septic-system-holidaysThe holidays are usually a time for overindulgence. In fact, more Americans gain weight in the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s each year due to all of the holiday meals, parties, cookies and other sweet treats that always seem to get handed out this time of year. Unfortunately you are not alone. If you are the proud owner of a septic system then you are hopefully well aware of the toll that the holidays can take on it if you are not prepared.
Step One: Get Your Septic System Inspected
Before the holidays even begin, it is in your best interest to get your septic system inspected by a licensed and certified professional to make sure that it is in good working order. This should be done before cold weather arrives in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, before the ground freezes and before your house is filled with tons of toilet-flushing guests.

When You Get Your Septic System Inspected…
Your service technician will check to see how full the septic tank is and make sure that it is processing waste properly. The drain or leach field will also be checked to make sure it isn’t blocked in any way and that it is processing the liquid the way that it should. If it is necessary, the technician will pump and maintain the system, making any required repairs during the visit or on a future visit. Tell your technician how many guests you are expecting and ask whether or not your septic system can handle that many guests. Through routine septic system pumping this should not be an issue, but it never hurts to ask a professional just to be sure.

Step Two: Pump and Maintain Your Septic System
One of the best things that a homeowner can do is to get on a Preventative Maintenance Program with their septic system service company. However, if you have not had your septic system inspected or pumped in a long time, anytime is a good time to call for service. A professional technician will help you to pump and maintain your septic system year-round, but the time for routine pumping is now before you end up dealing with a septic system emergency.
Step Three: Know What to Look For
When it comes to owning a home with a septic system, it is important that you know what to look for with regard to signs or signals that your septic system might be having problems. You shouldn’t experience a failure if you get your system inspected annually and sign up for routine septic system pumping, but you should still know the signs of system failure.
Pay attention to your septic system and watch for the following signs:

  • slow pipes
  • gurgling pipes
  • an odor in the house or outside near the leach field
  • a puddling or pooling in the yard

Step Four: Train Your Family
Everyone who lives in your house should know the rules of good septic care by now. If not, now is the time to teach them. Knowing not to flush any items other than toilet paper down the commode will help prevent some of the most common problems associated with septic system care. If you and your children know the rules of septic system care, chances are they will share that with any guests that might visit for the holidays.

7 Things You Should NEVER Do If You Own a Septic System
#1 – never add bacterial additives to your septic system, always contact a professional
#2 – never allow your guests to park their cars over the drain or leach field, rope it off if you need to in order to keep it clear
#3 – never dump grease down the drain, pour hot grease into an old metal coffee can and wipe pans out with a paper towel
#4 – never use a garbage disposal without clearing it with your septic system technician first to make sure your system can handle its use
#5 – never put trash down drains or in toilets including feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarette butts, paper towels, toilet paper that isn’t approved for septic system use, coffee grounds and filters
#6 – never pour chemicals down drains as they will kill the “good bacteria” that breaks down waste in your septic system, this includes cleaners, paint thinner, gasoline, oil, pesticides and other known pollutants
#7 – never be embarrassed to tell guests about basic septic care, it will save you from costly septic system emergency care and repair

Step Five: Talk to Your Guests
Don’t be ashamed to talk with your guests about proper septic care. Only 20 percent of Americans use a septic system for the treatment of wastewater, so chances are your guests might not even know anything about good septic care. Remind them not to use the toilet as a trash can and to limit the length and frequency of showers if they are staying over during the holidays. Tell guests not to stick food items or grease in your sink, a well-meaning guest who attempts to do the dishes for you might end up causing a costly septic system emergency.
Face the Truth About the Holidays
The more that you understand as a homeowner about the strain that the holidays can put on your septic system, the better you will be able to avoid costly repairs. Routine septic system pumping will help keep everything running smoothly and you should consider adding a Preventative Maintenance Program that will ensure that your septic system is inspected by a licensed and certified professional. If you remember to pump and maintain your septic system all year round, you can avoid costly septic system emergency calls during the busy holiday season.
All-Clear Septic & Wastewater works in all types of weather and in every season of the year. However, it is important to pump and maintain your septic system through regular inspections and routine septic system pumping based on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your household. All-Clear can help get you on the path to healthy septic system maintenance and care, making sure that all of your holiday entertaining isn’t ruined by a septic system emergency.

If you suspect that your septic system has failed or is getting ready to fail in any way, contact All-Clear right away for immediate service. Owning a septic system doesn’t have to be a huge inconvenience or a big expense. Making sure that you pump and maintain your septic system year-round and learning all you can about proper use and care will make a big difference in the way you feel about it. Contact All-Clear today to get your septic system inspected or to set up an appointment to schedule routine septic system pumping.