces lint that is big enough to cover a large room. Even if you have a screen filter less than 6% of the lint will go through the drainage field. The lint will be clumped instead of liquid and lay on the drainage field instead of passing right through. Over time more and more lint forms bigger blockages and finally prohibits the soil to do its job.

Your septic system is built to hold a specific number of gallons of water. If you use more, solid waste will settle in the tank and the effluent runs into the ground. More water in your tank will even cause solid matter to go out of the tank and into your soil field. Bottom line, do several loads of wash a day and don’t wait till the end of the week and do 10 or 12 loads at once to overload your system. Overloading can cause hundreds of gallons of water to overload your tank and drain field.

Another maintenance routine should be inspection. If your system has been running well, the tank should be pumped and inspected every 1 to 3 years. Make sure the manhole cover is used to pump your tank. You should also have an effluent filter installed on the exit of the tank to keep large solid clumps from making it to your drain field. Washing machine effluent filters can be two of the best protect ants for maintaining a septic system.

Another great thing to do is add all natural solutions to your tank to keep the amount of good bacteria in your septic tank at an optimal level. This aids in solid digestion and promotes a healthy septic environment.

By: Bradley Skierkowski