If you live some distance away from a public drainage system such as a distant suburb or a rural area and even if you live in certain urban areas, you may have your own sewage treatment plant or septic system. An estimated 25% of the population in North America is dependent upon septic systems; so proper maintenance of the septic tank is a matter of concern for a lot of people. To keep your septic system working efficiently and without glitches, you need to keep a few things in mind.
1. Avoid Non-Biodegradable Materials
Cooking oils, grease, non biodegradable items, cleaning materials with high concentrations of bleach and toxins should be kept away from the septic system. They can clog up the system. In a septic system that depended upon aeration, this could also kill of the beneficial bacteria and slow down the process of sewage breakdown. Silver nitrate is a known culprit and even small quantities of it could cause bacterial cultures to die.
2. Keep an Eye on Trees Around the Tank
Keep an eye on shrubbery and trees that grow around the tank area. Their roots could create ruptures or clogging.
3. Practice Water Conservation
It is always a good idea to practice water conservation; it is also in the interests of your sewage system since it will prevent overload.
4. Beware of Leakage to Water Bodies
Ensure that the drain (leach) field is properly sealed to prevent the sewage entering into water bodies and sources of clean water. You may need nitrogen reducing technology or proper location and sealing to prevent this from happening.
5. Watch out for a Potential Problem
With septic systems, a stitch in time very much saves nine. Addressing a problem before it gets out of hand is important because if you let it slide it could cause a lot of damage and mean very high costs in terms of repair and restoration. Ignoring a problem could cause the drain field to fail, which could mean the heavy cost and the challenge of replacing the entire septic system.
If you find that there is a strong odor of sewage this could be the first sign of something amiss. If the drain field of the septic tank is soggy or if the sewage backs up and into the house, this means that urgent action is required. It could be very heavy rains that have caused the tank levels to rise or it could be a broken pipe that is the problem. In either case, examine the problem to prevent it getting worse.