If you're not particularly familiar with septic systems and their maintenance requirements, it can be challenging when you first move into a home that has one. To help ensure that you get things off to a good start and don't inadvertently cause damage from the time you move in, there are a few things that you should know. Here are some septic system care tips to help you get started.
Location, Location, Location
The very first thing you need to do is find out exactly where the tank and drain field are located. This is more important than you might think. Not only do you need to know where it is to have it pumped, you also need to know what area to watch for any signs of flooding. In addition, knowing where the tank and drain field are will ensure that you don't encroach on it.
Don't permit any vehicles to drive in the area where the system is. The weight of vehicles can damage the tank and may actually disrupt the soil filtration that happens in the drain field. You should also avoid building anything in that area, including porches over the space. Don't run your driveway through that area, either.
Use It, Don't Abuse It
One of the things that many homeowners don't consider, especially when they're used to city sewer drain systems, is the fact that septic systems can't handle the same amount of wastewater flow that a sewer drain system can. That means you need to be conservative about your water use. Consider installing some water-reduction fixtures, space out your laundry over the course of the week so you don't overload the tank with draining water, and deal with any water leaks right away.
In addition, you'll want to be attentive to what you flush. Even those products that say they're flushable often damage septic tanks. They don't break down as quickly as traditional bathroom tissue, and they can lead to clogs and other issues. Visit a site like http://www.mrbobs.com for more help.
Ditch The Disposal
Although a garbage disposal seems like a convenient thing, it can actually be hazardous to your septic system. Food waste won't break down properly in your septic tank, so it leads to a buildup of sludge and debris that can lead to backups. If you're really set on using the disposal, use it moderately. In addition, make a point to have your tank pumped more often so that you don't face any kind of accumulation of waste.