Keeping A Healthy Septic System
• The key to keeping a healthy septic system is to maintain it properly. You may also want to use a biological maintainer like Bioforce, to keep your drain lines and septic system and running smoothly. You should be able to get many years from your existing septic system.
• Your septic system contains three main components, a sewage inflow pipe from your home, a septic tank, and a drainfield. Wastewater flows into the airtight tank. Grease (scum) floats to the top and solids (sludge) accumulates at the bottom. Natural bacteria help break down these substances and the waste liquid flows into the drainfield. Waste is further broken down by bacteria and filtered through the soil.
• In order to maintain this system in proper working order, regular inspections and tank pumping must be done periodically. Usually every 3 to 5 years, or more if you have extra people in your household or if you use a garbage disposal often. Tank pumping removes excess scum and sludge from the tank. If it is not done regularly, waste has nowhere to go but back into your home.
• If you lift the lid to your tank and it looks full don’t panic just yet! Under normal conditions, the water level in the tank should be approx. 10-12” down from the top of the tank. If your tank has not been pumped for quite some time, the scum layer can be quite thick. If the water level or scum layer is up into the riser itself, the best place to start is by pumping the tank. This means that your outlet line is possibly plugged or that the drainfield isn’t taking water as it should. Either way, the tank needs pumped to determine the next course of action.
Never flush these down the toilet
It doesn’t matter if you have a septic system or you’re on a city sewer system, the following items should never be flushed down the toilet:
Wipes of any kind – Cleaning wipes, baby wipes or paper towels… Even if they say “Flush able” they are not flush-able. Trust us on this!!
Sanitary napkins, diapers, tampons, cotton balls or cotton swabs – These items are absorbent… Super absorbent and they will continue to absorb and grow. They do not break down easily and get caught in the bends of pipes and cause terrible backups.
Fats, Oils and Grease – I know it’s a liquid when you pour it down the drain, but as soon as it hits the cool water it congeals and hardens. This creates a pipe clogging waxy mess. Ever hear the phrase “Oil and water don’t mix”? Drain your cooking fats into a separate container and toss it in the garbage.
Rubber Gloves, Band-Aids or Prophylactics – Flushing these items may seem the most sanitary way to dispose of these when they are soiled. Please don’t do it. They need to go in your trash can. These items easily get caught in pipes.
Cigarette Butts and Prescription Medication – These items, when flushed, contaminate ground water supply, destroy good bacteria, release toxins and can adversely affect wildlife.
Dental Floss – It seems innocent enough, right? Wrong. It’s plastic which means it’s not biodegradable. Once it has been flushed it wraps its self around other objects, which can create a very large clog in no time at all.
Kitty Litter – Even scoopable kitty litter. Kitty litter is made up of clay and sand. When the clay and sand gets wet, it hardens into a ball which makes it easy for you to clean up after your pet. When you flush that sand and clay down your toilet, it remains hard. Would you flush rocks down your toilet?