When it comes to maintaining a septic system in New England, you really need to stay on top of it on a daily basis. Whether you realize it or not, everything you do can potentially impact your septic system. Rather than providing a whole list of things you should do and things you shouldn’t do, this article will focus on the reasons why you need to stay on top of your septic system in order to keep it functioning efficiently for many years to come.
The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous places for the septic system. Homeowners all throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as the rest of New England, put all sorts of things down the kitchen sink that have no business going down there. The first rule of thumb is that you should never put solids down the drain and allow them to get into the septic system. The more solids in your system, the harder your system needs to work to break them down and more frequently you’ll need to have your tank pumped.
Kitchen cleaners and other commonly used chemicals can also wreck havoc on your septic system. For proper wastewater cleaning in Westport, Wareham and Plymouth, it is best to avoid use of common household chemicals in the kitchen if they will end up in your septic system. Spraying counters and wiping them with paper towels that will be disposed of is one thing, but spraying your sink with bleach or diluting floor cleaner in your sink for mopping is a recipe for disaster. Household chemicals can actually kill off the beneficial microbes that naturally occur in a septic system that work to break down solids and should never be used.
If you have a septic system you are probably already aware of the special toilet paper products that must be used in order to properly maintain your system. In addition, reducing the amount of water used in the bathroom is a great way to help improve the efficiency of your septic system. Septic maintenance in Cape Cod or anywhere else in New England should include restricting the amount of water used each day. Limiting the amount time that family members spend in the shower is one of the best ways to save water. Too much water in your septic system doesn’t give the system enough time to effectively clean and purify the wastewater.
Children can often cause problems to a septic system in the area of the bathroom. Small children love to flush everything they can fit into the toilet when they begin potty training and older children have a tendency to flush anything they don’t want their parents to find. Notes from friends, things they might be embarrassed about or might get them into trouble – it all goes down the toilet. Have a conversation with your children and share with them the importance of not putting solids down the drains. Training for proper septic system care should start early and frequent reminders are also beneficial.
Tools You Can Use
It can be difficult to stay on top of water usage and monitoring what items are going down the drain, particularly in a busy home with lots of children. Here are some simple things you can do or add that will make the job of maintaining a septic system in New England a lot easier:
- Composting – Setting up a compost system for kitchen waste instead of using a garbage disposal or risking kids putting solid food waste down the sink can decrease sludge build up by as much as 40%. Set up a compost pail next to the kitchen sink to collect fruit rinds, coffee grounds, egg shells and other compost items and create a compost pile in your backyard – away from the drain field.
- Grease Can – Keep a grease can for cooking grease used in frying or from bacon or other foods. You can use an old coffee can with a lid and then throw out the grease with your regular garbage. Keeping grease out of your septic system will benefit its effectiveness for years to come.
- Water-Saving Toilets – These specialized units are available through most home improvement stores and are designed to use 1/3 less water than conventional toilets. This is a great way to reduce water usage without having to think about it every time you flush.
- Reduced-flow Taps and Shower Heads – Very easy to install and use, these low-cost tools will help to reduce the amount of water used in the shower and in your sinks. These are particularly helpful in households with teenagers who won’t adhere to time-limit rules for showers.
Septic Maintenance in Cape Cod and Beyond
The typical septic system in New England is designed to handle a “normal” amount of wastewater, but how much is considered normal? The best way to put it in perspective is to look at what’s not normal. Dish washing, showers for six people, three loads of laundry and 100 people over for a party all in one day is not considered normal – in fact, it could be a recipe for disaster.
For more tips and professional advice on septic maintenance in Cape Cod or to hire professional wastewater cleaning in Westport, contact All-Clear Septic and Wastewater. Located in Acushnet, All-Clear services customers all throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and is certified to perform Title V Inspections and Rhode Island Town Inspections. Call All-Clear at 508-763-4431 to set up an affordable maintenance program for your septic system.