If you're used to municipal sewer systems, septic tanks can seem like mysterious creatures. This is particularly true if you've never had any experience with septic systems. Don't panic. With proper care, your septic tank will serve you well. To help you keep your septic tank happy and healthy, here are two things you need to know.
Too Much Liquid is a Bad Thing
Yes, your septic tank is designed to hold liquid – and other items. However, it's not designed to hold unlimited quantities of liquid. In fact, too much water can be a bad thing. Under normal conditions, solids and liquids will flow from your home at a consistent rate – sinks draining, toilets flushing, etc. As liquids and solids flow through your septic system, the solids will drop to the bottom of the first tank, while the liquids flow through to the second tank. From there, the liquids will slowly filter through to the seepage pit, where they will eventually be absorbed into the soil.
When too much liquid is allowed to access the system at one time, the result can be catastrophic. Too much liquid at one time can result in backups and floods. When that happens, you could end up with waste water in your bathtubs and yard. To protect your septic system, be sure that the caps are securely installed on your clean-out drains, which are located around the perimeter of your home. It's also a good idea to do one or two loads of laundry a day, instead of trying to do all of your laundry in one day.
Not All Toilet Paper is Created Equal
When you purchase toilet paper, you probably have your own criteria for choosing the right brand, including price, sheet count, and softness. However, if you're not taking your septic tank into consideration, you could be inviting problems down the road. Because the toilet paper will remain inside the septic tank, you need it to decompose quickly. If it doesn't, it can build up in the tank and cause clogs. To make sure that you're choosing the right toilet paper for your septic tank, do the toilet paper test. Take a handful of your favorite toilet paper and place it in a glass jar. Fill the jar with water and replace the lid. Shake the jar vigorously for one to two minutes. When you're done shaking the jar, take a look at the toilet paper. If the toilet paper has begun to dissolve, you have chosen the right brand for your septic tank. If your toilet paper is still intact, you're looking at potential septic problems. Time to choose a new toilet paper.
Septic systems don't have to be scary. With proper care, your septic system will hold up for many years. The tips provided here will help you avoid problems with your new septic system. For maximum protection, be sure to have your septic tank emptied at least once every three to five years by a septic service in your area..