No one has to tell you that, as a homeowner, proper care and maintenance of your home and property are of utmost importance. After all, your home is security and safety for you and your family. It is where your family is raised and memories are made. You don't want to leave something that important to chance or risk having major problems that can be costly to repair as well as disruptive and possibly harmful for your family.
Owning a home is a serious responsibility and part of that responsibility is maintaining the functionality of all your home's systems. The plumbing and sewer system is a primary one that must be properly maintained to prevent very costly problems that can occur. Of course, the best way to take care of these problems is to prevent them in the first place. Here are a few tips to help maintain a well-functioning septic system:
Don't use anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners
The additives in these products can kill the bacteria in your septic tank, reducing its ability to break down organic waste. Over time, this will increase the build up of matter in the tank faster than it normally would.
Take short showers instead of baths
Bath and shower water has a very low bacteria count and when large amounts of it are drained into the tank, it displaces the bacteria already there, making it less effective. Showers usually use less water than baths, so the less, the better.
Have your septic tank pumped every two to three years
More than this and you can disrupt the bacterial environment. Less, and the solid layer at the bottom can build up to where there is less capacity for liquids. Both can cause your system to work less efficiently than it should.
Don't use the garbage disposal
This introduces waste matter without the usual bacteria to consume it. It can cause an uneven ratio of waste to bacteria and therefore, cause waste to build up more rapidly and not be broken down as it should.
Be careful what goes down the drain
This applies to flushing as well as the kitchen sink and includes paper products other than toilet paper (paper towels, baby wipes, etc.), feminine products, cigarettes, coffee grounds and kitchen grease. Always dispose of these items in the trash rather than down the drain.
Also important to the functionality of your septic system is having regular inspections. In spite of how careful we try to be, sometimes problems can occur that are unavoidable. Having a professional plumber regularly inspect your sewer system will keep small problems from becoming large ones, which translates to keeping small expenses from becoming large ones. An inspector can also keep you up to date on any tips to maintain your system and to prevent problems in the future. The old saying is true - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Your home is your sanctuary. You can keep it that way by making sure that all parts of it are in proper working order and are functioning as they should. Your septic system may not be something you think about every day, and if you perform regular maintenance, it won't have to be. It is worth the time and effort to take the necessary steps to prevent problems from occurring as well as having professional inspections and maintenance. Keep your home safe and secure and it will do the same for you and your family.