Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

Don't Risk Problems: Four Ways To Protect Your Septic System

by Melinda Crawford

If you have a septic system in your yard, you can't afford to ignore it. Once you ignore your septic system, you set yourself up for some serious problems, including drain odors, clogs, and backups. Luckily, caring for your septic system doesn't need to be time-consuming or difficult. Here are four steps you can take right now to protect your septic system.

1. Install Low-Flow Fixtures

If your plumbing receives a lot of daily use, you need to install low-flow fixtures. Each time you flush the toilet or take a shower, that water flows through to the septic tanks. Too much water can inundate the system, which leads to problems. You can reduce the amount of water that flows through to your septic tanks by installing those low-flow fixtures. You might not realize this, but every time you flush a standard toilet, you send up to 7 gallons of water through to the septic system. However, when you flush a low-flow toilet, you only use about 1.28 gallons.

2. Fix Your Leaky Plumbing

If you've got leaky pipes in your house, it's time to get them fixed. Leaky pipes add to the amount of water that gets pushed through to your septic tanks each day. Unfortunately, leaky pipes don't stop pushing water through. Even a small leak can spell disaster for your septic system, especially if your tanks haven't been emptied in a while. While you're having your low-flow fixtures installed, have your plumber repair any leaks you're dealing with.

3. Start a Compost Heap

If you don't have a compost heap in your yard, you need to start one. Not only are you missing out on free fertilizer for your gardens, but you're also putting undue stress on your septic system. Every time you use your garbage disposal, you're increasing your risk of septic problems. That's because your septic system wasn't designed to process food waste. Protect your septic system and keep your gardens fertilized by placing your food waste in a compost heap instead of the garbage disposal.

4. Schedule a Service Call

If you can't remember the last time you had your septic system serviced, it's been too long. Your septic tanks should be emptied about once every three to five years, especially if you have a large family. As part of your septic service, you should also have the filter cleaned or replaced. A dirty septic filter can increase your risk of clogged pipes and waste backups. Schedule a cleaning with a company like Linn Septic Service if it's been a while since your last cleaning.