Homeowners with septic systems should be aware of the potential for a septic tank backup. This can happen when the system is overloaded or when there is a blockage in the system.
A backup can lead to sewage flowing back into the home through drains in sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs. In addition to being disgusting, septic backups can be dangerous, possibly including the release of hazardous waste into the environment, contamination of drinking water supplies, and damage to property.
While avoiding a septic tank backup may seem like common sense, there are some specific things that homeowners can do to reduce their risk.
Here are 5 ways to avoid a septic tank backup. By following these tips, you can help keep your septic system running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.
1. Know What Can and Cannot Be Put Down the Drain
It is important to be mindful of what should and should not go down the drain. Grease, food particles, cooking oils, and coffee grounds can all cause clogs in kitchen and bathroom sinks. These materials can also stick to septic pipes, eventually building up to create an obstruction.
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can accumulate in the septic tank and even make their way into the septic drain field. Either of these issues can result in a backup.
Here are a few basic guidelines to keep your septic tank running effectively and minimize the need for frequent septic tank services:
- Flush only toilet paper and human waste. Do not flush wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, or cat litter.
- Do not flush chemicals like pain thinner, pesticides, bleach or battery acid.
- Do not flush medications – whether they are prescription or over the counter. These can damage the bacteria in the septic tank that are needed to properly break down waste.
2. Have Your Septic Tank Pumped and Inspected Regularly
It is important to have your septic tank regularly pumped and inspected by a professional septic company to ensure that it is working efficiently.
Pumping removes the buildup of solid waste in the tank, which can cause the bacteria essential for breaking down sewage to become overwhelmed and reduce system functionality.
In addition, having your system serviced allows experienced septic professionals to advise you on how best to maintain your system year-round to prevent any potential problems in the future. Regularly scheduling septic pumping and septic tank inspection may seem costly upfront but having a well-maintained septic tank can save you money in the long run by preventing repair costs due to a malfunctioning system.
3. Use Water Efficiently to Avoid Overloading the System
Your septic tank is meant to hold a certain amount of wastewater. Overloading it can lead to it being overfull – and result in a backup.
It is important to use water efficiently. By making lifestyle changes and adopting water-saving habits such as turning off the tap when brushing teeth, rather than running it continuously, or taking shorter showers, individuals can drastically reduce their risk of overloading the system.
Installing low-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads and faucets can also reduce water consumption significantly.
Another important way to conserve water is to only run appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers when they are full.
These small changes are easy to adopt and go a long way towards reducing the volume of wastewater your septic system has to process.
4. Be Aware of What is Happening In Your Yard
Keeping an eye on your yard is important when it comes to making sure that your septic system is functioning properly. Not only do you have to be mindful of the type of plants and landscaping that are planted near your septic tank or drainfield, you should periodically inspect those areas.
If you see water pooling or excessive greening of vegetation, there might be a problem with your septic tank or leach field. This could be a sign that a backup might occur.
5. Contact a Professional If You Have Any Concerns or Problems
Most homeowners do not have a great deal of familiarity with septic systems, and it can be very tempting to treat them as “out of sight, out of mind.” However, an unsanitary, potentially dangerous septic backup is a problem no one wants to have.
Septic problems often start as something small, but sometimes they come on suddenly. It is important to contact a septic contractor if you notice any potential signs of a problem, including:
If you notice an unpleasant smell near your property, it may be a sign of a septic tank problem. This is especially true if the smell persists or gets worse over time.
Slow-draining Sinks and Toilets
A clogged drain pipe or septic tank can cause slow-draining sinks and toilets.
Wet spots on your lawn could be a sign of a sewage leak.
If you notice standing water near your septic tank or drainfield, it could be a sign that your septic system needs to be serviced or repaired.
Septic systems are an important part of the everyday lives of many homeowners. It is crucial that they continue to work properly and effectively to process all the waste coming from the home. By following a few simple tips and being aware of what is happening in our yards, you can help avoid costly repairs or replacements down the road.
Septic Services In and Near Lakeland
Septic and Drainfield Depot is the best septic company in and near Lakeland. We have been serving Polk County and the surrounding Central Florida area for many years, and we pride ourselves in offering the highest quality septic services around.
Contact us any time; we know that septic emergencies need immediate care, so we are available 24/7.