Did you know that more than one in five American households rely on a septic system to serve their home? Septic systems are still rather popular because they are known for being cost-efficient, durable and also environmentally-friendly. Despite all of the work that goes into maintaining a septic system, septic tanks do not contaminate the water supply and will remove and eliminate the bacteria in the water before it is released into the soil.
Septic systems typically last anywhere from 15 to 40 years. That’s a huge range. It mostly depends on the type of septic system that you have installed, the water table, the soil acidity and more. However, a lot of how long your septic system can last depends on how well you maintain it. Proper maintenance practices can elongate the lifespan of a septic system tremendously. Here are 3 tips that many plumbers in Conway, SC may recommend. If you have any other questions, you should consider speaking with a plumber as soon as possible. An experienced plumber should be able to come take a look at your system and provide you with some maintenance tips.
#1. Pump Out the Sludge
No matter how well you maintain your system, sludge happens. When you notice sludge, contact a plumber as soon as possible to get your entire system pumped. If sludge is allowed to accumulate, it can clog the entire system and wreak havoc. Sludge is particularly problematic because it decreases the retention time in the tank. Even if it appears to be working properly, it’ll start to fail in no time. In fact, the smaller the tank and the more people using it, the quicker slide will start to accumulate. Even if you have a large tank, it will succumb to sludge eventually.
The key to dealing with sludge is having a plumber inspect the tank once every two years or so. An experienced plumber should be able to quickly tell you how much sludge has accumulated and when you need to pump out your septic system. Pumping out the sludge regularly will cost a lot less than having to deal with the repairs that follow negligence. The best time to pump out the sludge is during summer or early fall. In general, you want to avoid pumping out your system during the winter since the ground will be frozen at the time.
#2. Be Mindful with the Landscaping
Another thing that you need to think about is landscaping. Most of the time, the septic tank will be covered by your field or your garden. Grass can easily cover the drainfield and reduce erosion. You can also plant short shrubs and flowers with shallow root systems nearby. However, you need to avoid any plants that will have strong roots. For example, although a maple tree might bring a lot of beauty into your yard, avoid it at all costs. The tree roots can easily intrude into the septic tank and structurally damage it to the point where it cannot be repaired.
It’s always a good idea to let the landscaping team know where the septic tank is located. They will want to be more gentle in this area and to be more mindful with their work.
Another thing to note is whether you have proper drainage in this area. You definitely want to avoid allowing too much water to enter the drainfield. Make sure that any extra water that’s coming from the irrigation systems and sprinklers are routed away from the drain field as much as possible.
#3. Watch What You Throw Down the Drains
Last but not least, you need to be careful with what you throw down the drain. Many plumbers will recommend that you minimize garbage disposal use in order to prevent solids from building up inside the septic tank. If you are constantly throwing a lot of solids down the septic tank, the solids can quickly accumulate and clog the drain field. This is also why you want to avoid pouring grease down the drain or flushing anything besides human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. In short, try to take care of it as much as possible and avoid throwing or flushing anything down the drains that should not be there.
It’s also important to be careful that types of chemicals go down the drain. Tank relies on a very specific balance of bacteria to break down human waste. If you wash chemicals down the toilet, it could disrupt this microbial balance and cause many problems to appear. It’s difficult for this microbiome to restore back to its optimal balance by itself. This is why some plumbing professionals will want to check out the bacterial concentrations during the inspection. They’re just making sure that everything is working like it should.
We Can Help with Maintenance!
Like with many things, maintenance is key. If you properly maintain your system and get it checked out regularly, you’ll be able to enjoy it for much longer without having to worry about costly repairs and problems. Proper maintenance also keeps you up-to-date with the overall condition of your septic system, so you know what to expect next. It’s important to know whether there are any areas that are beginning to become compromised. Getting hit with a surprise bill is never fun.
Here, at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, we are determined to help you with everything that’s related to your septic system as well as your plumbing. Our plumbers in Conway, SC are licensed, insured, bonded, and have lots of experience in dealing with all types of plumbing issues. We’ll be able to quickly determine whether your septic system is in need of repairs or any other fine-tuning. More importantly, we always put our customers first. We make sure that you’re comfortable with the process or the service before we begin.
Reach one of our plumbers in Conway, SC today by calling 843-213-6611! We offer reliable plumbing services at affordable prices.