Your septic system can be a finicky thing to care for, and if you’re not up on the latest maintenance guidelines, it’s easy to make mistakes that can harm your system.
Even if you think you’re doing everything right, there may still be things you’re doing that are causing damage without your knowledge.
In this article, we’ll take a look at five things that could potentially be harming your septic system.
So if you want to keep your septic system in tip-top shape and avoid costly repairs down the road, it’s important to know what pitfalls to watch out for.
Read on to learn more about how these common practices could be damaging your septic system without you even realizing it.
Overloading Your System
Overloading your system can be incredibly harmful to your septic system. If you’re not careful, it can lead to costly repairs or even the need for a whole new system. It’s important to understand what is too much for your septic system and how you can avoid overloading it.
One of the biggest causes of overload is simply having too many people using the same tank. Even if you have a large tank, that doesn’t mean it will be able to handle unlimited use—it has its limits just like any other system does.
Additionally, putting too much solid waste into the tank in a short period of time can cause an overload as well. This includes things like paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and other materials that don’t break down easily.
It’s also important to be mindful of what chemicals are going into your septic system as well. Things like paint thinners and drain cleaning chemicals can damage your tank over time and cause an overload if they’re used too often. Be sure to only use natural cleaners when possible, or switch to a city sewer system if available in your area.
These are all important considerations when ensuring that your septic system stays healthy and functioning properly. By understanding what causes an overload and avoiding it where possible, you can help keep your septic system running smoothly for years to come.
To do this effectively, you’ll need to understand the next common factor in septic tank issues: using too much water.
Using Too Much Water
Using too much water can be detrimental to your septic system. Excessive water inundating the tank can cause it to overflow, leading to contamination of the soil around it and potentially flooding your yard.
Here are four ways to avoid using too much water:
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Fix any leaking faucets or toilets as soon as you notice them.
- Install a low-flow shower head and/or toilet with a dual flush option.
- Take short showers instead of long baths.
By reducing your water consumption, you can help ensure that your septic system is not put under excess strain – and prevent costly repairs later down the line.
With that in mind, let’s look at another factor that can affect your septic system: the use of chemical cleaners.
Using Chemical Cleaners
Using chemical cleaners can be detrimental to the health of your septic system. The majority of these products contain strong and potentially dangerous chemicals, such as chlorine and sodium hydroxide. These substances can have a negative effect on both the bacteria in your tank and the soil surrounding it. As a result, they can cause serious damage to your septic system over time.
It’s important to keep in mind that even if you use a more natural, plant-based cleaner, it may still harm your septic system due to its pH level, which should remain neutral for optimal performance. If a cleaner has too high of an alkaline or acidity level, it could damage the bacteria that help break down waste and the pipes that transport liquids from one place to another.
When using any cleaning products on or around your septic system, it’s important to read labels carefully and take caution with how much of the substance you are using. Using too much of any kind of chemical cleaner can have serious consequences for your system.
With this in mind, transitioning into an eco-friendly cleaning routine is essential for protecting your septic tank’s health. Taking preventative steps now will help avoid potential issues down the line. Planting trees and shrubs too close to your septic tank can also lead to issues due to root intrusion or other damages caused by their growth.
Planting Trees And Shrubs Too Close
Having looked at the damage that chemical cleaners can do to a septic system, it’s important to consider other factors that could be harming it.
One of those is planting trees and shrubs too close. Trees and shrubs have deep roots which can easily disrupt the flow of wastewater and cause blockages in the pipes. This can also lead to soil erosion and damage the integrity of a septic tank’s walls. Additionally, roots can infiltrate a septic tank’s walls, leading to cracks and leaks.
It’s essential for homeowners to check with their local health department before planting trees or shrubs near their septic system. The local health department will be able to provide specific guidelines about how far away from the septic system these plants should be planted. They may also suggest native species which are less likely to disrupt the system than more invasive plants.
Taking certain precautions when planting trees or shrubs near a septic system is key in order to avoid costly repairs down the road.
With that said, it’s now time to turn our attention to another potential hazard: flushing flushable down the toilet or sink drain.
Flushing items that you shouldn’t can have disastrous consequences for your septic system. From small items like cotton swabs to large objects like baby wipes, anything that’s not wastewater or toilet paper should never be put down the drain.
It doesn’t take long for these items to cause clogs and blockages in your septic tank, leading to costly repairs and potentially ruining your system altogether.
In order to keep your septic system functioning properly, it’s important to only flush products that are specifically designed for this purpose. Toilet paper is the most common example, but there are a variety of other flushable products available today, such as biodegradable wet wipes and eco-friendly bathroom cleaning supplies.
Even if a product claims to be flushable, it might still contain materials that can damage your plumbing or septic system over time. For this reason, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid flushing anything other than wastewater and toilet paper down the drain.
Keeping tabs on what goes into your septic system will go a long way toward ensuring its longevity and performance. Taking the time now to learn about proper maintenance practices will pay off in the long run!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Have My Septic System Inspected?
Having your septic system inspected regularly is key to ensuring its longevity and proper functioning.
It’s recommended that you get your septic system inspected every two to three years, or more often if you’re noticing any signs of potential problems or have recently had repairs done.
This will help prevent costly damage and allow for swift identification of any issues that may arise.
How Can I Tell If There Is A Problem With My Septic System?
It can be difficult to tell if there’s a problem with your septic system, as symptoms may not appear until the system is already damaged.
Some of the most common warning signs that indicate you have a septic issue include bad smells coming from drains or toilets, slow-draining pipes, sewage backups in the home or yard, and soggy spots in your yard.
If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to contact a professional as soon as possible.
Are There Any Additives I Can Use To Help Maintain My Septic System?
Septic systems can be tricky to maintain, but there are helpful additives you can use to help keep them in good health.
These additives are designed to break down solids and waste, reduce odors, prevent clogs, and restore a tank’s natural balance.
They may also help prevent costly repairs by reducing the chances of a system failure.
However, it’s important to read the label carefully and follow all instructions when using any septic system additive.
How Far Away Should I Plant Trees And Shrubs From My Septic System?
It is important to keep trees and shrubs from your septic system, as their root systems can cause damage.
Generally, you should plant them at least 15 feet away from the area where waste enters the drainage field.
This will help ensure that it won’t interfere with the system’s ability to filter and disperse wastewater.
If you need to plant closer than 15 feet, choose shallow-rooted species and consider adding a root barrier to further protect your system.
It’s important to be aware of what is harming your septic system so you can take the necessary steps to ensure it remains in good condition.
There are a few things that can have a negative impact, such as overusing the garbage disposal and planting trees too close to the tank.
It’s also important to have your septic system inspected regularly and use appropriate additives when needed.
Taking these precautions will help extend the life of your septic system and reduce the need for expensive repairs down the road.
I highly recommend taking these steps now, before any issues arise.