Septic system pumping may be an unavoidable part of owning a home with its own septic tank, as many do here in Apple Valley, CA, but under good conditions a pumping should only need to be done every 3-5 years. It’s a bit of a chore, but generally not much of an inconvenience.
However, there are certain things people can do to their septic systems which can require maintenance more often than should be necessary. While septic systems are generally self-regulating, they aren’t impervious. Proper treatment can lengthen the time between septic system pumping visits, as well as lengthening the lifespan of your septic tank overall.
Basically, if you’re doing any of the following things, you may be causing unnecessary problems.
Five Things to Avoid Doing to Your Septic System
1. Don’t use septic tank additives.
We honestly don’t understand why these “additives” are even allowed on the market. Most of them do nothing, and the rest can actually be harmful to your tank. In the very rare situations a septic tank needs additives to maintain its balance, that should only be determined by a fully qualified septic specialist.
2. Don’t put anything large above the tank.
The ground above a septic tank is likely to be softer than other areas of your lawn. It’s fine to walk on, but should never be used for parking cars or any other heavy objects. Even if the chances of major incident are low, it’s not a chance that’s ever worth taking.
3. Don’t dispose of household chemicals by sending them down drains.
Always keep in mind that most all drains in your house are connected to your septic tank, not just the toilets. Harsh chemicals such as lye and bleach should never be sent down the drains, because they can easily kill the bacteria which are necessary for proper septic system functioning.
4. Don’t plant anything near the drain field aside from grass.
This is a mistake we see people make too often. The roots from larger plants, such as trees and bushes, can easily make their way into the septic system’s drain field and disrupt its operation. In worst cases, the roots might even damage the pipes and runoff conduits.
5. Don’t ever attempt to service your septic tank by yourself.
Septic tanks create noxious gasses and chemicals. Even looking into the tank can be dangerous without proper safety equipment. Always leave any work within the septic tank to professionals with the tools and qualifications necessary to do the work safely.
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