Posted on: 14 February 2017
There's something wonderfully self-contained about living in a home that has its own septic system, isn't there? You might not think about it often, but it's one more way in which you're not reliant on outside systems to keep your conveniences running: so long as the tank is in operation, your household plumbing will work, and the person in charge of keeping that tank running is nobody other than you yourself. You're also re-using the water in an environmentally friendly way by releasing it into the soil of your garden; what's not to like?
The problem arises when a septic tank is improperly maintained and begins to fail. You can keep this from happening quite easily, however--all you need to do is follow a few simple maintenance tips, and you'll be right as rain for years to come.
EVERY DAY: Develop eco-friendly water usage habits.
This might sound obvious, but it's worth bearing in mind: the less water you use, the less work your septic tank has to do! This is also a great way to practice good conservation habits and help out the environment at the same time. Small things add up: consider not flushing the toilet every single time it's used unless there's a good reason to, always turn the tap off while you're brushing your teeth, save cooking liquid for the garden or to cook in again another day and pay attention to how efficiently your washing machine, dishwasher and shower use the water they need. (You can check this before you buy by reading the literature included with the device and looking into the model's green rating.)
MONTHLY: Add an enzyme to your tank to help solids break down.
Many septic tank owners find that adding natural enzymes to their tank on a daily basis can help that tank to break down the solids and generally keep itself in better working order. You can purchase these enzymes in large containers online, or in most rural DIY and hardware stores. Make sure you're following the instructions on the packet, however--improper usage of bacteria like this could potentially cause a problem all by itself!
EVERY THREE YEARS: Have your septic tank professionally pumped.
The first two tips on this list, while valuable, are small fry compared to the benefits of having your tank pumped on a regular schedule. Many septic tank owners only have their tanks pumped when a problem develops and the tank begins leaking solids into the drainage area--but is harmful to your tank and more expensive for you! By scheduling regular pumping appointments, you'll ensure that this vital piece of maintenance is carried out regularly and efficiently, and you'll never again need a costly emergency pumping service.Share