How to keep your septic system running smoothly

Looking after your septic system with regular maintenance is key to keeping your system running smoothly and saving expensive repair or replacement costs.

Your septic system should give you many years of life but neglecting regular maintenance could result in early deterioration of your septic and drainfield systems.

Just like you need to look after a vehicle with regular serving, or a boiler in your house the same can be said about your septic system. Regular Maintenance and Inspections will catch problems early in their stages, and allow you to fix those problems before they lead to a system failure, potentially saving you thousands in replacement cost.

Here are a few tips to keep your system running smoothly for many years to come

1. Have your Septic System pumped regularly.

The average home will need to have the septic tank pumped out every year. This helps reduce the build up of solids that could overload your septic system and cause problems with your soakaway.

2. Make sure all access lids and ports are sealed tight.

Water can penetrate poorly sealed lids and ports and cause problems in your septic system. If water does penetrate your system it can hydraulically overload your septic system and cause the soakaway to become oversaturated.

This is often more of a problem with pressure type systems. This also puts extra pressure on your pumps as they have to work harder, overworking, wasting energy and costing you money..

3. Do not cover or obstruct your system

Avoid covering or obstructing your septic system. Don't cover with any concrete, decks, framing or structures that would impede you from accessing and keep vehicles away from the area.

 Extra pressure can cause damage to the pipes or your tank and if your soil gets compacted, you will likely suffer from drainage problems. Replacement or maintenance will be more difficult as access may be limited.

4, Avoid additives or rejuvenators in your septic tank.

Some additives claim to break up sludge or to unclog soakaway systems but they can actually damage your system, causing frothing and excessive activity and thus preventing normal settling of solid wastes.

Before adding anything to your system always seek professional advice first before introducing additives.

5. Avoid flushing any items other than septage or toilet tissues.

If you use your toilet to dispose of other waste then you are introducing unacceptable items, some which will never decompose and likely block your system. This will lead to constant pumping of the septic tank.

Do not use a sink disposal unit if you are on a septic system. While those units grind up waste foods, most septic systems are not designed or capable of dealing with such undigested solids.

6. Avoid using heavy oils or cleaners.

Oil or grease float on water and they pose a threat of clogging the inlet pipes by filling up the upper part of a septic tank. This oil can also transfer into the transport pipes, solidify, and cause excessive buildup that can cause blockage of the soakaway.

7. Do not plant large vegetation over your septic area

Do not plant any trees or large shrubs over the septic area. Roots from these plants will eventually grow into the drain lines and obstruct or damage them.

Grasses, small plants or anything with a very shallow root system are ok however as the roots will not impede or block drain lines.

Some simple tips here will give you many happy years of service from your septic system. If you need any further advice don't hesitate to get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

8. Don't connect roof rain water into your septic system

This can cause an overload to your system and can wash suspended solids into your soakaway.