Septic System Maintenance on a Budget – Cost-Effective Tips for Homeowners

Only water should enter the septic system, besides human poop and pee, toilet paper, and soap used for washing. Anything else should be thrown in the trash. This includes cleaning wipes, cotton swabs, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, and paper towels.

Clogged drains, toilets, and septic system issues can cost homeowners thousands of dollars to repair. Here are some tips to help you avoid costly problems like these.

Conserve Water

A septic system is designed to handle wastewater, but it’s important to remember that every drop of water that goes into a tank must also exit the drain field. If too much water is pushed into the septic system at once, it can overflow or clog the drain field.

In addition to regularly emptying a septic tank, homeowners can practice water conservation by repairing leaky faucets and toilets, using dishwashers and washing machines sparingly and only when full, and using low-cost, high-efficiency appliances. Water conservation will help to limit the amount of wastewater that enters the septic system and reduce the need for pumping.

Using a bacteria additive in the septic system is also a good idea. This inexpensive insurance policy kills off unnatural substances and solids and allows septic systems to function properly. It helps keep the septic system clean and odor free and extends the septic tank’s life and leach field.

Keep Things Off and Away from Your Drainfield

When you use a septic system, everything that goes down your drains or toilets is sent to the tank. It is essential to keep this area as clear and free of obstructions. Foul sewage odors inside or outside the house are often the first sign that your septic system is failing. Please do not ignore these signs and have septic services, as they indicate that the system is overflowing and that the tanks need to be pumped much sooner.

It is best to avoid flushing any items besides toilet paper, such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, cotton balls, cigarette butts, and even “flushable” wipes. You should also avoid pouring chemical drain openers, oil, grease, and toxic liquids down any drains. It is advisable to refrain from planting trees or shrubs in the drain field region. Grass and other ground cover with deep roots are the best options instead.

Avoid Using Chemical Drain Openers

Regarding septic systems, chemical drain openers can harm the bacteria and enzymes that naturally break down organic waste. These chemicals can also damage the septic tank and drain field.

For these reasons, it is best to avoid using chemical drain openers. Instead, try a natural, septic-safe method like a plunger or plumber’s snake.

A congested drainage system could also indicate that the septic system is overburdened. Consider inspecting your septic tank to see if it is time for pumping and have regular septic maintenance.

In addition to avoiding chemical drain openers, homeowners should also conserve water. It can save money on your utility bill and help the environment by reducing the amount of wastewater released. Additionally, it is essential to keep heavy vehicles and structures away from your septic tank and drain field area. The weight of these vehicles can compact the soil and interfere with the septic system’s ability to treat wastewater.

Avoid Introducing Unnecessary Items into Your Septic System

Many homeowners rely on a septic system to treat and dispose of sewage. Septic systems are functioning ecosystems filled with microorganisms that work to break down waste. Certain things a homeowner may send down the drain can upset this biological process.

It is best to avoid flushing cat litter, coffee grounds, watermelon rinds, egg shells, paper towels (even the ‘flushable’ kind), tampons, diapers, grease, dental floss, cooking oil, and chemicals down the toilet. These materials can damage the tank and clog pipes in the home.

Using water efficiently can help save money and reduce the amount of wastewater entering the septic system. Installing high-efficiency toilets, washing machines, and other water-saving fixtures can help. Shower aerators and faucet flow restrictors can also help decrease the volume of water used in the home. This helps reduce the sludge, liquid waste, and scum layer entering the tank and clogging pipes.