A septic tank is an essential for anyone living outside the borders of a municipal water system, but septic systems can also be a big, smelly, expensive hassle. If you rely on a septic tank, you want to cut maintenance costs by keeping it in great shape and extending its life span. There are three basic practices you can follow to achieve that goal.
Scrub Behind the Ears
The number one thing you can do to keep your septic tank in great condition is keeping up with regular maintenance, including pumping and cleaning. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you have you tank pumped and cleaned by professionals at least once every three to five years. Even if the tank isn't full, regular check-ups are crucial because they can detect clogs, leaks and other problems before they turn into an expensive, smelly nightmare. Even rarely-used tanks need this regular maintenance to prevent the growth of bacterial and fungal colonies that can endanger your health and permanently damage the system.
Fight Off the Forest
Keeping the inside your tank clean won't do much good if tree roots attack it from the outside. One of the best strategies for protecting your tank is to keep trees and dense shrugs from gaining a foothold anywhere near your tank. Trees can grow surprisingly quickly, and their roots will wreak havoc on even the sturdiest tanks. Even worse, if tree roots do cause a problem, you'll have to deal with the expense of chopping them down in addition to replacing your equipment. Roots can grow much faster than branches, so you'll need to keep trees from growing within at least a 25-foot radius from your tank and any sewer lines connected to it.
Limit Water Usage
Finally, you can keep your tank healthy and functional longer by taxing it as little as possible. All of the wastewater from your home moves through your septic tank, so the easiest way to protect your investment is to limit your water use. High-efficiency toilets are a great water-saving option, and low-flow shower heads can also reduce your consumption. Beyond these technological solutions, you can also save water by making smarter choices. Don't leave the water running while brushing your teeth, for example, and replace a few baths per month with water-efficient showers.
All septic systems wear out over time, but if you follow these simple guidelines, you can extend the life of your tank for years. Contact a company like Hughes Backhoe Services for more information.