Follow these suggestions to save yourself time, money and better protect the environment. Knowing how to keep your septic system healthy will ensure that it is functioning properly and prolong its useful life. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of helpful tips based on over a decade of practical experience servicing septic systems throughout the Twin Tiers region.
Simple ways to keep your septic system working properly
Knowing how to keep your septic system healthy will ensure that it is functioning properly and prolong its useful life. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of helpful tips based on over a decade of practical experience servicing septic systems throughout the Twin Tiers region. We're happy to provide septic tank pumping, point of sale inspections, diagnostics and repairs in Elmira, Corning, Big Flats, Owego, Ithaca, Waverly and the surrounding areas. Follow these suggestions to save yourself time, money and better protect the environment.
1. NEVER for Any Reason, Enter Your Septic Tank
The gases within the tank are toxic and can be fatal. If you have a septic blockage, or need repairs - call a professional.
2. Pump Your Tank Regularly
Clogged drainfields are the leading cause of septic system malfunctions and failures. Regardless of what the advertisers claim, there are NO chemical or biological additives that can substitute for a regular septic tank pumping.
3. Monitor Water Consumption
Your system was designed to handle certain amounts of water based on the number of occupants living at your residence when the system was installed. Make adjustments if your water consumption has increased or your habits require above average water use.
4. Conserve Water
Reducing the water flow into the system produces less agitation within the tank, keeping the solid waste at the bottom of the tank. Keeping the solids in the tank prolongs drainfield life. Keep in mind...
- Showers require less water than baths.
- Front loading washers use 1/3 less water than top loading units.
5. Read Product Labels Carefully.
Make sure they are safe for your septic system. Many will actually be labeled, “Septic System Friendly," but keep in mind, there is no such thing as a “Flushable” wipe!
6. Use the Strainer in Your Kitchen Sink
And if you have a garbage disposal, use it sparingly! Garbage disposals can increase the amount of solids in your septic tank by up to 50%.
7. Know the Exact Location of Your Septic Tank and Drainfield
- Save time and money by knowing your exactly where your tank and drainfield are located, so when your technician arrives to tank your pump, they'll know where to go.
- Keep your drainfield free of trees, shrubs, roots, storm water runoff and standing water. These will damage or interfere with the operation of the drainfield.
- Never drive heavy equipment or vehicles over your drainfield. This can damage the area and cause a system failure.
- Always insist that the tank be pumped through its large central manhole, not the smaller diameter baffle inspection ports. Pumping through the inspection ports will prevent thorough tank cleaning and may damage critical tank components. If deeply buried, a riser extension can be installed on the manhole to make it more accessible for pumping.
- Keep a copy of your new system sewage permit and application in a safe place for possible future reference.
8. Avoid these Harmful Products and Practices:
- Gasoline, oil or other petroleum products
- Cooking grease and oils
- Paint, paint thinner or solvents
- Products with high levels of phosphorous (often found in laundry detergents, cleaning supplies, etc.)
- Large quantities of bleach, concentrated cleaners or anti-bacterial products
- Feminine products, makeup removing wipes or baby wipes
9. Know When to Pump Your Septic Tank
Most residential septic tanks have enough room to hold sludge for up to 2 years. An increase in water usage by appliances, toilets, showers, laundry etc. can increase the frequency you’ll need to have your septic tank pumped. If you run a business from your home like a daycare, beauty shop or dog grooming parlor, you should have your tank pumped more frequently.
10. NEVER Go Longer than 5 Years Without Pumping Your Septic Tank
Regardless of tank size, usage, or number of people in your household, 5 years is the maximum length of time we recommend going between your clean-outs. Septic tanks need to be emptied regularly to restore the balance of good bacteria and remove heavy solids and sludge that builds up over time.
Follow these tips to prolong the life of your home's largest utility - your septic system. And when you're due for septic tank pumping service, give us a call. Our team is standing by and we offer 24/7 service to handle all your septic system needs.