septic tank maintenance

Regular septic tank maintenance will save a lot of money in the future. Replacing the average septic tank costs $3,000-$7,000. Septic tank maintenance is relatively simple when you understand the steps.

Inspect the System

Find a certified technician and have them inspect your septic system regularly. The frequency depends on what kind of system you have, but it’s a good idea to complete an inspection at least annually. 

Septic Tank Maintenance Requires Pumping

You need to pump your septic tank once every three to five years. This range is affected by how much water your household uses. Larger families use more water so the septic tank will need to be pumped more frequently.

Pay Attention to Water Usage & Leaks

Don’t use too much water at once because it puts a strain on the septic system. Leaky faucets and running toilets waste a good amount of water. Get those issues fixed as quickly as possible. Other ways to protect the septic tank are:

  • Don’t run the washing machine and dishwasher at the same time.
  • Don’t drain the pool or hot tub water to the septic tank.
  • Wash full loads and don’t wash too many loads on the same day.
  • Keep roof drains and other water drainages away from the septic’s drainfield.
  • Make sure that you can easily access the septic tank lid.

What Not to Do for Septic Tank Maintenance

Don’t flush anything that isn’t toilet paper down your toilets. This even includes items that might come labeled as safe to flush. Throw the following items in the trash instead of flushing them.

  • Cigarette butts
  • Sanitary products
  • Diapers
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grease
  • Oils
  • Medications

Try not to use the garbage disposal unless you really must use it. A disposal can clog the drainfield as build-up occurs from grease and solids. Don’t park any vehicles on the septic tank or drainfield. Keep these items away from the septic tank or drainfield to prevent packed soil and broken pipes:

  • Carports
  • Storage sheds
  • Patios
  • Landscaping plastic

Don’t let household chemicals to go down your drains. They can kill the bacteria that the septic tank needs to break down solids.  This includes:

  • Motor oil
  • Paint products
  • Pesticides
  • Antifreeze
  • Floor or drain cleaners

What is a Drainfield?

We’ve mentioned the drainfield a few times and it’s important to know what this is. The drainfield is a shallow, covered area in the soil. Wastewater gets passed onto it after leaving the septic tank. Some people refer to it as the leachfield. This is the area that causes a sewage backup when too much wastewater enters it.

Proper septic tank maintenance is not something to ignore. Your septic tank can become an expensive mess and a health hazard if it isn’t maintained. 

First Choice Home Inspection provides home inspections including septic tank inspections. Contact us to schedule an appointment in Southern Indiana.