How Well Do You Know Your Septic System?

Jan 21, 2020

A septic system is a critical asset for a residential homeowner and a suburban business owner. Even though many individuals, businesses, and housing complexes across the United States have septic systems, not many owners or administrative personnel actually know where the tank is located. The health and longevity of a septic system are often put at risk due to minimal education about how it works and what steps can be taken to reduce potential problems. Consequently, septic systems are often overlooked by individual homeowners and management entities who fail to manage their water responsibly. Don’t let yourself be one of them!

Potential Damage

Since component repairs for a septic system can be costly, care and recurring maintenance check-ins for the septic system are crucial. If problems worsen to the point where component parts cannot be replaced and an entirely new system needs installment, the costs can range from $3,000 to $10,000. In contrast, the cost for routine septic pumps generally falls within the $100 to $300 range. With proper maintenance, upkeep, and periodic maintenance check-ins, a septic system can be operational for anywhere from 25 to 30 years on an owner’s property. If treated properly, you could have a healthy septic system for the entire time you are living or operating on the property.

So, if it can cost you or your business that much money, why not take care of it?

Best Practices for Long Term Septic Health:

#1 Septic tanks should be pumped every 3-5 years to prevent the build-up of scum and sludge.

#2 Think about the fact that all water that exits the building goes through your septic system. The wear and tear exerted on a septic system largely comes from sheer volume – be more efficient with your water use and you’re setting your system up for long-term health!

#3 The point made above in #2 should make you think about how you currently use your drainage systems. It also provides the basis for answering many frequently asked questions about waste systems such as:

-Should I pour grease down my sink drain? NO

-Should I flush any other items down the toilet other than toilet paper? NO

-Can I just pour all food scraps into my garbage disposal? NO

-Does it matter what type of cleaning products and toilet paper I use? YES

Things that SHOULD enter your septic system:

-Tap Water

-Consumable liquids

-Small, soft edible items

-Natural soaps

-Soft tissues

-Bodily waste

Just as paper towels can clog up a toilet, regular brands of tissue paper can be hard on a septic tank when they enter in large quantities. Choose dish soaps and cleaning products with natural ingredients that are friendlier to the environment than chemical-based soaps.

#4 Keep trees away from your septic system that can grow roots around its pipes and tank, potentially leading to backups or damage from punctured component parts.  

You can reduce the strain that you put on your septic system by disposing of garbage items in the trash, being mindful of your water usage, getting routine maintenance, and using septic safe products. This way, you can avoid potential septic overloads and costly repairs or – in the worst case – complete replacements.