So, you just purchased or rented a home with a septic system in Southwest Florida and you may be unsure how to maintain it. After all, poorly maintained septic systems have been blamed for all kinds of environmental issues. The reality is that septic systems are a much greener solution versus city sewer. In this article we’ll explore a few of the advantages of septic systems and help you understand how to properly maintain your septic system.
- One of the biggest advantages on a local scale is that septic systems help to recharge the water table. As we’ve stated before, Americans send two trillion gallons of water to the oceans every single week by being hooked up to city sewer. This is causing our water stores to drop to dangerous levels. A well-maintained system will send water back to the local water table, which helps to preserve the resource for years to come.
- Another clear advantage is the cost; septic systems are very cost efficient compared to being connected to city sewer. Cities all over the US are increasing their sewer rates. Just last year, the average rate went up by 5.5 percent and this rate is expected to increase by 5 percent every year for the next 5 years. If you are lucky enough to have purchased a home with a septic system, then the bulk of your cost is maintenance only. A system that is well maintained will save you money in the long run.
Are you noticing a trend here? There is a definite advantage to keeping your system well maintained and it’s the key to reaping the benefits of your system. Beyond regular pump-outs and maintenance, it’s important to know what your system can handle. A system that isn’t maintained regularly can cause some major issues for your family and the environment.
Regular Maintenance Pays Off
There are 3 major disadvantages to avoiding any kind of upkeep on your septic system: system malfunction, health issues, and water contamination. It is of the utmost importance to have your system inspected and pumped every 3 to 5 years. This will help you to avoid costly repair (or replacement) in addition to the potential environmental issues a neglected system can cause. A system that is functioning properly will recharge the ground water while one that goes without maintenance stands to contaminate it. Contaminated ground water not only affects your health, but also your family and others in the community.
Watch What You Dispose
It’s imperative that you pay attention to the things of which you dispose; not everything is meant to be flushed down the toilet or dumped down the sink. Want to know what’s safe to go down the toilet? Toilet paper. Want to know what you can put down your sink? Water. By shoving non-disposables and other items down your sink or toilet, you are putting your system at a high-risk for malfunction. Think before you flush or dispose.
Use Water Wisely
It’s important to use water intelligently when you are on a septic system. If there is a continual saturation of the soil in your drainfield, it can have a dramatic impact on its ability to successfully remove toxins, bacteria and viruses from your wastewater. Use Energystar appliances. Take shorter showers. Turn the water off when washing your hands. It’s the small things that add up.