If you live on a rural property, it's likely that instead of a sewer line, you have a septic system that receives the liquid waste from your house. Regular septic system maintenance is simple, and can save you money spent on expensive repairs later. Here are some tips for keeping your septic system well maintained.
- Anything that goes down a toilet or any drain in your house will be in your septic system for a long time, so be careful what you put in the toilet or sink.
- Don't put too much water in the system; it can cause liquid waste in the system to back up into the house. Try to restrict water use to 50 gallons per person per day. You can do this by various water saving methods, such as low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets.
- Don't put anything other than domestic waste water into the system. No chemicals, sanitary napkins or other non-organic material.
- Limit how much you use your garbage disposal.
- Don't pour grease or cooking oils down the sink. They can clog the septic drainfield.
- Draw a diagram showing the locations of your tank and drainfield. Keep it with your other household records in case repairs are needed.
- Install a watertight concrete riser over the septic tank for easier access.
- Have the solids pumped out of the septic tank regularly. This should be done very three or four years, and depends on the number of people in your house.
- Maintain adequate vegetative cover (such as grass) over your drainfield.
- Keep surface water away from the tank and the drainfield.
- Don't park automobiles or heavy equipment on top of any part of the system.
- Never try to open or maintain a septic tank yourself. The gases and bacteria in it are dangerous. Always get a professional to do it.
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