Septic systems can be a little confusing. They’re blamed for a lot of environmental issues, and no one is exactly sure how frequently to service them. There’s not only a huge misunderstanding as to how septic systems function in the first place, but also how to maintain them.

Here are 4 common misconceptions about septic systems:

  1. I need to treat my septic tank with additives and bacteria.
    This one is a huge myth. The amazing part about septic tanks is that they use naturally occurring bacteria to break down solids and process your household waste. They need nothing to supplement these bacteria, since there is plenty of it in your waste. As long as you’re using your toilets – you’re supplementing all the bacteria you need! Sounds gross, but it works! In addition, strong household disinfectants may upset the natural balance in your septic tank, so you may want to consider a more natural toilet bowl cleaner for use in your home.
  1. Supplementing my tank with prevent backups.
    Another falsehood. Proper septic maintenance and taking care of what you flush and put down your drains will help to prevent backups. However, age of your system, the condition of your drainfield and other factors are important considerations when you’re experiencing backups.
  1. Septic systems are responsible for environmental pollution.
    This is a huge myth. While poorly maintained septic systems can leak into canals and natural bodies of water, connecting to city sewer isn’t the answer. When septic systems are properly maintained, they are a much greener solution as compared to municipal centralized wastewater processing facilities, which are responsible for dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater into our bodies of water each year
  1. I shouldn’t pump my septic tank unless I’m having an issue.
    This is another myth. The EPA recommends that you pump your tank every 3 to 5 years. This is important to know, since many homeowners wait until it’s too late and their system backs up into their home, which is a very messy and smelly issue. Backups and poorly maintained systems place unnecessary stress on your drain field and repairs can run in the thousands. Regularly pumping your tank is the best way to maintain it, since the cost is not as expensive as replacing a drainfield.

These four common myths are just a few of many myths that many uneducated to the values of treating wastewater believe. If you have neglected to pump your system, you are buying a home with a septic system, or aren’t sure when the last time your system was serviced – it’s time to call a septic contractor and get the information you need to maintain your septic system in the correct manner.

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