If you want to get the most from your septic tank, it is important to ensure that you keep it regularly serviced and well maintained. Maintaining your septic tank is relatively easy – dealing with replacing or repairing it is not! To help you ensure the correct maintenance of your septic tank, we’ve developed a quick guide to the steps you can take and the potential negative outcomes that can arise if you don’t correctly follow them.
Be careful what you flush!
A key element of maintaining your septic tank is actually being careful as to your use and what you flush. Be careful not to do your laundry all on one day as it can put undue pressure on the system. Do not flush non degradable or chemical substances down your toilet such as cigarette butts, nappies, bleach, paint, grease, oil or cotton pads as they can block the tank and damage the pipes. Monitor for any leaks around your sink taps or issues with how the toilet runs as these can be major tell-tale signs that your septic tank or pipes are suffering from poor use.
De-sludging is essential
A septic tank keeps all solid matter from waste in the tank and empties out wastewater. The solid matter that remains in the tank gradually sinks to the bottom of the tank as sludge and this builds up over time and needs to be pumped out. Generally speaking, a septic tank needs to be pumped once every three years. However, this can vary depending on the size of your tank and its frequency of use. De-sludging is a job that is best left to the professionals as it requires special equipment to remove the sludge, as it constitutes as hazardous waste. The cost of hiring specialists to pump the tank is far less than the cost of the potential damage you could cause by doing it yourself. Your warranty may not cover damage caused by trying to repair or pump the tank yourself either.
Monitor the drain field
You will also need to closely monitor the surrounding soil and drain field for excess water on the surface area surrounding the septic tank. Harsh weather can play havoc with the condition of the soil so it may be essential for you to change the position of your drainage field eventually. It could take about 15 years before you have to move the drainage field or have it treated but it is still important to monitor it. If you notice any foul odours coming from the area where the tank is located, you should seek professional help immediately – it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to septic tank maintenance!
Keeping your septic tank well maintained can save you a lot of money in the long run and generally speaking, the better it is maintained, the less money you will have to spend on replacing or repairing your tank down the road.