If you've just moved into a house that is on a septic system and you've never used a septic system before, you will find lots of advice about how to find the tank and what to do in terms of maintenance. Using a septic system really isn't that difficult, but the sheer amount of information that you need to take in at first can be overwhelming, and some of it can get lost in the shuffle. Here are three things you need to keep in mind that might not be that obvious to you.
Check Your Toilet Paper
You know those messages on some brands of toilet paper that say the paper is safe for septic systems? Instead of ignoring those messages, now you need to look for them and get the toilet paper that is septic-safe, even if it's not your favorite brand. What you put in the septic system can affect how well the system works. If you use toilet paper that doesn't dissolve well, for example, you can end up with a clogged, sludgy tank that needs more pumping and maintenance than normal. And that's the best-case scenario. You also run the risk of causing the tank to malfunction, which can lead to sewage leaks.
Watch Where You Aim Those Downspouts
The drain field associated with the tank seems like the perfect place to send rainwater and roof runoff. After all, the soil is already unusable for any other purpose, and all that clean water should help clean the soil, right? No -- all that clean water will just saturate the drain field and make it less effective in terms of handling the waste from the septic system. Too much water can also create runoff from the drain field itself, which would contaminate other parts of your property.
Be Wary of Your Garbage Disposal
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension notes that items commonly thrown into garbage disposals, like eggshells and vegetables, are rather bad for your septic system. These don't break down that well and increase the amount of sludge that winds up in the septic tank. Even if you have an awesome garbage disposal that chews up everything, use a drain net over the sink drain to catch food bits as you rinse off dishes.
If you want more advice on using a septic system, talk to septic maintenance and repair companies like Martin Septic Service Inc. You'll get the hang of using the system soon.