3 Things You Need To Know About Your Septic System

Do you own a home with a septic tank instead of it being hooked up to a city sewer system? Have you been wondering if there is anything special that you need to do in order to keep it working correctly? Although most people don't give a second thought to their septic tank or how it functions, it is nevertheless an important component of your home as a whole. Keeping it functional and usable is a relatively simple and easy matter, but it is still essential. Some of the most important things that you should know about your septic tank include:

Empty regularly: The average septic tank should be emptied approximately every 3-5 years, depending on the exact size and usage, but this can vary greatly. A large tank that is being used by just one or two people in a vacation or weekend home may be able to go many years between emptying, while a smaller tank and a larger family may require almost yearly emptying. If you don't know how long it's been since your septic tank was last emptied, make an appointment to have it pumped out as soon as possible. Septic systems that get clogged with sewage solids, instead of being emptied out, may need to be completely replaced.

Use an additive: In many instances, septic systems will work just fine without needing anything additional. However, things like heat or accidentally using the wrong chemicals can cause the beneficial bacteria in the tank to temporarily die off. These bacteria are what process the sewage and prevent it from filling up too quickly. Your local septic company should sell an additive that contains various bacteria and enzymes to make your septic tank functional once again, but you should also be able to find similar products at many hardware or big box stores.

Stop before you flush: When you flush certain things down into a city sewer system, these things stop being your problem. This makes it easy to forget or to never learn how harmful it can be to flush certain items. For instance, you should never flush things like baby wipes, paper towels, or newspapers. These things can cause damage to or clog up septic systems. This even includes wipes that claim on their packaging to be flushable; they don't actually break down or biodegrade and will remain in your septic tank until the next time your septic company pumps out all the solids.