Septic Tank Care

Your septic tank is not one big bottomless pit of sludge and goo. It will eventually fill up, and you'll have to do some maintenance to keep your system fit and running smoothly. However, you do not have to wait for your tank to fill up in order to take some preventive action. With a little bit of septic tank care you can increase the filling time of your tank and lessen the frequency of pumping solids out.

Septic tank care involves making sure that you are not unnecessarily causing your tank to fill up faster than expected. You can do this by not dumping oil, grease, or fat into your system, cutting down on your use of fabric softeners, chemical additives like organic solvents, paints, and other substances that cannot be easily decomposed by the resident tank bacteria and eventually damage the system.

Other important steps include cutting down on garbage disposal use, and conserving water as much as possible. The garbage disposal will usually drain large food particles that are harder to decompose and likely cause an overload in the septic tank system if the uncontrolled use of the garbage disposal goes on long enough. Establish clear rules in the family regarding water and waste disposal habits and make sure that rules are obeyed. If possible, instruct your kids on the reasons why these steps are needed to be done.Remove any roots of trees that may puncture the tank and result to a collapse in the system. If you are putting a tank in, make sure that it will not be near any trees or constructed under where you are planning to build your garage. The weight of your car may cause enough pressure to damage the system.

These are only a few basic septic tank care tips to follow to keep your system running smoothly for years to come.


The 10 Septic Commandments

THOU SHALL NOT pour grease, fats or oils down the drain.

THOU SHALL NOT attach a garbage disposal to your sink for ridding yourself of meat bones, coffee grounds or other foods that are difficult to biodegrade. 

THOU SHALL NOT dispose of paints of household chemicals in the drain (yea, verily, THOU SHALL use disinfectants in small amounts). 

THOU SHALL NOT dispose of any automobile fluids down any drain, be it gas, oil transmission or brake fluid, grease or antifreeze. 

THOU SHALL NOT kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic system by rinsing pesticides, herbicides or any other toxin down the drain

THOU SHALL NOT dispose of any non-biodegradable item in your toilet, be it cigarette butts, disposable diapers or feminine hygiene products.

THOU SHALL NOT let water run while washing dishes and thawing frozen foods and shall consider limiting flushes. 

THOU SHALL NOT run half loads in the dishwasher or the washing machine and shall stagger wash loads (none on the Sabbath then six on Monday is not good). 

THOU SHALL NOT attach any "clean water" sources such as footing pumps or sump pumps to the septic system. 

THOU SHALL have your septic tank pumped out every one to three years.