Did you know that when well-constructed and properly maintained, the septic system can be reasonably maintenance-free?  Well the operative words are “well-constructed” and “properly maintained” of course.  If you cannot guarantee those two conditions, then you are probably headed for some plumbing disasters in the not so distant future.

How would you know if you are unconsciously killing your own septic system and sabotaging your otherwise healthy home plumbing?  Let’s take a look at some possibilities.

Water can be bad

Everybody uses water to flush down whatever waste matter there is down the drain in the hopes that it will reach the septic system.  Unfortunately, what many do not understand is that too much water can also be bad and in effect you are inadvertently killing your septic system.

The use of too much water will upset the very delicate biological balance that exists inside the septic tank.  This in turn will prevent it from carrying out its designed function of handling wastewater and waste matter.  Are you aware that there is also a possibility that your septic system will back up if you force too much water into it?  This is not a very desirable scenario to entertain.

While we are still in the issue of water, make sure that all the water coming from your land and your roof drains are directed away from the drainfield of the septic system.  This will ensure that the additional water will not hamper the system and prevent it from properly working.

Household chemicals

Whether we accept it or not, almost every product we use in our households contain a certain amount of chemical.  When used excessively, it will have a negative impact on the ability of your septic system to function properly.

It is safe to use normal amounts of detergents, drain cleaners, bleaches, and other types of household chemicals without affecting the bacterial action in the septic tank.  However, if you dispose of water that contains enormous amounts of household chemicals into the drain and down the septic tank, it will kill off the bacteria that takes care of waste disposal.  So make sure you dispose of everything properly and not just force it down the drain.

Household Items

Are you one of those homeowners who has a penchant for just flushing everything down the drain?  You know, the type who just disposes of coffee grounds, cooking oils, and even heavy duty paper towels down the drain or toilet bowl?

If so, then you should know that these household items do not easily dissolve or worse will not decompose when they reach your septic tank.  This means that these household items will simply keep on filling your septic tank until the entire plumbing system (not just the septic system) becomes clogged up.

What is the most frequent household item that gets thrown into the septic tank that should not be there?  According to most plumbing professionals, it is toilet tissue.  For one reason or another, a lot of people have the habit of flushing the toilet tissue down the bowl instead of putting it into the trash bin.  Now, if you find this practice difficult to control, the best solution is to buy high quality tissue.

What is a high quality toilet tissue?  It is one that will easily break up when it gets wet.  To test if the toilet tissue is ideal for your septic system, take a handful and put it in a fruit jar that is half-filled with water.  Shake the jar and if you observe the tissue breaking up then you should no longer have any problems with toilet tissue being flushed down the bowl.

As for grease and other oils, the best solution is to have a separate container specifically for these household items to make sure that they do not build up along the sewer line and cause blockage.  Dispose of these along with your regular garbage.

Keep in mind that it is fairly easy to put the biological balance in your septic system out of sync, so be careful of what you throw down your drains and always have your septic tank pumped every 3 to 5 years by a professional.  This way, you will not be killing your own septic system.

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