How To Make The Most Of Your Septic Tank

Disposal of sewage has been a problem for hundreds of years – ever since man ceased to be nomadic.
From outside privies to earth toilets to septic tanks and now, sewage treatment plants. Our first house was an old house with an outdoor earth toilet. Even my primary school had outside earth toilets and that was as recent as 1964. Many drained the liquid effluent directly into ditches and caused massive pollution. Even London did not have a sewer system until 1869
Common sense can maintain a septic system very easily
Here are some of my tips for septic tank care.
Don’t flush anything that is non-degradable or anti-bacterial.
Spread out the laundry over several days of the week.
Use the correct amount of water and detergent for each load of laundry.
Don’t have your rain run off, guttering and drainage drain directly into the septic tank.
Scrap food scraps into the waste bin or compost instead of down the sink.
Don’t overload the water supply into the system.
Or don’t use the washing machine, dishwasher and drain a bathtub all at the same time. Soakaway field failures are incredibly common and can cost thousands to replace.
Being kind to the septic system keeps it healthy and relatively maintenance free.
Avoid planting trees in the leach field. Roots will block drainage system.
Be very careful of the chemicals and additives you add to your system. If you have a problem, read the labels and make sure you are using the correct additive for the problem.
Regular emptying will remove the solids (and is usually more frequent on systems with unhealthy or dead bacteria) this allows you a chance for an checkup of the condition of the tank.
One of the things to avoid is allowing grease and fabric detergents to accumulate in my septic system. This is easy to do. Grease and fats are disposed of in the rubbish bin. Detergents are another matter. If you are going to use a laundry detergent, read the label and use the correct amount. Clothes do not get cleaner with two scoops. The alternative was my discovery of the laundry product ‘Eco-Balls’, this eliminates the need for any laundry soap or detergent, also a side benefit is you don’t use hot h2o any more (a significant saving).
Should you have problems with your septic tank, consider installing a sewage treatment plant instead. These can discharge directly into a ditch, stream or river and are a far cheaper alternative to installing a new soakaway.

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