The Importance of Septic Tank Maintenance

technician cleaning out pipe

If you live in a home with a septic tank, you never want to experience anything like the overflow scene from the movie “Meet the Parents.” That memorable mess serves as a vivid and stark reminder of the importance of septic tank maintenance. Regular maintenance is vital to maintaining the health of your septic system and your family.

Below are some examples of how septic tank maintenance can help lower the cost of your system, improve its efficiency, and help you avoid a septic tank disaster. Routine maintenance also reduces odors and prevents toxic contamination of your property and home, so you don’t have to worry about hazardous conditions or expensive cleanups.

Lower Costs, More Efficient

Just like other home systems that get a high amount of daily usage, your septic system needs regular care to operate efficiently. When it comes to your septic system, a proactive rather than a reactive approach to maintenance is always the best plan. A proactive approach to maintenance will help identify issues before they develop into bigger, more expensive problems. It can also ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently throughout the year.

A system that’s operating efficiently requires less overall maintenance and fewer, if any, repairs. This helps you avoid the added expense and headache of unexpected problems that could potentially shut down your entire system for days, or even weeks. If you start a proactive and routine maintenance program now, it will lower the daily operating cost and repair expenses of your system—saving you more money in the long-term.

Reduced Odor

A well-maintained septic system should pass the “smell test” easily. When your septic system is functioning properly, any odor from the system should be minimal and go unnoticed. Of course, some factors like the time of year, the temperature, and the amount of rainfall may occasionally result in a more noticeable odor. But for the most part, your system shouldn’t produce a foul odor for any extended length of time. If a strong odor doesn’t go away, it’s usually a sign something is wrong, like a clogged or broken pipe. If you do notice a persistent smell, address the issue sooner rather than later. Call a local plumbing professional like Mr. Rooter to check your system and ensure it’s working properly.

Related Topic: It’s Time to Have Your Septic Tank Pumped

Avoid a Toxic Hazard

A septic system that’s well maintained, including periodic inspections, minimizes the risk of overflow, ground contamination, and a system backup or failure. However, a system that isn’t well maintained runs the risk of one or all of these issues occurring. And as anyone who’s experienced a malfunctioning septic tank will tell you, it’s not a pretty sight (or smell). In addition, these issues can create hazardous conditions for family members, pets, and anyone else who lives on or near the property.

A septic tank that’s overloaded and/or clogged can release untreated wastewater onto your property and create a dangerous condition in your yard and the surrounding area. This toxic wastewater can also infiltrate wells and groundwater, posing a severe health risk to anyone who comes in contact with the contaminated water.

Lessen Your Environmental Impact

Poor septic tank maintenance also has the potential to negatively impact the local environment. A septic system that’s not properly maintained can affect the surrounding ecosystem, especially if a river, stream, pond, or lake is nearby. Toxic waste can contaminate the local water supply, causing sickness or even death to fish and wildlife. As a result, maintaining a healthy septic system isn’t just a personal responsibility—it can have an environmental impact that affects your property and beyond.

Increased Property Value

Whether you’re currently selling your house or planning to sell it in the near future, a potential buyer will want to know how your septic system has been maintained. A system that’s working well is an additional property feature which buyers will take into consideration when making an offer. If your system has been properly maintained and is in great working condition, it will add to the value of your property. Conversely, a system that’s in poor condition or in need of repairs, will lower the value of your property.

Staying Informed

As a homeowner with a septic tank, it’s important learn about what you can and can’t put into your system. For example, many items that typically go down your garbage disposal (food scraps, coffee grounds) and even common cleaning materials (antibacterial hand soap, bleach) can cause your septic system to need premature cleaning and maintenance. By staying updated on the latest septic tank care and maintenance requirements, you’ll make sure your system remains a vital, efficient component of your home. Good septic system maintenance improves system efficiency, lowers overall cost, increases property values, and cost a lot less to operate in the long-term.

The professionals at your local Mr. Rooter can help you, by performing a complete inspection of your septic system, making recommendations, and setting up a maintenance schedule that will help keep your system running efficiently for years to come. Call today to schedule an appointment.