Septic System Maintenance Tips

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If you want to reduce how often you need septic tank pumping and decrease the chances that you will need septic tank repair or replacement, follow these septic system maintenance tips!

1. Avoid Excessive Water Use

You can damage your septic system by doing large numbers of laundry loads in a short period of time or doing anything else that uses an excessive amount of water. In standard septic systems, solid material settles in the tank while effluent flows out into the ground. If you put more water into the septic system than it is built to handle, the volume of water will flood your system and can also stir up and flush solids out of the tank into the drain field. In fact, septic pumps use water from their hoses to break up solids in your septic tank before pumping it out. A typical washing machine can use up to 60 gallons of water per wash load. On a heavy day you can easily put 400 to 600 gallons of water through the system in a few hours. The solution is to spread out your water use. Do one or two loads of laundry a day rather than 10 to 12 loads on Saturday morning.


2. Prevent Solids from Leaving the Tank

Having septic tank pumping performed on a regular basis prevents excessive accumulation of solids in the tank. Under normal conditions, you should have your tank inspected and pumped every 1 to 3 years. Your septic contractor installed an effluent filter in the exit baffle of the tank, which stops the larger solids from getting out to your drain field. Under normal conditions, these filters are cleaned out every few years, when you have you tank pumped. Effluent filters are cheap insurance – one of the best things you can do to protect your septic system.


3. Reduce the use of Household Cleaning Products

Excessive use of household cleaning products can contribute to septic system failure. If you do more than 5 loads of laundry a week containing bleach, for example, problems could arise. Avoid powder detergents, as well, as they contain plastic fillers that could plug your lines and drain field. Also be careful with harsh automatic toilet bowl cleaners, which have put quite a few septic systems out of commission.

Did you Know?

More than 12,000 people die in the U.S. each year from contaminated water. Failing septic systems are a leading source of waterborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. today. In a 2000 EPA report, 31 states listed septic systems as their second greatest potential source of ground water contamination. While septic system replacement is the solution, it is also very expensive, often costing $5,000 to $20,000 (and up). Fortunately, there are some highly effective septic system maintenance tips you can follow to eliminate this problem. When a septic system fails, it’s usually not the tank that fails—it’s the drain field soil. In most cases, the soil fails when it gets plugged up with solid forms that will not allow liquid to pass through it. Before discussing solutions, let Southeastern Septic LLC. look at your septic system and drain field to determine what caused it to fail.


After Installation Instructions: 


   Divert surface runoff water from roofs, patios, driveways & other areas away from your drain field.
   Have your septic tank pumped and inspected yearly.
   Spread out your laundry loads.
   Compost your garbage.


   Put non-biodegradable (bones, seeds, paper, grease, etc.) through the garbage disposal. Misuse can double the amount of solids added to the tank
   Flush sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, or other non-biodegradable products into your septic system.
   Dump solvents, oils, paint thinners, disinfectants, pesticides or poisons down the drain, as they can disrupt the waste treatment process.
   Dig in your drain field or compact soil in any way.
   Drive or build anything on top of your drain field.
   Plant trees or shrubbery close to the septic system, as the roots tend to get in the lines and plug them (grass is the ONLY thing that should be planted on or near the drain field).

If your system should fail…

In quite a few cases, a tune-up can fix your septic system, and you can avoid the high costs of replacing the system. Tune-ups include properly pumping the tank and cleaning the drain field lines & effluent filter.

For more septic tank maintenance tips, call us at Southeastern Septic LLC in Lakeland, Florida.

Southeastern Septic offers septic system maintenance services in Lakeland, Winter Haven, ZephyrhillsPolk County, Plant CityBartow, Mulberry and Auburndale.

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