How to Care for a Septic System


Septic systems traditionally operate with the pull of gravity. Waste from the home travels down to the holding tank. Inside the container, solids and liquids separate. The fluids drain down into the leach field. The leach field is a system of perforated pipes connected to the tank. The pipes allow the liquid to drain down into the earth slowly.


Here septic tank systems albuquerque nm recommends a few ways to preserve the health of your septic system. One step is to monitor what goes down the drain and to know the location of the tank and leach field. It is not advisable to drive heavy equipment over the leach field because the vehicles may crush the perforated pipes or compact the soil. Keep trees clear from the system because their roots can grow into the tank or field and plug them. Planting grass over the septic system and field is okay. This will help the soil breath.


Be mindful of what you wash down the drain. Keep all food scraps out of the system. Food, oil, and grease should go into a separate composting bin or the trash. Be selective about cleaning products. Look for septic-safe kitchen and bath cleaners. Do not pour any paint, car chemicals, such as antifreeze, or solvents down the drain. Dispose of all these chemicals with your local waste management. Toilet paper was designed to be handled in septic systems. Baby wipes, hygiene products, and paper towels were not, and they should not be flushed into the system.

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It is essential to monitor how much water passes into the system. Flooding the tank or releasing too much water into it can be harmful. The system can only handle and drain so much liquid at one time. Some ways to prevent flooding are washing laundry loads several days apart instead of all on the same day and using water-conserving fixtures, such as low-flow showerheads and low-flow toilets. Other ways to slow the flow of water into the tank are to install energy efficient dishwashers and front-end clothes washers. Front-end high-efficiency clothes washers use half the amount of water than the traditional machines.


A septic tank or leach field can fail. Some signs of a failing system are slow drains or drains that are backed up completely. If this happens, the Envirnomental Protection Agency recommends contacting a professional. There may be a clog in the line from the house to the septic tank, which can be removed, or the pipes in the leach field may have collapsed. If the area around a leach field is getting soft, it may be a sign that the pipes have failed. If the ground becomes saturated, has an algae-like grass growing on it, or it is giving off a bad odor, call for an inspection.

Maintaining the amount of water in the system and being conscientious of what you put in it can allow your system to last for years. However, a septic tank will need to periodically be emptied. Pumping out the container removes the sludge and debris that builds up on the bottom. Keeping a septic system functioning is not difficult with a little knowledge and maintenance.

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