3 Important Tips For New Septic Tank Owners

If you've only lived in a house attached to a municipal sewer line, there are a few things you'll need to learn when using a septic tank for the first time. Septic tank maintenance and care are crucial to get the longest possible life out of your new system. Here are three important tips for new septic tank owners.

1. Use Your Drains Carefully

Nothing has a bigger impact on the health of your septic tank than what you put down your drains. Septic tanks are less capable than sewer systems at processing foreign objects and certain substances or chemicals. Flushable toilet wipes are the only paper products that should ever enter your septic tank.

Your kitchen sink can contribute to septic tank damage if excess amounts of oil and grease make their way down the drain. These insoluble fats will form a hardened layer inside a septic tank, reducing its overall capacity and increasing how often it needs to be pumped. Chemical drain cleaners are also problematic because they can cause your septic tank to corrode or kill the necessary anaerobic bacteria inside the tank.

2. Try to Moderate Your Water Usage

The more water that enters your septic tank, the quicker it will fill up with solid and effluent waste. Using strategies to reduce water usage in your home translates to longer septic tank life, as well as savings on your water bill. Switching to low-flow faucets and fixtures goes a long way toward preventing septic tank overflows.

If excess water usage is becoming a problem, you may start to notice sewage backup in your drains. This is especially likely if backups happen during dry periods when the water table is low. Try to take shorter showers and run laundry and dishes in full loads instead of multiple small cycles.

3. Don't Neglect Inspections and Pumping

Septic tank inspections let you know the age and condition of your septic tank, its current fill level, and if there are any preliminary signs of damage such as a broken vent. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends professional septic tank inspections every 1 to 3 years. For average-sized homes, septic tank pumping is typically needed every 3 to 5 years. Sticking to a schedule of inspection and pumping prevents catastrophic breakdowns that could necessitate tank replacement.

Adapting to a home with a septic tank isn't difficult if you understand the needs of your septic system. Talk to a local septic pro to get ahead with professional septic tank services. For more information on septic tank services, contact a professional near you.