Moving into a new home with a septic tank is the start of a new adventure. Having a septic tank is a little different than being on a city sewer system, and the responsibility of taking care of the septic tank is all on you.
The Basic Flow of Your System
When you turn on your sink, take a shower, or flush your toilet, all of that waste will travel through the drainage pipes in your home and will then transfer into a primary drainage pipe that leads to your septic tank. The waste will go into your tank, where the waste will naturally filter itself into two layers. On the bottom of the tank will be the sludge, which is heavy material your tank can't break up and take care of, such as food particles or soil particles. The scum is the top layer where things, such as oils, fats and greases, float. The middle layer is the effluent, which is the wastewater that is being cleaned. Eventually, the effluent will filter out into your drainage field, where the wastewater will filter through the ground and back into the groundwater. All the sludge and scum have to be removed when you get your septic tank pumped.
Be Mindful of What You Flush
With a septic tank, you need to be mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Every item that you flush that can't be broken up by your septic tank becomes a part of the sludge or scum layer and fills your septic tank with waste.
The only thing you should add to your toilet is toilet paper. You should not flush anything else down your toilet. You shouldn't flush your tampons or the kitty litter or your used floss. All of that material will just sit in your septic tank, clogging things up. If it is not toilet paper, and you are tempted to flush it, put it in the trash instead.
Learn Where Your Drain Field Is Located
You need to know where your drainage field is located as well. This is where the water that has been filtered through your septic tank is sent. You should not apply excess pressure to the drainage field, and you want to keep excess water from accumulating in the drainage field as well. It is important to understand where your drainage field is located so you can take good care of it.
When it comes to living in a home with a septic system, it is helpful to understand how your septic system works. Stop flushing anything but toilet paper down your toilet and learn where your drain field is located so you can take care to not compact the soil and to keep excess water away from the drain field.
If you now have a septic tank, talk with a septic tank service about what you should do to take care of your tank.