Maintaining Your Septic Tank: Tips for Proper Garbage Disposal

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septic tanks

It’s a famous scene from the movie Meet The Parents: the septic tank breaks down and causes flooding in the backyard right before a wedding rehearsal. Not nice! A septic tank is an underground wastewater system commonly found in rural areas. It works by allowing the solid and liquid waste to separate, and the liquid waste is discharged into a drain field, where it is further treated and absorbed by the soil. However, if a septic tank is not maintained properly, it will likely lead to costly repairs or even complete system failure. 

So, if you have a septic tank, here are 5 tips for maintaining one relating to garbage disposal.

Be Mindful of The Disposal

Septic systems are designed to manage human waste and biodegradable materials, but they are not designed to handle large quantities of food scraps, grease, and other household waste like bones and entire vegetables that have gone off.

To keep your septic system working correctly, it is essential to avoid flushing or disposing of non-biodegradable materials, such as diapers, feminine hygiene products, or cigarette butts, down the toilet, along with large bits of food, which can cause blockages. Additionally, avoid pouring cooking oil or grease down your kitchen drain; this can clog your pipes and lead to system failure.

If your septic tank system has failed, you will likely need to have it replaced, so opt for a newer model, such as an InSinkErator system.

Regularly Pump The Septic Tank

The frequency that you pump your septic tank will vary on the size of your household and the volume of wastewater generated. You should aim to have your septic tank pumped every 3- 5 years but try to ensure that this is performed by a professional team. Regular pumping will prevent the accumulation of solids in the tank, which can lead to clogs and system failure.

Conserve Water

The more water that flows into your septic system, the more strain it puts on the system. To reduce the pressure that you put on your septic tank, try to conserve water by fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and running full loads of laundry and dishes. Additionally, consider installing low-flow showerheads and toilets to reduce your water usage, as this will help to minimize the water that ends up in the tank, causing it to shut off.

Maintain Your Drain Field

The drain field is a core part of your septic system, as it allows the liquid waste to be absorbed by the soil. To keep your drain field functioning properly, avoid parking or driving heavy vehicles on it, as this can compress the soil and restrict the flow of liquid. Additionally, avoid planting trees or shrubs near the drain field, as the roots can crack and deform the pipes.

Regularly Inspect Your Septic System

Regular inspections of your septic tank will help to identify potential problems before they become major issues. A professional septic system inspector can check for leaks, cracks, or other signs of damage, as well as assess the condition of the drain field. Additionally, if you notice any signs of septic system problems, such as slow drains or foul odors, it is important to address them promptly to prevent more serious issues from developing.

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