There are two important aspects of septic tank maintenance. One is inspection and cleaning by a contractor on a regular basis, and the other is treating your septic tank properly on a daily basis. Here's an overview of what each of these aspects of septic tank maintenance entails.
Empty Your Septic Tank Before It's Full
Don't wait until your toilet backs up to have your septic tank pumped out. Instead, ask your contractor about a schedule for pumping based on the number of people in your household and the size of the tank. This allows you to have the tank cleaned out before it gets too full.
If the tank is too full, sewage can get in the baffles or make its way to the drainfield and cause problems that could be expensive to repair. The only thing that should leave your septic tank is the wastewater. Solids and fats stay in the tank to be pumped out by the contractor.
Follow The Requirements Of Your Health Department
Another thing to discuss with your septic tank maintenance contractor is the frequency of inspection checks required by your local health department. The health department usually requires regular inspections of septic tanks to ensure no tanks are leaking sewage into the groundwater or local streams.
You might be able to have the checks done on the same schedule as you have your tank pumped out. If not, your contractor usually performs a quick check when they pump out your tank, but a full inspection of the baffles, tank, and other parts will probably be required by your local authorities too. Be sure to save all of your documentation when the contractor visits your property.
Practice Water And Waste Conservation
The less water and waste you put down the drains means the longer you can go between having your tank cleaned. You may want to install water-saving devices in your home and limit what you send down the drains, toilet, and garbage disposal. Only flush things that will decompose fast rather than sit in the tank and take up space.
Protect The Drainfield From Damage
Protecting both the tank and drainfield is an important part of septic system maintenance. If you drive over the drainfield or allow waste from the tank to enter the field, the pipes or soil could become compacted or clogged. Repairing a drainfield could be expensive.
It's easy to forget about the drainfield and tank when everything is working properly, but it's important to keep them in mind so your drains empty freely and you can avoid unnecessary repairs through proper maintenance.