Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

Tips On How To Avoid Common Septic Tank Problems

by Melinda Crawford

For years, many property owners have relied on septic tanks to hold waste material while breaking it down naturally via a bacterial action into solids, water, and gases. Over time, the water and gases are released into the immediate environment while the solid is deposited at the tank's bottom. 

The solid level increases and should be pumped out to boost the effectiveness of the septic tank. However, if you don't seek septic tank services regularly to maintain the tank, some avoidable problems can occur. This post will share some popular septic tank problems and how to avoid them.

Don't Use Too Much Detergent

One of the mistakes people make is using too much soap when doing laundry. Most detergents contain phosphates that act as a fertilizer, so once deposited in your tank, they'll encourage the growth of algae. Over time, the algae will grow and cause blockage on pipes that deposit the treated water to the drainage field. 

You may also face problems like nasty smells, and the water in the tank may start backing up. The best way to avoid such problems is to use gel detergents or dishwashing soaps rather than powder detergents because they don't have phosphates.

Avoid Flushing Chemical Products Down the Drain

Some people like flushing chemical products like pesticides, paint thinners, solvents, fuel, and motor fluids down the drain. They think that these are just liquids, so they won't harm the septic tank. However, introducing these chemical products in your septic tank will do more harm than good. 

The septic system will deposit them into the soil, which will cause pollution and hinder plant growth. Such chemicals also kill off the good bacteria needed to break down the waste in the septic tank, so your tank's efficiency will reduce. The synthetic products people use to unclog drains or clean septic tanks also have similar effects.

Don't Plant Trees Next to the Septic Tank

Another problem property owners deal with is tree root infiltration. Naturally, roots are designed to get the water and nutrients the plant needs to grow. If you plant trees near the septic tank, the roots will be drawn to that area due to the high nutrient and water concentration. 

Eventually, the roots grow around the septic tank and get to the lines and tank. This is accomplished by encroaching on small cracks and leaks, enlarging them over time. So don't grow trees near the septic tank to avoid damaging the septic tank.

Contact a residential septic service to learn more.