4 Common Septic System Myths You Need to Know
Have you ever had the urge to listen to a well-intentioned neighbor who guaranteed if you’d flush a pound of yeast down your toilet, you’d save BIG on septic maintenance bills? First off, that’s just one of many bad ideas! In the internet age, there’s a LOT of misinformation out there, including “helpful” septic systems tips like this one. Unfortunately, many of these “tips” will lead to long-term headaches. Let’s take a look at four common septic tank myths and what you REALLY need to know.
Myth 1: Using Additives Means Pump-outs are Unnecessary
Regular tank pump outs per local municipal guidelines are necessary for proper septic system maintenance. You will typically want to have your tank pumped when the solid waste in the tank reaches 25% total solids volume (total solids includes the skim floating on the top with the sludge buildup on the bottom). Local professionals will empty the tank and ensure it is completely free of solid sludge, which accumulates at the bottom of the tank as well as removing the lightweight scum that floats on the top. Avoiding regular pump-outs will mean you will end up with expensive repair bills and a significant reduction in how long your system will last.
You may have been told that there are additives that will help you completely avoid this process. Bacterial additives are helpful for your system when used in combination with routine pumping. Bottom line additives, while helpful to your system’s ability to breakdown waste, they will not allow you to skip routine pumping.
Myth 2: It’s Fine to Build on Top of Your Septic Tank
Some people see no harm in building a structure on top of their septic tank. Part of the reason is they believe a tank is so far underground it can’t possibly be an issue. Adding a patio, deck, or other structure over your septic tank will make it extremely difficult or nearly impossible for pros to get to your tank to performing pumping or repairs.
A much better option is to keep the area over your tank lawn or plant some water-loving plants if you want something more decorative.
Myth 3: You Can Flush Most Things Down The Drain
While septic systems are fairly robust, that doesn’t mean you can flush any old thing down your toilets or drains. They are specifically designed to handle two things: wastewater and sewage. Among the list of “unflushables” are coffee grounds, bleach, cat litter, shop rags, grease, oils, and even feminine hygiene products. These items can lead to drain blockages, tank malfunction, damaged pipes, and the release of toxins into the environment.
Myth 4: You Can Skip Professional Maintenance
Regular maintenance performed by a professional is critical to the longevity of your septic system. Getting into a habit of arranging an inspection and pump out by a reputable local contractor is well with the time and expense. At AJ McDonald Company. Inc; we’ve been at this for over 40 years. We have the know-how and experience to do your pump-out right and look over your system to ensure it is functioning at its optimum. Contact us today to get set up on a regular pumping schedule!