While many parts of the country predominantly use municipal waste disposal, a fair number of area residents still rely on home septic tanks to process waste and keep the water table clean. Having your own septic tank can be a good thing, and it frees area homeowners from the monthly expense of municipal waste disposal and the high fees of connecting to the system. But if you have your own home septic tank, it is up to you to keep it running its best.
The untimely breakdown of your home septic system could mean thousands of dollars out of your pocket, money you probably cannot afford. As with most things, the best way to avoid a septic tank breakdown is to prevent it, and that means following some practical maintenance tips. As the summer season gets underway, now is the time to think about maintenance for your home septic system. Here are some tips to get you started.
Think Before You Flush
One of the most common causes of septic tank breakdown is the flushing of non-flushable items. These contaminants can wreak havoc with your septic system and cause your tank to break down before its time, so always think before you flush.
There are some things, like sanitary napkins, paper towels and wet wipes, that should never be flushed. Cat litter, even litter that claims to be flushable, should also stay out of your toilet, as should those pre-moistened cloths designed to use with toilet paper.
Watch Where You Mow
The lines that feed your home septic system are underground, but they are not buried very deeply. That means a heavy riding mower and an improperly set mowing blade could damage them, causing a dangerous backup in your septic system and possibly costing you a lot of money.
Make sure you know where the lines of your septic tank are located, and be careful as you mow. It is better to extend your mowing time a few minutes than deal with an expensive septic system breakdown in the middle of summer.
Let Your Nose Be Your Guide
A well maintained and properly functioning septic tank should emit no odors, even in the heat of a summer day. Take a whiff as you pass by your septic system, and let your nose be your guide.
If you do detect an odor coming from your septic system, it is time to call in a professional. The unpleasant aroma could signal a small problem, or a major breakdown in your home septic tank.
No matter what kind of home you own, it is important to maintain your septic system the right way. An unexpected breakdown could cost you thousands of dollars and disrupt your life for weeks on end, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.