Learning how to protect your septic system against damage is the best way to ensure that you never encounter an emergency like a full tank or backed-up toilet. Septic tanks aren’t garbage cans, and so they aren’t designed to handle certain types of waste. It’s also possible for outside forces to damage the structure of your system if you aren’t careful.
Watch What You Flush
The best way to protect your septic system is to be careful what you put down your drains. Put as little solid waste into your tank as possible: don’t use your kitchen garbage disposal or flush paper towels or other trash down the toilet. Also avoid rinsing chemicals or oils down your drains, since these can damage your septic system or cause clogs to form. Some chemicals may also harm the bacteria that break down waste in your septic system, which causes your tank to fill up much more quickly than normal.
Avoid Invasive Tree Roots
The only thing that should be planted over or near your septic system is grass. Other plants have longer, stronger roots that may break into your septic system in search of water and nutrients. Remember that tree roots can extend a long distance, so be sure to plant them well away from your septic system to be on the safe side.
Keep in mind that this rule applies to your drain field as well as the area over your tank and pipes. If your drain field is damaged by invasive roots, it won’t be able to do its job as effectively and may cause your tank to back up.
Prevent Structural Damage
Keep heavy objects away from the area where your septic system is located. Don’t drive over the area or leave heavy loads like boats or trailers parked on top of your tank, pipes, or drain field. Don’t dig in the area, or you may accidentally puncture one of the pipes.
Upgrade to a Stronger Tank
Areas that are prone to flooding or freezing soil are more likely to experience damaged septic systems. That’s because these weather conditions cause the soil to shift, putting additional pressure on your pipes or tank that can cause them to crack or even collapse. Some homes have fiberglass or plastic tanks, which are lightweight and tend to be more easily damaged. Have your Covington, GA, septic company exchange your old tank for one made of concrete or steel, which can hold up longer against harsh elements.
Look for Signs of Leaks
Leaks are an early sign of septic system trouble. A leak caught quickly allows you fix problems before they become too severe. However, leaks can be difficult to spot since most of your septic system is buried underground.
Look for signs of water damage and mold in your home, since these are common signs of leaks indoors. Outside, pay attention to the grass growing over your septic system. If the grass appears boggy or greener than the rest of your yard, it may indicate a leak in the pipes underneath. Foul smells in your yard or home are also a common sign of a leak.
Have Your Tank Emptied Regularly
Most septic tanks should be emptied every 2 to 3 years. This will prevent dangerous backups that can clog your system and cause pipes to burst. It will also prevent waste from backing up into your house and causing a dangerous sewage flood. You may need your tank emptied more frequently if you have a large family or use your garbage disposal on a regular basis. Ask your Covington, GA, septic company how often you should have your tank emptied.
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