Lots of houses use septic tanks instead of city sewer services, but when a septic system goes wrong, it goes really, REALLY wrong. Here, septic expert company Mr. Rooter offers the top 5 ways to keep your septic system in tip-top shape.
Tip #1 Standard recommendation is to have the septic tank pumped (cleaned) out every 3-5 years. Some townships, boroughs or mobile home parks will have strict ordinance code regarding frequency.
Tip #2 Only household waste and toilet tissue should be disposed of in a septic tank system. Keep all kitchen greases out of the system. Female personal hygiene items, cotton swabs, cigarette buds, hair from hair brushes, paper towels, toys or dead mice from traps should never be flushed down the toilet. Even a cotton swab can lodge sideways in a pipe and toilet paper will accumulate blocking the pipe going to the septic system.
Tip #3 Any leaks that develop in the plumbing fixtures should be immediately corrected. A leaking faucet or toilet tank, no matter how small the leak, will eventually result in complete saturation and failure of the absorption field.
Tip #4 A septic tank needs periodic cleaning or pumping out of the accumulated solids. If the solids are allowed to build up in the tank to a point that they begin to pass out of the tank into the soil absorption network, the soil will soon become clogged with the solids, resulting in failure of the system. If this happens, costly repairs will have to be made before the system will again function properly.
Tip #5 Automobiles and other heavy vehicles should not be allowed over the septic tank system. This causes excessive compaction and actual structural damage to septic tanks and tile absorption field. A sketch of your septic tank system can usually be obtained from your county health department to aid you in knowing the location of all parts of the system. This can be helpful in case of problems with the system or when the tank is cleaned.
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