How to prevent septic tank problems?

How to prevent septic tank problems?

Posted on 07 Apr 2015 by Fabian Belin

Things to know

  • The homeowner is responsible for maintaining septic systems in the UK.
  • By maintaining your septic system, you directly protect your investment in your home.
  • Septic tank inspections: You should have your septic system inspected and pumped at least every 2 to 3 years.
  • Septic systems cannot provide long-term and effective treatment of household wastewater even when properly designed, constructed and maintained.
  • If your septic tank isn’t maintained, you will need to replace it.
  • A malfunctioning septic system can contaminate ground water. This ground water may be a source of drinking water.
  • When selling your home, a septic system is not sufficient, even in good working order. You may need to replace it for a sewage treatment plant instead.

Protect your septic system!

  1. Have your septic tank inspected every 2 to 3 years and pump as recommended
  2. Use water efficiently: fill the bathtub with only as much water as you need, not more. Turn off taps while shaving or brushing your teeth. Make sure the dishwasher and clothes washer run only when they’re full. Use toilets to flush sewage only. Turn off all taps when not in use.
  3. Eliminate leaks by maintaining your plumbing and replace old toilets, dishwashers and clothes washers with high-efficiency modern models.
  4. Avoid disposing of household hazardous wastes in toilets.
  5. Care for your septic tank: Avoid driving on your septic tank, avoid parking vehicles on top of septic tanks. Doing so can compact the soil and damage below-ground pipes, tanks and other septic system components.
  6. Plant only grass over them and near your septic system. If you have a drain field, protect it by planting only grass over and near your septic system. Roots from trees may clog and damage drain fields.
  7. Always keep roof drains and any rainwater and surface water drainage systems away from the septic tank. By flooding the drain field with excessive water you may slow down or stop treatment processes which will lead to plumbing fixtures to back up.
  8. Avoid flushing any type of septic tank cloggers into the toilets: cat litter, cigarette filters, diapers, coffee grounds, greases (use a grease trap), feminine hygiene products and any sanitary items…
  9. Septic tank bacteria’s killers: household chemicals but also gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, paint, etc. may affect septic tanks performances.