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The Most Common Septic Tank Mistakes: And How You Can Avoid Them

For most people, their septic tank is one of those "out of sight, out of mind" sort of things. They really don't give it a second thought until there's a problem. But just because you don't have a current problem, that doesn't mean you should be ignoring your septic tank. In fact, you could be damaging your system without even realizing it. Here's a look at some of the most common mistakes people make with their septic tank, and how you can avoid them.

Tip #1: Don't Be So Much On Top Of Your Laundry

While frequently doing laundry is a great way to stay on top of your household chores, it's actually not good for your septic system. Your washing machine uses a very large amount of water, so make sure you're not doing it too often. Only wash when you have a full load of laundry, and spread your loads out over several days if possible. Too many loads at once will put a strain on your septic system's drain field, and may cause excess water to seep up through the surface.

Tip #2: Dispose of Your Garbage Disposal (For Some Things)

A home garbage disposal is one of the worst things for a septic tank. While it's convenient to scrape everything down your disposal, there are lots of things that shouldn't be, including fruit and vegetable peelings, bone or meat, and grease. All of these materials will not fully break down in your system, and will eventually build up, causing blockages.

Tip #3: Things That Are "Flushable" Usually Shouldn't Be

Two common household items that are advertised as "flushable" can end up causing a major headache with your septic system. One is cat litter, which never totally breaks down in your septic system, and will build up and clog the lines over times. The other is flushable bathroom wipes that have become popular in recent years. These too don't completely break down like toilet paper does, and will stop up your septic system over time.

Your septic system needs attention and care whether there's a problem or not. Don't wait until something goes wrong. It's recommended to pump your system every 5 to 7 years, depending on how many people live in your home. Pay attention to what you're putting in your septic system and give it a little preventative maintenance, and your system will last for years to come. Talk to people like American Pumping Service for more information.


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