When you move into a house with a septic system, you will quickly realize that it is quite different from a home with a sewer system. There are many differences to be cognizant of when you have a septic system and there are many things that you cannot do when you have a septic system.
This post lists three of the things you should never do when you have a septic tank system. Use this guide to make sure that you are doing what is best for your system, and your home in general, going forward.
1. Never Put Scraps Down the Garbage Disposal
While it is normal for a little food waste to go down your sink when you are scrubbing off dishes, one of the things that you want to avoid when you have a septic tank system is allowing a large number of food scraps to go down your drains and garbage disposal.
In many kitchens across America, people dump their food waste, kitchen leftovers, and scraps from food prep down the drain and don't give it a second thought. However, they likely have municipal sewer systems that can wash all that food away from their home instantaneously.
With a septic system, all of that food waste will take up space in your septic tank. While that may not seem like a big deal, it can quickly add up over time if you flush scraps down your drain several times a week. This can fill up your septic tank faster and may lead to overflow in between scheduled pumping and cleaning.
2. Never Flush Flushable Extras
Along the same lines of the food scraps, just because something can be flushed, doesn't mean that it should be flushed. Take the example of flushable cat litter. Cat litter is a dense and heavy substance that takes on moisture and holds it in. Imagine layer upon layer of cat litter in your septic tank system, taking up space.
That cat litter will quickly fill up your tank, assuming you regularly clean and change your cat's litter box. Cat litter is not only going to take up all of that space but also it’s difficult to remove from the septic tank because of the way that it will settle and clump together.
Other so-called flushable items like baby wipes, diapers, and personal hygiene products really shouldn’t be flushed in general, but especially not if you have a septic tank system. The more solids in your septic tank, the more items that cannot be properly processed through the system and the more often you will need to pump and clean your tank out.
3. Never Skip Scheduled Maintenance
Septic tank systems generally run well if you avoid making major mistakes with them. They do not need a great deal of maintenance. However, they do require regular maintenance, meaning you should have a maintenance schedule.
For example, you should pump your septic tank every two to three years. Also, having your system checked and any needed additives put in every year is a good idea with septic systems. Skipping any of these forms of maintenance could mean problems for your home.
A septic tank without the right chemical balance could release water that is unclean in your drain field, and a tank that was not been pumped soon enough could cause raw sewage to back up into your home or your drain field. Avoiding these scenarios only requires you to keep up with your scheduled maintenance. Don't forget to get your septic system checked annually. When you know the things you should avoid doing to your septic tank system, you can be sure you do what is best for your home going forward.