As a prudent homeowner, you'll want your septic system to serve you for as long as possible. Installing a new septic tank may not only be an expensive undertaking, you may not even have the space for a whole new system. In such cases, you'll want to extend the life of your existing septic system by as many years as possible. Luckily, there are certain tricks that can be used to make septic systems last longer.
Limit the Amount of Water Entering the System
There are two main ways that water finds its way into septic tanks. In the first case, water enters through the drainage system inside your house. This is the water that is intended to go into the septic system. In the second case, you may have extra water finding its way into your septic system as a result of leaks, a malfunctioning water softener, flooding of the absorption system, etc.
You should limit the amount of water finding its way into the septic system from both these sources. You can take steps such as:
- Fixing any leaky faucets
- Checking your water softener for any sign of malfunction
- Not doing many loads of laundry in a short time period
- Avoiding long showers
- Keeping up with your septic tank pumping schedule to avoid overloading the tank with solids.
Don't Drive Heavy Machinery Over Parts of the System
Your septic tank should be located in an area where there's little chance of someone driving a heavy machine over it. This kind of weight can cause damage to parts of the system, even when it's still new. When the septic system has been around for a while, some parts are likely to be even more fragile and thus more likely to get crushed by a heavy machine.
Don't Build Over Any Part of the Septic System
An old septic system may need to be inspected and serviced by a company like Dixon Septic & Sewer more often than a new system. It's not uncommon to find house extension and decks constructed over parts of the system. Whether deliberate or otherwise, this may make it difficult to inspect the system or carry out regular pumping.
It's also a bad idea to have any structure built on top of the septic tank's drain field. The water from the solids in the septic tank is absorbed by the drain field and some of it also evaporates. The soil in this areas requires oxygen to treat the effluent. Any structure built on top of the drain field will interfere with its proper functioning.