Knee Deep Septic, serving Chesterfield, Hanover, and the greater Richmond area
How to Care for Your Septic System
All septic systems require ongoing maintenance to ensure that they can safely remove all pathogens and pollutants from the home’s wastewater. While only trained technicians with the right equipment can tackle maintenance tasks like pumping the septic tank, septic tank maintenance starts in the home. Taking an out of sight, out of mind approach will likely eventually cause unnecessary problems that could have easily been avoided with a few minutes of care and forethought. If the system is properly maintained it will not need pumping very often. If it does, it may either be overloaded or have a more serious issue.
Introduce Less Water to the System
Homeowners can start by installing high-efficiency toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, shower heads, and other appliances and fixtures. The less water introduced into the septic system, the less frequently it will need to be pumped and the longer it will last.
Responsible Waste Disposal
Homeowners can also ensure that their septic systems remain in good working order by keeping a careful eye on what goes down their drains. Never flush solid products like dental floss, tampons, diapers, paper towels, and other bathroom or kitchen products down the toilet. These items can clog the plumbing lines, filters, and other components and can cause substantial damage.
It’s equally important to avoid introducing chemicals into the septic system, so be careful during drain cleaning. Never pour household cleaners, gas, oil, pesticides, paint, or antifreeze down the drain. These chemicals can substantially disrupt the biological decomposition process that takes place in the system’s tank and drain field, causing them to work less efficiently.
Residents should also try to control the flow of grease, animal or vegetable oils, and fats, as these float-able liquids can create a layer of scum on top of the water in the tank that will lead to the need for more frequent maintenance. Those who are concerned about septic tank scum can also install grease traps to prevent these liquids from entering the tank.
Maintain the Drain Field
Homeowners can avoid damage to their drain fields by planting only grass near or on top of them. They should avoid driving or parking on top of the drain field or septic tank and should ensure that all roof drains, sump pump drains, and rainwater drainage systems flow away from the drain field to avoid flooding.
Professional Maintenance and Repairs
Some forms of maintenance require the help of a professional. Most septic systems need to be professionally inspected at least once every three years and pumped out every three to five years. During the inspection, service technicians typically look for leaks, check the tank’s scum and sludge layers, and inspect mechanical components. If something comes up during the inspection, homeowners can also trust a septic system company to suggest and perform the right repair.
Depending on how long it’s been since the system was last maintained, technicians may have to perform hydro-jetting to remove blockages from the system’s pipes or sump repair to address issues with the system’s hardware. Other common repairs include line cleaning and thawing, unclogging sewer lines, filter cleaning, and rooter service.
It is very important to keep any trees from growing within 80 feet or so of your system, regardless of what type of system you have. Tree roots can cause the systems to rupture, leak, over fill, or even require replacement if the damage is bad enough.
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