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  • Writer's picture1st Choice Septic Pumping

5 Things You Wish You Knew About Septic System

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

If you own a home or business with a septic system you probably think you know everything about it. The size of the septic tank, where the drain fields are located and how often it needs to be pumped. So rather than tell you about what you already know about your septic system, we’re going to tell you 5 things you didn’t know about your septic system. Keep reading to see what they are, and how you can keep your septic system in top shape for years to come.

1. Your Septic System Does More Than Handle The Wastewater From Your Toilet

The first thing that probably comes to mind when thinking of your septic system is ‘oh yeah, that’s where all the poo goes’. While that is right, your system handles a lot more than just toilet waste. When you pour soup down your kitchen sink it goes to the septic. Every time you rinse after brushing (hopefully twice a day) it goes to the septic. And yes, that really muddy load of kids laundry you just washed also goes down to the septic. These are just a few examples, but it’s important to know that any and all waste water in your home finds its way to your septic system.

2. Excessive Laundry Can Be Harmful To Your Septic System

No, we’re not suggesting doing laundry only once a month. The key word here is excessive. How can it affect your septic system? Naturally your septic system works slow. It needs time to break down the wastewater so it can work it’s way to the drain field and be put into the ground safely. Running your washing machine excessively can cause the tank to flood with more water. That means the solids that need to rise to the top do so at a much faster rate, causing a big problem. So next time you have multiple loads of laundry to run, space it out over a course of a few days to avoid any potential issues.

3. Drain Cleaners Are A Septic No No

Drains get clogged, pipes get backed up - there’s no way around it. The first thing many of us do is run to the local store and grab some Drano to get everything flowing again. Simple right? Unfortunately this quick and easy fix can actually be harmful to your septic system. You see, your septic tank is full of good bacteria that helps break down solids and waste - a critical component of your septic system. The chemicals in drain cleaners - while helpful for getting things flowing again - are good bacteria’s worst enemy. If that solid waste can’t be broken down it can leak into your yard, which is the last thing you want. Instead next time you have a backed up pipe or clogged drain find an alternative way to fix the problem, rather than grabbing the strongest drain cleaner you can find.

4. Grey Water From Your Septic System Is Dispersed Directly Into Your Yard - Affecting The Groundwater

When wastewater from your home finds its way to your septic tank it doesn’t stop there. It first sits while it’s being broken down by good bacteria. Once that process happens the solids float to the top as the grey water makes it’s way to the drain field. From there it’s broken down farther before finally being distributed back into the ground around your home. In other words if your septic system isn’t working properly it not only smells bad, but it affects your entire yard.

5. Adding More People To Your Family Can Negatively Affect Your Septic System

As we get older many of us have kids and later down the road we may even find ourselves as caretakers to our parents. Soon you could find that your septic system rated for a small family is now taking on the load of a large family. This additional stress can cause backups if you do not have your septic tank pumped more frequently. If you're adding to your family, bring that up with your septic tank service company to find out the best pumping schedule for your situation.

Did you learn something new? We hope so. If you live in around Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and want to learn more about your specific septic system give 1st Choice Septic Pumping a call at 573-280-5052.

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