Needing your septic tank pumped is a fact of life when you are on a septic system, and while most households should only need pumping every few years, the costs can still add up. There are several ways to improve your household's efficiency and keep your tank from filling faster than it needs to.
Redirect Your Water
All the drain pipes in your house lead to your septic tank, but there's a chance that you might have a few too many drains emptying into your tank. Two common examples are downspouts and sump pumps; this water doesn't need to go into your septic tank and can be safely redirected elsewhere. Adding that much extra water to your tank can cause it to quickly fill faster than it can be absorbed into nearby soil through the leach field, and it adds the risk of potentially damaging the leach field.
Since your leach field is such an important part of your septic system, it's important to keep the soil above it clear and dry as well. If you want plants in the area, buy only shallow-rooting plants, and don't use any water unless necessary. Making the soil damp means it can't absorb as much water from the leach fields, which means your tank will fill up more quickly. In addition, any deep-rooting plants growing over the leach field run the risk of causing root damage, which can require a very expensive leach field replacement.
Use Appliances Efficiently
If you aren't in a position to buy more efficient appliances or simply don't see a need to do so yet, there are still several ways you can make your current appliances work more efficiently:
- Space out your use of different appliances throughout the day rather than using them all at once. Too much water going down the drain at once can overwhelm a septic system.
- Use your appliances, such as clothes washer and dishwashers, more sparingly with fuller loads. Take a look at guides that can help you load your appliances to fit more without causing any reduction in cleaning quality. A dishwasher is much more efficient than washing dishes by hand, but running it more often than you need to can still quickly add up.
- Use septic-safe cleaning solutions and soaps. These are designed to be safe for the helpful bacteria in your septic tank, while many cleaning products can kill them off.
Install Water-Saving Devices
A more budget-friendly option than replacing all of your water-using appliances is installing more efficient fixtures and tools, such as low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, low-flush toilets, and gray water diverters. By themselves, they might not seem like they're saving much, but each has their own clear benefits.
Diverters are a little different in that, rather than cutting your water use, they take water that would drain into your septic tank and move it somewhere else. Not only does this keep that much more water out of your tank, but you can use this water for gardening and similar purposes. Ask a plumber which drains would benefit from a diverter, as well as what chemicals are safe to use if one is installed. Not just any water can be diverted for safety and environmental purposes, but it could have a significant impact on how much water goes into your tank.
Reach out to septic tank pumping services to learn more about what you can do to help today.