The spring season comes with a handful of to-dos and concerns. Whether you’re getting ready to clean your house or planning for spring break and seasonal activities, consider making your septic system your first priority this spring.
This time of renewal and warmer temperatures is the perfect opportunity to inspect and care for your septic system so you can guarantee it lasts through your lifetime. Read on to discover our tips for cleaning and managing this key feature of your home.
Start With the Basics
Before you venture outside to inspect your septic system and hookups, take a look inside your home and at your usage. Regardless of the season, you should treat your septic system kindly on a daily basis.
Make sure you’re using an appropriate brand of toilet paper for your system, as some brands aren’t septic system–friendly. Eventually, they can clog your entire system or cause it to back up into your home because they don’t dissolve properly when flushed. And if you or anyone in your home uses wipes or menstrual hygiene products of any kind — don’t flush them.
Use your garbage disposal with care to further avoid clogs and backups with your septic system. Additionally, food disposed of this way can take too long to fully break down, which can cause further issues with the overall system.
Likewise, you should dispose of other waste in your home properly. Compost food scraps if you have a composter, otherwise put this organic waste in your trash. Avoid dumping chemicals, cleaners, grease and oil, or other items down your drains. While grease can cause buildup and clogs, cleaners and chemicals (such as bleach) can actually damage the good bacteria within your septic tank and prevent the system from functioning well.
Also consider spreading out how you use your water-based appliances. Rather than running your washing machine and dishwasher both on the same day and for a large portion of the day, split those chores up across the week so you don’t put strain on your septic system or drainfield. And always ensure you run full loads to make the most of your water usage. If possible, opt for high-efficiency appliances and fixtures that help limit your water use and preserve your septic system.
Walk Around Your Property and Inspect Your System
Depending on where your home is located, you could experience flooding from heavy rainfall or even hurricanes. And over time, your septic system is prone to a few environmental changes or impacts.
Take some time and inspect the outside of your property, keeping a close eye out for any signs of flooding, damage, dirt buildup, or overflow. Also ensure members of your household or visitors don’t drive across or park on your drainfield. Notice plant life near the drainfield? Hire a professional to remove the foliage so the roots don’t damage your septic system.
Then move to the physical structure of your home. Inspect your gutters and clean them thoroughly so they can collect rainwater and drain it effectively. Also, check the spouts that drain water from the gutters onto the ground. The spouts should be pointed away from your drainfield and direct water away from this area to prevent flooding.
Check Your Pumping Schedule and Update As Needed
To keep your septic system running as efficiently as possible, you need to have a professional pump it regularly. You can typically pump it every three to five years, but that frequency may change depending on your specific household.
For instance, a smaller household size will typically use less water and produce less waste — and therefore a septic system in this scenario can likely go longer between cleanings. Larger households, or even properties that have a lot of visitors or tenants (such as an Airbnb), have higher water usage and liquid waste that needs disposing of. That increased usage will require more frequent cleanings to ensure the septic system continues working well.
When you do schedule your pumping, consider requesting it during the spring season. The warmer temperatures and softer ground will make it easier for your service technician to get to your tank and clean it out well.
Schedule Maintenance and Upgrade the System Often
During your inspection, note any damage to or old parts in the system, and schedule repairs and upgrades as soon as possible. Whether the filters need replaced (or added), the seal is cracked, or the system needs an aerator, a professional can help bridge whatever gap exists to keep your septic system in top shape.
Don’t let any parts of your septic system fall to the wayside. Whether you need septic system pumping and maintenance or you want to find a certified septic technician you can trust, turn to the team at Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc. We’ve proudly served the residents of southwest Florida for almost four decades, and we’re ready to help you with whatever your septic needs are.