Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00

The Gentle Giant

You have this big tank in the ground – it has a delicate balance with the right stuff to serve you well. It’s going to fill up, it will need to be pumped out. You can make a difference on its service and longevity.

You’ve invested a lot in your septic system and with proper care you will have a long relationship. When you do the right things, your system will perform for you and life will be good. A few mis-steps however, and your problems can be many.

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The Right Stuff:

  •  Liquids that go in, eventually have to come out, so reduce the amount of water that goes into your system. Excess liquid can also dilute the effectiveness of the organisms.
  •  Conserve water, use only what you need. Turn the faucet off when you are brushing your teeth or working at the kitchen sink. Turn it on when you need it. No need to let it just run.
  •  Install water conserving devices, such as a water-saver shower head. Buy  an energy and water efficient dishwasher and washing machine.
  •  Get those leaky faucets and toilets repaired. Leaks will cause your system to fill prematurely and will dilute the ability of organisms to process the real waste.
  •  Only discharge biodegradable waste into your system. That means plant or animal waste that can be broken down by the organisms already there. Things like plastic, metal or other objects will cause problems.
  •  Compost your garbage or put it in the trash. The fewer solids, the easier organisms in your system can process other waste. Those carrot and potato peels, egg shells and coffee grounds are compostable.
  • Know where your septic system tank cover is and keep it clear of overgrowth so that it is accessible for being serviced/pumped out.
  •  Only plant grass on top of your septic system.

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  • When it rains, where are your downspouts sending the excess water? Keep it away from the drain field of your septic system.
  •  Avoid putting grease or oils down your drains. Over time, grease can clog your system. Less grease means a happier system.
  •  Also avoid putting chemical or caustic cleaners into your system. These chemicals can interfere with the organisms that are working well in your system.  Use green-friendly substitutes for your favorite cleaning agents. Plus, it’s healthier for you, too!
  • Have your system pumped out at least once a year, or more often, based on how much you are putting into it. Have your tank checked for cracks or leaks when it is pumped out. Good maintenance will extend the life of your system. Good prevention and maintenance are cheaper than costly repairs or replacement.
  •  If something doesn’t seem right, or you notice a problem, call your septic service right away.

The Wrong Stuff

  •  Don’t use a garbage grinder or garbage disposal. Your system will have fewer clogs/or problems if you keep garbage out of your system.
  •  Do not put solids in your septic system. If it isn’t biodegradable, don’t even think of putting it in your system. Never put sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, sanitary wipes, disposable diapers or heavy toilet paper into your system. If it’s solid, put it in the trash.
  •  Never put solvents, paint thinner, oils, pesticides, disinfectants caustic cleaners or poisons in your system. You don’t even want to know what could happen.
  •  Never drive a car or other vehicle (not even ATVs) over your drain field/septic system.
  •  Don’t dig in the area. Do not plant flowers, trees or shrubs on your drain field or septic system. Keep it clear. Know where that drain cover is to make it easier for servicing.
  •  Don’t allow excess rain water to collect on or near the drain field or septic system. It’s just like that leaky faucet—you don’t want excess water going into your system and filling it up needlessly.

Your Gentle Giant will serve you well if you make these simple tips routine healthy habits.

It’s better for your system, it’s better for you.