If you're new to septic tanks and you feel a little nervous about having your sewage dealt with on site, then this guide is for you. It will tell you how you can limit your chances of a septic tank failure.
Avoid Roots from Trees and Plants
If you're about to have a septic tank installed, then you should think carefully about where you locate the leach field. Many new systems are designed to avoid problems with tree roots clogging up pipes, but you should still avoid placing your leach field near to trees, bushes and plants. Only place grass and shallow rooted plants around your septic tank. If you already have a system in place, then be careful of what you plant around it.
Avoid Flushing Foreign Objects
Ensuring that nothing but regular waste ends up down your drain will limit the chances of failure due to blocked pipes. Fitting toilet locks when you have young children reduces the chance of a toy ending up in your system. Avoid flushing sanitary products, wipes and nappies. Put food waste in the trash or on the compost heap so you limit the sludge that builds up in the septic tank. Never allow grease to end up down the drain, as this can solidify and cause a blockage. You should look for toilet tissue that is deemed safe for septic tanks.
Avoid Driving and Parking over Your Tank
It is important to situate any parking areas well away from your septic tank system. The heavy weight of a vehicle can cause damage to leaching chambers, pipes, and tanks. Additionally, driving over the leach field can result in compacted soil that is not as effective at treating effluent
Avoid Excess Chemical Use
Waste water from a washing machine can include softeners and chemicals. These inhibit the tank bacteria's ability to process solid waste. You can look into installing a greywater collection system so that your washing machine water doesn't end up in your tank. However, if that's not possible, you should limit the amount of softener you use or avoid it altogether. Also, reduce the other household chemicals that end up in your system. Your tank will be able to deal with moderate levels of chemicals; just be sure you limit them as much as you can.
Avoid Water Overload
Your tank is designed to take your wastewater, but its capacity limits how much it can take at any one time. Sending too much water down the drain can produce an overload. This can result in effluent spewing out into your garden or wastewater backing up into your drains. Keep your plumbing in good working order to avoid leaks and plumbing failures. Be sensible and conservative with your water use -- do not use too much water at the same time. For example, don't put on a wash load in the morning when everyone is using the shower to get ready for school and work. Space your water use to give your tank time to process the wastewater it's receiving.