If you actively care for your home's septic tank, then it will serve you well for many years to come. However, if you ignore it for just one day too long, then it will punish you by overflowing some really horribly smelling effluent liquid into your bathtub or all over your yard.
As a homeowner, there are many things you can do to prevent system overflows and the need for emergency septic repair services. Listed below are three of the best:
1. Understand How The System Works
Though septic systems are simple and perform a very important function, it's important you understand how your home's system works. Understanding how the wastewater and solids introduced into the septic tank are processed is key to protecting the drain field from permanent damage.
In case you are unfamiliar, wastewater from your home flows down the drains and into the septic tank. The solids fall to the bottom, where they are processed by bacteria. The bacteria turn the solids into gas and liquid. All grease and non-biological solids in the tank sit around until the tank is pumped out. Liquids in the tank flow out, down the leach lines, and into the leach field, where they are safely released into the soil.
2. Never Flood Your Septic System With Water
As you can see above, the septic tank always has solid materials in it. Since nothing keeps them in the tank other than gravity making them sink to the bottom, too much water flooding into the tank will cause them to be pushed out to the leach field before they are properly broken down. When this happens, the leach field becomes contaminated with solids it isn't designed to process, and the field itself is damaged.
This problem is 100% preventable by never flooding the system with water. The best way to do so is to avoid running too many loads of laundry or taking too many showers all at one time. Do laundry, showers, dish washing, and other water-consuming activities in stages throughout the day to give your septic system a chance to process the water it already contains before adding more.
3. Proactively Pump The Septic Tank To Protect The Leach Field
It's easy to keep putting off professional septic system services and pump outs because your family's household budget is squeezed, and you need to use the funds elsewhere. However, this is one of the absolute worst things you can do. If the septic tank has too much solid material and starts pushing it down to the leach field, then the solids will clog it up in short order.
A clogged leach field requires replacement and will cost many thousands of dollars versus the few hundred dollars you would have paid for a professional inspection and pump-out service. Since it is so much cheaper and simpler to pump on a regular basis, this is the absolute best thing you can do to protect your residential septic system from damage.