Homeowners who use a septic system to process the wastewater from their home should follow some basic guidelines to ensure that everything continues to function at an optimal level. Those guidelines include:
- Do not flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper.
- Do not put grease, oil or food waste down the drain.
- Do not use a garbage disposal.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals that can end up in the septic tank.
- Do not flush medications (prescription or over the counter) down the drain or toilet.
- Limit the amount of water you use.
How Many Loads of Laundry Can You Do With a Septic System?
The last guideline in the list above is recommended to avoid overloading your septic tank or causing oversaturation in your septic drain field. Your home’s septic system was designed to process a set amount of wastewater based on the size of your home and the number of occupants. Too much water getting processed through the system can cause issues.
Laundry is one area where homeowners can inadvertently use too much water. Obviously, the amount of laundry you do in a day will depend on your family size and how often you do laundry.
Some experts recommend limiting the number of loads of laundry per day to two or three, but other studies have shown that a septic system can handle up to seven loads of laundry without any significant impact on its performance. The key is to space out the loads so that the system has time to recover between each one. If you do more than a few loads in quick succession, you run the risk of overloading the system and causing it to fail.
Additionally, be mindful of how you wash your clothes. Front-loading washing machines use less water than top-loading machines. And, if you have an older washing machine, it may use more water than a newer model. You can check the manual for your washing machine to determine how much water it uses per cycle.
If you are doing several loads of laundry in a day, space them out so that the septic system has time to process the wastewater before the next load is started. Additionally, consider doing laundry late at night or early in the morning when everyone is asleep and using little to no water. This will help prevent overloading the system.
Other Ways to Avoid Excess Water in Your Septic System
Of course, homes use water for a variety of purposes, not just for laundry. Here are some other ways you can avoid putting too much water into your septic system:
- Fix leaky toilets, faucets and pipes. A single faucet that leaks one drip per second can waste over five gallons of water each day. In addition, water spilling out from a leaky pipe or toilet wastes loads of water and can even damage your home.
- Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. These devices help to save loads of water each day without sacrificing performance.
- Limit your showers to five minutes or less. A study from the Water Research Foundation in 2016 found that a typical shower lasts eight minutes and uses 17 gallons of water. Reducing your shower time by even a minute or two can make a big difference in the amount of water your household uses each day.
- Wash your dishes in an automatic dishwasher. Dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand, so you can save water and time by using one.
- Run the clothes washer only when you have a full load. Washing loads of laundry takes several gallons of water, so it is more efficient to wait until you have a full load before turning on the washing machine.
Following these tips can help you avoid putting too much water into your septic system and keep it functioning properly for years to come.
What Happens If I Put Too Much Water In My Septic System?
If too much water enters the septic tank, it can cause the system to fail. This can lead to sewage backups in your home, overflowing toilets, and other problems.
Additionally, if you overload your septic system with water, it can cause the drainfield to become oversaturated. This can lead to flooding and serious damage to your property.
If you suspect that your septic system is not functioning properly, you should always contact a professional septic contractor for assistance.
Be Mindful of What You Put Down the Drain
In addition to limiting the amount of water you use, it is also important to be mindful of what you put down the drain. As mentioned above, do not flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper. This includes feminine hygiene products, condoms, cleaning wipes, and paper towels. These items can clog your septic system and cause problems.
Grease, oil, and food waste should never go down the drain. Instead, dispose of them in the trash. And avoid using a garbage disposal if you have a septic system. The grinding action of the disposal can break up solids in the septic tank too much and lead to a clogged drainfield.
You should also avoid using harsh chemicals in your home if you have a septic system. This includes bleach, drain cleaners, and oven cleaners. These chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank that help to break down waste.
Finally, do not flush medications, prescription or otherwise, down the drain or toilet. These drugs can end up in the groundwater and cause environmental contamination. The best way to dispose of them is to take them to a drug drop-off location.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your septic system continues to function properly. If you have any questions about your system or if you think there may be a problem, contact a professional septic contractor for assistance.
Other Ways to Avoid Excess Water in Your Septic System
Of course, homes use water for a variety of purposes, not just for laundry.
Septic Service In and Near Lakeland
When you need septic service in central Florida, contact Septic and Drainfield Depot. We are the best septic company in and near Lakeland, offering a full range of septic services for businesses and homeowners.
Whether you need routine septic tank pumping or a complete septic system installation, our team of experienced septic technicians stands ready to meet your needs.
Contact us today for a free estimate.