Troubleshooting Your Septic System

3 Septic Tips For New Septic Tank Owners

Have you recently moved to a home with a septic tank instead of a city sewer hookup? Are you confused about how to handle a septic system because you've never had one before? For the most part, septic systems are not all that different from city sewer hookups. However, a septic system can sometimes be slightly different or more sensitive than you might be used to. Some things that you need to know about your new home's septic system are:

Pumping schedule: How often you need to have your septic tank pumped out is something that will depend upon a variety of factors. A larger tank can obviously contain more waste, and there can be a longer interval before the tank needs to be pumped out. But things that you might not consider, like household size and whether you work from home or need to leave the house to go to work, can also have an impact on how long it takes for the septic tank to fill up. In most instances, it should be somewhere around 3-5 years between calls to your local septic services company to have them pump out your tank. 

Flushing waste: Some things should never be flushed down the drain, no matter whether you have a septic or city sewer system. For instance, too much cooking fat or oil can solidify on the inside of your pipes, resulting in annoying and expensive clogs. But oil can also have more serious repercussions when it comes to a septic tank. Too much oil can create a layer that floats on top of the sewage, blocking off the air and preventing the breakdown of waste. This will cause your septic tank to fill up more quickly, resulting in more frequent calls to your local septic services company. 

Laundry schedule: When hooked up to a city sewer system, you can do laundry whenever you feel like and not have to worry about there being any consequences. This is not necessarily the case with a septic tank. A septic tank requires a variety of bacteria in the tank, to break down the waste further. An influx of substantial amounts of water, such as doing all of your laundry at once, can flush a large amount of this bacteria out of the tank, with the relatively sterile water from your washing machine. Especially in cold weather, the bacteria levels may not have time to recover before you do your laundry again. As a result, your septic tank may fill up more quickly than usual or clog with the unprocessed waste. Instead of doing all of your laundry at once, try to spread your washes out over the course of the week. This will result in a more even level of bacteria in the tank and a more efficient breakdown of the sewage waste.