If you own a home with a septic tank, you've probably received your share of advice about how to maintain it. However, there's a chance that some of this advice is based on common misconceptions about septic maintenance. Let's take a look at five common myths about septic systems that you should ignore.
Myth #1: Septic Systems Require No Maintenance
If you're like most people, you probably don't pay much attention to your septic system until there's a problem - as long as it's out of sight, then it's out of mind. However, neglecting to maintain your system can be a costly mistake.
It's important to have your septic system inspected on occasion in order to catch any problems before they become full-on disasters. It's better to have a small leak repaired now than deal with a yard full of sewage and a costly repair down the road.
Myth #2: Septic Tanks Don't Need to Be Pumped
If anyone tells you not to worry about pumping your tank, they're misguided. While your septic system does help to break down solid waste and drain wastewater, there's still a sludge layer that accumulates in your tank.
In your septic tank, solid waste falls to the bottom, where it's broken down by helpful bacteria. However, it doesn't just disappear - it becomes sludge. And when too much sludge builds up in your tank, it has two places to go: your drainfield or the drains in your home. Rest assured, neither of these outcomes is favorable.
Myth #3: Septic Tank Additives Are Helpful
You may have seen products on the market that claim to help break down waste in your septic tank. They may even claim to prevent the need for pumping altogether. However, these products are unnecessary.
While they probably won't hurt anything, these enzyme-based additives haven't been proven effective. Everything your septic tank needs to break down waste is already in the tank. Even if you use these additives regularly, you'll still need to get your tank pumped every three to five years - so save your money.
Myth #4: Excess Water Usage Won't Overload Your System
People often believe that they can use as much water as they want if they have a septic system. However, overuse of water can cause major problems and decrease the lifespan of your system.
Your septic system is only designed to handle a certain amount of wastewater per day. By using too much water in a short period of time, you're overworking your septic tank and drainfield. This can lead to a few different problems, like sewage backing up into your home or a yard flooded with wastewater.
If your household does produce more wastewater than average, make sure you have your septic system inspected regularly to avoid major problems in the future.
Myth #5: Septic Problems Can Wait
Some household repairs can be put on the back-burner, but septic system issues aren't one of them. If any waste ends up leaking from your septic tank or clogging up your drainfield, it can be a real mess.
If not properly contained, sewage can contaminate the groundwater in your area. In addition, the smell produced by a septic field backup is quite unpleasant - you can bet that your neighbors won't be willing to put up with it for very long. If the health department learns of this problem, you'll be forced to repair or replace your system as soon as possible.
Instead of risking a public health hazard, call your local septic company to come out and evaluate the situation. While septic repairs are often costly, putting them off can only cause more problems down the line. For all of your septic tank needs, contact our team at Hines Septic.