renting portable toilets for events

How To Take Care Of Your Septic Tank So It Doesn't Give You Problems

by Andrea Lawson

As long as your septic tank is the right size for your household, it will probably work fine for a few years at a time before you have to deal with pumping it out. Since it doesn't take regular maintenance from you, you probably don't even think about it and just go about your daily life. However, you need to take good care of your septic system or it could develop problems that give you a lot of grief. While you may not need to get out your DIY tools to service the tank, there are steps needed to proper septic system maintenance. Here are some suggestions:

Buy Toilet Paper That's Safe For Septic Systems

The type of toilet paper your family uses affects your septic system. The best kind to buy is a paper that dissolves quickly in water. The product might say it is safe for septic tanks on the label, but whether it does or not, it is easy to test the paper yourself at home. Just tear off a small piece and put it in a glass of water. The paper should start to dissolve right away. Some toilet paper is made for strength and comfort, which makes the fibers so tough that it takes the paper much longer to dissolve. If too much is put through the toilet in a short amount of time, it could create clogs in the drains or septic system.

Don't Use The Drains For Trash Or Dumping

Remember that everything going down your drains goes into your septic tank and affects the microorganisms in it. Waste is broken down into sludge by the microbes in the tank. When you pour chemicals down the drain from things like drain cleaners or paint, you could alter the balance of microbes needed to process your sewage. Grease is another thing to keep out of your drains. It not only clogs them, but it also affects your septic tank. Grease and fat float on top of the water in the tank. When the layer gets too thick, the tank has to be pumped out or the grease drains out of the tank and affects the drain field.

Things that can be thrown in a trashcan shouldn't be sent down the toilet or drains. For instance, flushing cigarette butts put your septic system in danger when you do it on a regular basis. The septic system design is based on microbes breaking down organic waste. It can't deal with things made from plastic or other artificial materials as quickly. They accumulate in the tank and may even cause clogs. Teach your kids early not to put anything down the drains or toilet but toilet paper.

The biggest maintenance chore for a septic system is regular cleaning and pumping. This is not something you can do yourself, but it is something you have to schedule before the tank gets too full or you may have to clean the sludge out of your bathtub when it backs into your home. Set up a pumping schedule based on the size of the tank and number of people living in your house. The contractor you call for service can give you a good estimate on how soon you should call again to prevent problems with an overflowing septic tank.