Expert Septic & Plumbing Services in Greenville & Beyond

Four Tips to Prevent Septic System Damage

Septic systems provide a crucial function: septic and waste disposal, containment, and treatment for homes and properties that are not serviced by public sewer systems. In other words, septic systems are what make draining sinks, showers, and tubs possible as well as flushing toilets that safely and securely dispose of otherwise toxic sewage waste. While these systems are built to be robust, durable, and withstand some pretty heavy abuse, they are more prone to issues than a standard sewer connection line would be. Even a small problem can have serious repercussions up your entire drain system, including causing sewage and waste to back up in drains, creating some pretty nasty conditions.

However, damage to your septic system is not unavoidable. While wear and tear are inevitable, you can keep your septic system working great and free from major problems without any major effort or investment in your system whatsoever. All it takes is some extra precautions and some simple decisions when it comes to how you run your home. Here are four tips that can help you avoid septic system damage.

Only Use Septic-Safe Products

We often take for granted how easy sewer systems make it to dispose of certain things. Baby wipes, toilet paper, and even soaps are all easily handled by sewers but can be seriously problematic for septic systems. Normal toilet paper is not biodegradable, and that makes it prone to clogging drain pipes in a septic-based system. Septic-safe toilet paper breaks down quickly in a septic environment, allowing it to be easily processed in a septic tank.

Likewise, your soaps all need to be septic-safe. This includes hand soaps, dish soaps, dishwasher soaps, body washes, shampoos, and even laundry detergents. These soaps are often created with chemicals that are designed to wipe out bacteria for sanitation purposes. However, in a septic system, bacteria are what processes the waste in your tank. Antibacterial soaps wipe out these beneficial bacteria, seriously damaging your septic system’s function. Restoring this balance is exceedingly difficult as well.

Pump Your Tank at the Right Time

Pumping your septic tank at the right time is key to preventing damage to the tank itself. The fuller your tank gets, the more pressure the waste puts on the tank itself, and the more prone to leaks it becomes. Likewise, as a tank fills, your drain lines may become backed up as well, preventing waste from being properly treated. If waste sits in a drain line, it can corrode that line and cause it to start leaking. One of the leading causes of leaking septic lines and drain lines is an overflow of waste caused by a tank that is too full.

Depending on the size of your septic tank and how often you use it, your home probably needs to have the tank pumped once every two to three years. Larger tanks can go four to five years between pumping treatments, while smaller tanks, commercial tanks, or other high-usage applications may need to be pumped every year.

Keep Trees Away from Septic Equipment

Trees are a septic system’s worst nightmare. The waste in septic lines provides fertilizing nutrients for plants, encouraging them to grow, and tree roots that find their way into septic systems and drain lines quickly grow, expand, and tear apart systems from the inside out. All it takes is a tiny tree root and the smallest crack in a drain line to start the process, and that’s why it is important to keep all trees and large plants away from septic system components.

Any builder worth their salt will carefully design a septic system to avoid any trees on a property, so there’s a good chance your trees are already at a safe distance. However, if you’re thinking of planting any trees, be sure you know where your septic equipment is located so you can keep them far enough away. Even a tree that starts small can grow to the point where it becomes a serious problem within a few decades, and anyone who has needed to pull a tree out of the ground can tell you just how much of a burden it can be to dig all the roots out of the ground once a tree has become well-established.

Be Careful When Putting Food Down the Drain

Finally, contrary to popular belief, your septic system can digest food particles. However, food particles often float in the effluent layer of your septic tank. In this way, these particles can end up in your leach field, where they clog the pores needed to filter and expel treated water. A clogged leach field means your tank fills and overflows quickly. If you plan on using a garbage disposal with your septic system, we recommend having your system pumped annually to prevent this damage and clogging, no matter the size or holding capacity of your tank.

Got a problem with your septic system? Make the call to the team at The Plumbing Experts! Dial (864) 210-3127 today.