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What you Need to Know about Maintaining your Septic System


If your septic system is working correctly, there’s a good chance you never give it much thought at all. Of course, if you never think about your septic system it may not continue to work correctly. Follow a few simple rules for septic tank maintenance, however, and you should never have a major issue.

In case you need a refresher, a septic system is composed of a septic tank and a drain field. The septic tank is a watertight container where wastewater is collected long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom while oil and grease rise to the top. Once this process is completed, the liquid wastewater leaves the tank and travels to the drain field, where it percolates into the soil. The solid matter in the tank should be pumped out about every three to five years. Keeping the system in good working condition in the meantime is a matter of following some commonsense guidelines.

  • Be mindful of what you flush. Use biodegradable toilet paper, and don’t use your toilet as a trash can. Toilets are not places to throw out kitty litter, dental floss, condoms, feminine hygiene products, cigarettes, or diapers. Oh, and by the way, flushable wipes are not really flushable.
  • Think before you dump things down the sink. Sinks are not for dumping grease, coffee grounds, eggshells, or harsh chemicals like bleach, solvent, paint, or pesticides. Drain cleaners can wreak havoc on your septic system as well.
  • Take steps to conserve water. Use high-efficiency appliances and showerheads to limit the water that you use. Only run the washing machine or dishwasher if you have a full load, spread your laundry over the course of the week, and fix any leaky appliances or pipes as soon as you can.
  • Be mindful of your drain field. Know exactly where your drain field is so that you don’t park on it, plant a garden on it, or otherwise disrupt its ability to do its job.
  • Keep an eye on your system. Pay attention to how your septic tank is functioning, and call a plumber if you notice signs of trouble like bad smells, toilets that won’t flush, and drains that won’t drain.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy plumber, you can trust Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating.  Passionate in the pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community, our family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations, as well as renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms. Contact us through our website or call (510) 876-9725 for more information on all we can do for you.

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