Septic systems don't last forever, but with proper maintenance, you can help to prolong the life of your home's water-treatment system. In each room of your home, simple habits can help you to maintain your system. Here are three things you can do in your bathroom to maintain your septic system.
Take shorter showers
When your home is connected to a municipal sewer system, you can use as much water as you want to, but when you have a septic system, using too much water can lead to damage. This is because all of your treated wastewater gets released into the soil around the tank, and the soil can only absorb so much water before it becomes saturated. Once this happens, the soil won't be able to accept more water, and your septic system will fail.
To avoid this costly problem, reduce your household's water usage. An easy way to do this is to take shorter showers. Every minute in the shower uses about 2.5 gallons of water, so simply shortening your showers will allow you to save a lot of water.
Keep hair out of your drains
Hair can clog your sink or shower drains, but it's also bad news for your septic system. This is because hair doesn't break down within the septic tank, unlike other waste, so it will remain there until the tank is pumped. Worse, hair can contribute to clogs. If your septic tank gets clogged, wastewater could back up into your sinks or toilets.
To keep hair out of your drains, install a drain catcher in your shower. To install a drain catcher, simply place the device into your shower's drain. Similar devices are available for your bathroom sink, if you've noticed that hair accumulates there as well.
Choose septic-safe cleaning products
It's important to clean your sinks, toilets, and showers regularly, but when your home is connected to a septic system, you need to be more careful about the products you choose. The wrong products can kill the bacteria inside your septic tank that break down your waste.
Chlorine bleach is the major chemical that you need to avoid. It may also be called "sodium hypochlorite" on the product label. Look for products that are marketed as being safe for septic systems, such as oxygen bleach.
Taking shorter showers, keeping hair out of your drains, and cleaning with septic-safe products can help to maintain your septic system.