FAQ: Caring for Your Septic System

Your septic system should last many years if properly maintained and cleaned. The number one rule is to have your septic system inspected and pumped regularly. Using water efficiently, properly disposing of waste, and maintaining your drain field are all equally as important.

Inspection and Pumping

A professional septic servicing company should inspect the average household septic system at least every three years. They will look for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in the tank. The septic tank should be emptied every three to five years. However, this will be determined by the family size, total wastewater generated, volume of solids in the wastewater, and septic tank size.

The Importance of Efficient Water Usage

A typical single-family home can use as much as 70 gallons of water per individual per day. A leaky or running toilet can add as much as 200 gallons per day. All this water goes down the pipes and into the septic system. The more water a household can conserve, the less water is in the septic system. By conserving water use, you can improve the septic system's operation and reduce the risk of septic failure.

Consider installing high-efficiency toilets in your home. Many older homes have toilets with a 3.5-to-5-gallon reservoir. The newer, higher-efficiency toilets only use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. As you can see, replacing older toilets with high-efficiency toilets is an easy fix to reduce the amount of household water being flushed into the septic system. Additionally, you may want to install faucet aerators, and high-efficiency shower heads as these will help reduce water usage and the volume of water entering your system. 

Using the proper settings on your washing machine can also help conserve water usage. Don't wash a small load using a large-load cycle. This wastes not only water but also energy. Selecting the proper load size will reduce water waste. Also, try to spread out your washing machine use throughout the week. Doing all your laundry in one day can harm your septic system. The system will not have enough time to treat waste and could flood your drain field. If you need a new washing machine, consider a washer with the Energy Star label as these machines use 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than standard washing machines.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Everything you flush down the toilet, grind in the garbage disposal, or pour down the sink, shower, or bath ends up in your septic system. Remember that toilets are not trash cans! Do not flush anything besides toilet paper and human waste. Always maintain your drain field.

Your drain field is a critical component of your septic system. It removes contaminants from the liquid that drains from your septic tank. Please treat it with respect. Do not park on top of your drain field. Parking on top of the drain field can crack pipes or cause them to collapse. Also, do not plant trees or shrubs on top of or alongside the drain field. The roots will grow into your septic system. Long Hill Contracting LLC can advise you of the distance needed between your plantings and the drain field. They can also advise you on where to place your roof drains or sump pumps, as these will cause excess water to enter the wastewater treatment process.

Long Hill Contracting LLC can help you with your septic system needs. A failing septic system can cause damage and contamination to your property. Long Hill Contracting LLC is an active National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) member.

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