Taking care of my septic system was never at the top of my to-do list. I just thought I could let my septic system fend for itself without any care or maintenance over the years. As a result, I ended up dealing with a big (stinky) mess when my septic system stopped working properly and became completely clogged. If I had been paying attention I would have noticed these common signs of septic system problems and dealt with the issue before it became a big deal:
- Toilets that keep clogging or overflowing
- Strange gurgles coming from the drains
- Water from a draining sink backs up into the bathtub or shower
- The drains in your home start to smell bad
- Toilets start to flush more slowly
If I had paid attention to some of these common signs of septic system problems, I could have called a plumber or septic cleaning company to come take care of my septic system problems before they got worse. If you want to avoid finding yourself in the same situation that I found myself in, make sure that you keep your septic system clean and in good working order. Here are some of the things you can do to keep your septic system working properly.
Have Your Septic System Inspected Regularly
Having your septic system inspected on a regular basis is one of the best ways to make sure that your septic system stays clean and doesn’t get backed up. It is recommended that you have your septic system inspected at least once every 3 years for residential buildings. For industrial buildings it is recommended that the septic system be inspected at least once per year.
Pump Your Septic Tank Regularly
It is recommended that you have your septic system pumped every 3-5 years as needed. Try to set up some type of automated schedule that will remind you when your septic tank needs to be pumped again. You can also check with your local septic cleaning company and ask them how often septic tanks in your area typically need to be pumped.
Don’t Flush Household Items Down Your Toilet
It might seem convenient to simply throw your used floss into your toilet or flush down old cat litter, but you should never flush household items such as these down your toilet. These items can clog your pipes and cause serious septic backups. Remember that your toilets are meant to dispose of human waste and toilet paper only – nothing else.
Keep Heavy Items Off Of Your Septic Tank
Find the area where your septic tank and drain field are located, and make sure you don’t park any heavy vehicles on that area. Heavy weight from vehicles or livestock can damage your septic tank and the pipes that lead into it. Your system may also have problems draining properly if the soil above it is compacted by heavy vehicles or the trampling of livestock.
Don’t Plant Trees Over Your Septic System
The roots from trees or large bushes can interfere with your septic system and damage or block your pipes. If you want to plant greenery over your septic system, make sure it is just grass or other plants with shallow root systems that won’t harm your septic system. Additionally, you should not pour concrete for patios or walkways over your septic system either. Try to keep the area over your septic system as clean and clear as possible.
Don’t Dispose Of Household Chemicals Down Your Drains
Large amounts of household cleaning chemicals such as bleach and other strong cleaners can kill off the helpful bacteria that are responsible for processing human waste. These bacteria are essential for a healthy septic system, so be sure that you are very careful when disposing of your household chemicals.
Deal With Septic Problems Early On
If you notice that your septic system is starting to run sluggishly or you are having problems with water backup, don’t wait until the problem gets worse. Don't take matters into your own hands and try to clean out your pipes yourself. Call the professionals at Lyttle to come out and inspect your septic system for you. It is always easier and less expensive to take care of a small septic problem than it is to take care of a big septic problem.