How To Go Longer Between Septic Pumping Appointments

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Do you find that you need to have your septic system pumped every year or every two years, whereas your neighbors and friends can wait five or more years? It's really important to have your septic tank pumped out promptly once the solid waste builds up, so you don't want to delay your pumping appointment when your drains are slow and you're noticing other signs that pumping is needed. However, there are some other things you can do from the get-go in order to reduce the rate of solid buildup within your tank, thereby increasing the time you can wait between pumping appointments.

1. Use septic-friendly toilet paper.

Most toilet paper is okay to use in a septic system, but toilet paper that is labeled "septic friendly" is a better choice than most. This toilet paper is usually thinner and designed to break down more quickly. It's not as thin and papery as toilet paper you often see in public restrooms. There are options that are pleated and made from somewhat softer materials for comfort. With septic-friendly toilet paper, less paper will accumulate in the septic tank, so it won't need to be pumped out as often.

2. Avoid putting wet wipes and feminine hygiene products down the toilet.

These items may technically be flushable in that they won't cause major clogs in your pipes. However, they break down really slowly. Every tampon or wet wipe that you flush down the toilet is likely to require removal by the septic company a few years down the road. Leave a waste paper basket in your bathroom, and use it to dispose of these items. One with a lid won't let odors escape. Also avoid flushing paper towels, facial tissues, cotton balls, and basically anything that is not toilet paper. All these things will do is take up space and make pumping increasingly necessary.

3. Cut down on your use of bleach.

Bleach is excellent at killing bacteria. As it turns out, that's not a good thing for your septic tank, which relies on bacteria to break down the waste it contains. You don't have to do away with using bleach entirely, but do try to minimize the amount that gets washed down the drain. If you need to wipe something up with bleach, try using a spray and a paper towel, which you can then put in the trash, instead of preparing a large bucket of bleach water that you end up dumping down the drain. And don't clean your drains with bleach, either. Baking soda has similar deodorizing abilities and is much easier on your septic system.

4. Don't use the garbage disposal.

Not all plumbers agree about the compatability of garbage disposals and septic tanks. Some plumbers will outright refuse to install a disposal in a home that is on septic. Others will install the apparatus, but with heavy warnings that it should only be used in moderation. The food waste that you put down the disposal all ends up in the septic tank, and it takes a lot longer to break down than human waste (which has already been digested.) If you do have a garbage disposal, turning it off and not using it at all will allow you to go much longer between pumping appointments. A disposal might be convenient, but putting food scraps in the garbage or compost isn't too much harder.

If you follow the advice above, you might be able to go longer between septic pumping appointments. However, it is still important to periodically have your system checked and maintained by a septic care professional. Reach out to septic system pumping services for more information.

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21 October 2019

What is a Septic Tank?

Hello. My name is Anna, and I have lived in a home with a septic tank for the past nine years. Throughout this time, I have learned a lot about septic systems and what sort of maintenance needs to be done to keep them working perfectly. I want to pass that knowledge on to you. This blog will tell you what a septic system is and how it works. I will also discuss the pros and cons of having a septic system versus a public sewer. Finally, I will give you some tips and rules on how to care for your septic system.