Are you the owner of a septic tank? Has it been a while since you've even thought about your septic tank? Although having a septic system doesn't necessarily mean that you have to think about it every day, there are still some things that you need to do in order to ensure that yours continues to remain functional for as long as possible. Failure to do these things can potentially result in having to replace the tank prematurely, something that can be more expensive than you'd probably like. If it's been a while since you thought about septic tank maintenance, here is a refresher on things that need to be done:
Regular cleaning: In general, septic tank cleaning is something that should be done every 3 to 5 years, but this can vary depending on the size of the household and how often the system gets used. For instance, a cabin in the woods with a tiny tank that only gets used on summer weekends will be able to go much longer without a septic tank cleaning than a home that is lived in and used on a daily basis. If you can't remember how long it's been since you had a cleaning performed, it's quite possibly overdue.
Only use safe bathroom tissue: Not all bathroom tissues are safe for septic tanks. Some simply take too long to break down and can clog up the system, resulting in a need for more frequent septic tank cleaning sessions. Aside from that, you also need to avoid flushing things like baby wipes, most so-called adult flushable wipes, paper towels, and similar items. These things are even harder to break down and will clog up the septic tank even faster. If you've used any of these things in the past, you should have your tank cleaned out as soon as possible to prevent a potentially catastrophic clogging.
Staggered laundry days: Traditional washing machines can use a lot of water for a single load. If you don't have a low-water-usage, high-efficiency washer, doing more than a couple of loads of laundry at once could easily overwhelm a smaller septic tank with relatively clean water. The beneficial bacteria that break down the sewage solids will get flushed out of the septic tank and may take some time to recover. This can reduce the ability of the tank to break down sewage solids and, over time, result in a need for a septic tank cleaning before it would otherwise be due.