It is not uncommon for homeowners to neglect the septic system. Dealing with thi aspect of a propertty is not exactly at the top of the list of favorite activities, but neglect can lead to
expensive repairs or replacement much earlier than required. The EPA has introduced SetpicSmart, an
educational program for homeowners providing advice on ways to manage and maintain their septic systems. Here are a few helful guidelines to keep in mind.
How Can I Take Care of My Septic and Get the Longest Life out of it?
- If you inherited the septic tank after a home sale, have a pumping company come out to pump and inspect it. They will be able to tell you the size of the tank, materials it is made of and its
condition. Materials make a big difference. A well maintained and planned concrete tank and leach field can last in excess of 30 years. A steel tank can last up to 20 years, but that life expectancy
goes down drastically if the system is neglected, if the surrounding soil is acidic or if groundwater isn't draining properly.
- Once your system's location is identified, we recommend you draw a plan that shows exactly where your system is located on your proerty, marking the cover for easy access in the future.
- Have an older system? Talk to our certified onsite septic installer about improvements you can make to ensure your system's integrity and longevity.
- Time to replace the tank? We can discuss the advantages of various tank desings and installation and help you decide what is best for your needs and budgets.
- During warmer months, notice how water drains from your property. Are puddles forming near your septic system, or can higher grounds drain down toward it? We can assess the terrain and take
simple steps such as diverting rainwater runoff near the tank, or excavating channels if rainwater is puddling on your lawn. The warmer months are also a good time to assess the overall condition of
your tank and system.
- Trees must be at least 10 feet away from a septic tank, otherwise the roots can cause damage. Some trees, such as willows, have particularly invasive roots. These need to be at an even greater
distance from your system. Ornamental trees you may plant nearby when they are sapplings may seem harmless, but eventually will grow larger than expected. You may want to consider tree removal for
the safety of your septic system.
- Proper maintenance is the most significant factor in premature septic failure. Proper maintenance begins in your house, with being mindful what you put into your system. They are not designed to
handle paint, chemicals or cooking grease.
- Reduce water consumption. All wastewater from your home goes through your septic system. Reducing water use will lessen the load on your tank.
- Identify and repair leaky faucets or toilets. How to tell if your toilet is leaking? Put a few drops of food coloring in the reservoir before bed. If the color is in the bowl in the morning you
have a leak. Replace older toilets with low=flow models and use shower aerators to further reduce water use.
- Do not assume that septic repairs must wait until summer. In some cases, we can actually perform repairs in winter that would take much longer to complete during spring's mud season.
When was the last time you thought about your septic system? Contact us fort all your septic system needs and questions.