You may already know you have a septic system. If you don’t know, here are telltale indications that you probably do:
If you still are not sure, call your local code enforcement office or the local governmental office that deals with land, and ask whether they have a septic design or any record of a septic system on file for your property. Once you have determined that you have a septic system, you can find it by:
Caring for your septic system involves just three things: replenishing the level of bacteria in your tank to help digest the solids, cleaning the filter once a year, and pumping the tank at least every three to five years to remove accumulated inorganic sludge (i.e., not biodegradable) that eventually could build up enough to clog your system.
Adding instant dried yeast to your system periodically helps maintain bacterial levels – about ½ cup the first time, and then ¼ cup every four months thereafter. Use of bacteria-killing household products will also kill the bacteria in your septic tank that are needed to digest accumulated solids. Most toilet bowl cleaners contain bleach, as do other household cleaning products, and bleach kills bacteria; yeast is a simple, inexpensive solution for replenishing the needed bacteria in your system.
How often you should pump your septic tank depends on the size of the tank and the number of people living in your house. As a general rule, you should have it inspected and pumped every three to five years to keep it in good working order. Contact us to learn more.
Your septic filter traps particles and prevents them from damaging your system’s “downstream” components (e.g., your pump and your leach field). Cleaning it annually ensures that it will keep doing its job. This is something you can do yourself with a screwdriver, a hose and a pair of rubber gloves (check YouTube for video tutorials), or you can contact us for assistance.
Use water efficiently. All the water your household sends down its pipes winds up in your septic system.
To lighten the load on your septic system, the EPA recommends using high-efficiency toilets, aerator faucets and water-saving shower heads, as well as adjusting washing machine water levels to the size of your loads and stretching out those loads over several days rather than all on one laundry day.
Also, don’t flush cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, dental floss, baby wipes, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, condoms or disposable diapers down the toilet. Don’t pour grease, cooking oil, paint or paint thinner, harsh chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, oil or antifreeze down your drain.
If you have a garbage disposal, use it sparingly. Note that unless your original septic system was designed to include a garbage disposal, New Jersey law requires that the disposal must be removed in order for you to sell your house.
Your drain field is a component of your septic system that removes contaminants from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank. Your drain field is an important part of your septic system. Here are a few things you should do to maintain it:
A foul odor is not always the first sign of a malfunctioning septic system. Call a septic professional if you notice any of the following: