Ideally, you will need to have your septic tank pumped every two to five years. Unfortunately, many homeowners will have theirs pumped more often due to lack of maintenance between routine pumpings. If you want to make sure that your septic tank is maintained properly, consider these methods to keep the tank running smoothly and avoid overflow or other issues that lead to damage and repair calls.
Avoid Dumping Grease
One of the leading reasons septic tanks have issues is because of grease. Cooking grease that is dumped into the drain will make its way to the septic tank where it isn't broken down easily. It is hard to dissolve and can cause other waste in the tank to create blocks that clog the drains. Instead of dumping grease in the drain, consider purchasing a small grease crock or heat safe bottle that can hold the grease until it solidifies. You can then dump the solidified grease in your trash.
Avoid Overflowing the Tank with Laundry
If you have a large family with multiple loads of laundry a week, try to space them out rather than doing them back to back. You need to give the septic tank time to process the water from each load before you begin the next. This will prevent overflow, damages to the tank, and damages to the drainage system. You can also upgrade your washing machine to a low water option that cleans your clothes just as well, but with less water.
Use Green Cleaners
If it is possible, try to avoid harsh chemicals and go with green cleaners in your drains. Green cleaners, like vinegar and water, break down easier in the septic tank. They also don't react with other waste and cause issues such as clogs. Your area may also prohibit certain chemicals from entering septic tanks. Check with your local water department or your septic tank cleaning company for any restrictions.
Use Outlet Filters
You can purchase a septic tank outlet filter to help maintain the tank between pumpings. These filters catch some of the smaller particles that can actually cause clogs and other issues in the tank. For example, the filter can catch powder detergent that didn't break down completely in the dishwasher or laundry. These powdered particles can crystalize and prevent the micro-organisms that naturally occur and breakdown waste from working.
These are just a few ways you can maintain your tank between septic tank cleaning and pumping appointments. If you have any questions, ask your septic tank cleaning company on their next visit. They can give you tips on how you can maintain your specific tank.