#1. How often should I pump my septic tank?
We get a lot of questions about septic systems, like “How often should I pump my tank?” or, “Do I have to get an inspection? Where is my tank located?” and so many more. We know that it’s easy to have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to your septic system, so with that in mind, we put together a short list of commonly asked questions homeowners should know about their septic system.
How often you should pump your septic tank depends on the size of your septic tank and the number of people in your household. If you have a garbage disposal, your system may require more frequent pumping. Other factors that determine how often you should have your septic tank pumped include the age of your system, condition of your drainfield, naturally occurring bacteria in your system and overall water usage. We recommend pumping every 2-3 years on average but below is a chart to help you decide the best schedule for your home.
#2. Is it true that if you have a septic system you shouldn’t use a garbage disposal?
True. Garbage disposals can increase the amount of solids in your septic tank by up to 50 percent. Eliminating your garbage disposal can help to reduce the amount of grease and solids that enter your drainfield. Why is it important to reduce solids? Solids increase the amount of sludge and scum in your septic tank which can lead to backups and difficulty when pumping.
#3. Are flushable wipes safe for my septic system?
No. No. No. Did I say no? There is truly no such thing as a “flushable” wipe, despite what advertisers will say. “Flushable” wipes do not disintegrate easily or quickly which can clog up your septic system leading to major backups. See for yourself in this Consumer Reports experiment. If you have a septic system, its best to treat “flushable” wipes just like baby wipes or face wipes and throw them in the garbage, not the toilet.
4. How can I keep my septic system healthy?
Limit the chemicals, greases and solids that enter your system. You do not need to add any enzymes or other additives in most situations.
#5. Can you use a water softener if you have a septic system?
Yes. But if you choose to use a water softening system in a house connected to a septic system it’s best to contact a plumbing professional to discuss alternate drain–routing options. This simple, inexpensive measure can prevent septic tank and treatment system failure and keep all warranties in effect.