Sometimes, people avoid homes that have a septic system because they think they are too much trouble or they think a city sewer system will be cheaper. The truth is that if you take the time to avoid bad habits, even with regular septic maintenance, your costs will be lower with a septic system instead of city sewer. Here are a few bad habits you should avoid to get a long life from your septic system and avoid repairs:
- Don’t drive over the drain field. The number one reason for a failed drain field is being crushed by a vehicle or other heavy equipment. Know where your drain field and septic tank are located and take necessary precautions so nobody drives over or parks on them. Don’t build anything on top of them either.
- Don’t plant trees or other long rooted landscaping near your septic system. What starts out as a small shrub or tree can quickly grow and the root system can destroy a septic system. It is best to limit landscaping to grass and shallow-rooted plants.
- Bacteria are your friend. Do not use anti-bacterial products in your home that will end up down the drain and into your septic system. These not only kill the bacteria you don’t want but they also kill the bacteria that are needed in the septic tank to break down organic matter.
- Conserve water. Too much water usage puts undue stress on your septic system. Space out water usage and conserve water as much as possible. Do laundry over several days rather than dedicating one day to do all the loads. Don’t operate multiple water usages at one time, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, and bathing. Also, be diligent about fixing leaking toilets and faucets.
- Forget about the garbage disposal. It is very difficult for a septic tank to keep up with the added burden of the solids sent through a garbage disposal. Consider composting instead.
- Don’t forget maintenance. Talk with your septic tank professional about the ideal schedule for your family’s needs. Your septic system should be inspected regularly and pumped as needed to avoid backups and other problems.