The most important thing you can do to maintain your septic tank is to have it pumped out regularly before it gets too full and causes clogs and other problems. Other than calling a septic tank maintenance company on time, there isn't much you can do to clean your tank. However, there is a lot you can do to maintain the tank while it's filling between service calls. Here are four important ways to care for your septic tank.
1. Keep the Land Above the Tank Clear
Your tank and drainfield should be located in an area of your yard that you keep covered only in the grass. You don't want to plant trees near your septic system or tree roots might cause damage to the drainfield or tank. Don't build a shed or other building over the drainfield and tank. Also, don't drive across the septic system or the weight of your car can crack the tank or harm the field.
Be careful about placing a hot tub or swimming pool near the septic system because you don't want to flood the area with water when you drain the pool or tub. Other than planting grass and keeping it mowed, leave the septic area alone so the tank can drain properly and filter through the soil.
2. Mark the Lid
Depending on the size of your septic tank, you may only need to have it cleaned out every few years. You'll probably forget the location of the tank between visits unless the lid is marked somehow. If the lid gets buried under the grass, the septic maintenance professional can locate it, but you may get charged for the service.
Having the lid marked not only makes it easy to find when it's time to pump the tank, but it also helps you remember the location of the tank so you can give it wide berth when working in your yard or putting in landscaping.
3. Limit What Goes in the Tank
If you're careful about what goes down the drains and toilets in your house, you can avoid clogs and backups. Your septic system will have more problems if you use your garbage disposal frequently, pour strong chemicals in the drains, or flush things besides toilet paper. In addition to keeping grease and unnecessary solids out of the drains, be careful about flooding the tank with large amounts of water. Practice water conservation in your house so water doesn't flush through your tank so fast that fats and solids don't have time to settle properly.
4. Get Prompt Service When Needed
Even if you're careful, septic problems can arise. The tank may fill quicker than you anticipated or the system might get clogged with roots from a neighbor's tree. When you notice problems with your system, call for septic service maintenance right away before sewage backs over in the yard or damage is done to the tank.