April 6, 2020

You may not have thought about it but having the whole family at home all day every day means your septic system is getting a lot more use than normal. So it makes sense to give some thought to this often-overlooked system before you get a really nasty surprise. 

Most septic service professionals recommend having the average household system inspected every three years and pumped every three to five years. More complex systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often. If it’s been a while since your system was serviced, get it checked.  

Precaution over convenience

Be sure that everyone in your family knows that flushing anything but human waste and toilet paper is a no, no. We’re all using a lot more paper towels and wipes these days but remember that anything designed to absorb water is going to expand in your septic tank and create problems. Even if some of these products are marked “flushable,” they can still bunch up and cause clogging. It may seem convenient, but in the long run, flushing them is a bad idea. 

Your septic system is not just a holding tank. It’s a complex series of tanks and pipes containing a collection of living organisms that digest and treat human waste. So, while disinfectant wipes and cleaners can keep us safer, they can also be toxic to these organisms.

Under normal circumstances our septic systems can handle a little abuse and neglect. But, with increased use and stress they may be more prone to problems that are not just inconvenient and unpleasant but VERY expensive. 

Here’s a few more maintenance tips from the EPA:

Never flush:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Disinfectant wipes, baby wipes or other wet wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Paper towels
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household chemicals like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners.

Other tips:

  • Eliminate or limit the use of your garbage disposal

Maintain your leach field:

  • Never park or drive on it.
  • Plant trees an appropriate distance away to keep roots from growing into your septic system. A septic service professional can advise you of the proper distance.
  • Keep roof drains, sump pumps, and other drainage systems away. Excess water slows down or stops the wastewater treatment process.

We’re here to help keep you safe

At Spyglass Home Inspections our clients already know they can call us any time after a home inspection to get help and advice. We’d like to extend that courtesy to all our neighbors and friends during this stressful time. You have enough on your mind – worrying about a problem that’s come up with your house shouldn’t’ be one of them.

If something has gone wrong with one of the systems in your home, call us and we’ll help you decide if you need to deal with it right now or if you can wait until things calm down. If you need immediate help from a licensed professional, we’ll let you know and help you find the right person.

Take care and be well,

Bern Galat

Spyglass Home Inspections

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