Your Briarcliff Manor, NY, home’s septic system is a wonderfully simple yet effective and reliable way of managing wastewater. Maintaining your septic system’s efficiency requires certain procedures and precautions. Following these guidelines can not only reduce the environmental impact of wastewater, but also the longevity and maintenance cost of your septic system.
Inspecting the system regularly
An annual inspection is probably the most important part of caring for your septic system. A major part of these inspections is checking the levels of the sludge and scum in the tank. In general, if the tank is more than one-third full it should be pumped to prevent untreated materials from being pumped into the drain field and potentially clogging up the porous pipes that allow effluent to assimilate into the soil. Moreover, unearthing the septic tank cover and working around it can be potentially dangerous. Gases emitted during the decomposition processes occurring in the tank can be highly toxic too. This makes it vitally important to have a licensed professional carry out the inspection.
In addition to the tank, the drain field should also be inspected to check the condition of the pipes. Any pumps and distribution boxes should also be inspected for leaks or clogs. Lastly, the walls of the septic tank itself should be inspected for cracks. The inspection and maintenance procedures can vary from system to system, which is another reason why a licensed professional is your best bet for effective maintenance. Lastly, keep a record of the maintenance which can help prevent any unforeseen problems in the future.
Care about what you put in your tank
With a septic system, a little care in how you use water and what you let into the tank can go a long way in keeping your system working effectively. Avoid overloading the system with excessive water usage. This can not only cause a back-up, but also result in untreated solids being pushed into the drain field where they can clog up the perforations in the pipes. Moreover, minimizing the amount of chemicals, grease, and solids being put into the water system. An excessive amount of chemicals such as bleach, drain cleaners and detergents can kill the bacteria in the tank and disrupt the decomposition processes. Grease can lead to a build-up of the scum and sludge in the tank. Lastly, minimize the use of garbage disposals and avoid introducing any non-decomposing solids into the drainage system. These will settle at the bottom of the tank and require more frequent pumping to keep your system working effectively.
Caring for the drain field
A properly functional drain field is an integral component of your septic system. Avoid any unnecessary loads, such as vehicles or heavy machinery from traversing over it, as this can damage the pipes and cause soil compaction. Compacted soil assimilates water much slower and can potentially clog up the drain field. Moreover, be careful of any landscaping and construction around your drain field. Roots from plants and trees can also damage the pipes and the septic tank. Grass is the ideal cover for the drain field as it is unobtrusive and allows the easy access of oxygen into the soil, which is necessary for proper decomposition.
With a little care and periodic maintenance, your septic system can last for decades. Proper maintenance can not only save you from a hefty replacement cost, but also keep your property clean and healthy.