Tips & Advice
Can too much water flood a septic tank?
Though your tank can handle many gallons of water, too much water at one time can overwork the system and cause solid waste to enter the drain field.
Are there dangers with digging near septic pipes?
To prevent pipe damage, call 811 before you begin any project that would require you to dig. A professional can detect which areas you need to stay away from. Remember, there could be more than just your septic system beneath your land - wires and cables may also run through your property.
What causes broken lines or pipes in a septic system?
A number of factors can cause baffles, lines, and pipes to break or crack, including:
- Digging in the wrong place
- Sulfuric acid or rust deterioration
- Tree-root infiltration
Using a special camera, a contractor should be able to locate the crack or leak and replace the part.
What causes a septic system to be clogged?
Clogs or backups are usually caused by improper or too-infrequent pumping. Your tank is completely full, and solid waste is being forced through the outlet tee baffle and clogging it. Some signs that you have a clog include:
- Wastewater backing up in your drains in your home
- Foul odors in your home
- Water draining slowly
What are dos and don’ts around the drain field?
Preventing septic system failure also involves keeping the drain field clear. Never drive or park over the drain field, and don't allow livestock to walk over it. Heavy equipment should also be kept away from this area.
What are some methods for water conservation?
- Upgrade to low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads.
- Use Energy Star appliances that are designed to use less water.
- Don't let the water excessively run.
What should not be flushed down the toilet?
Don't flush garbage down the toilet, including:
- Cleaning cloths
- Dental floss
- Sanitary napkins or tampons
- Cat litter
What should not be flushed down the sink?
Never flush or pour chemicals down the drain. Introducing these substances to your septic system can cause damage to the tank or piping and contaminate the groundwater in your area.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Drain openers
- Household cleaning chemicals
- Motor oils and fuels
- Cooking oils and grease
- Pesticides and herbicides
Should the homeowner supervise any contractor work?
Yes. Always be present for the pumping process. Though the contractor will have the right education and experience to do this task properly, it's important that you oversee the project. The maintenance of your septic system is ultimately your responsibility, not the contractor's. When observing the contractor's work, make sure:
- The contractor uses the correct point of entry - the manhole opening should be used, not the inspection ports.
- All scum and sludge is removed - there is no reason to leave any behind.
Does a professional need to be hired to pump the tank?
Yes. They will have the right equipment and expertise to know how to safely and effectively remove the sludge and scum from the tank. Additionally, the fumes that are emitted from the tank are noxious and can be dangerous if inhaled.