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Earth Day is approaching and there are so many ways that you can improve how you take care of the planet by taking care of your septic system at the same time! This month, try taking the time to understand how you are currently maintaining your septic system and how you can develop new ways to make sure your system is taken care of properly.

Why it’s important to maintain your septic system:

Let’s be honest, repairing a septic system that doesn’t work properly is certainly costly. Fixing a malfunctioning septic system can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 – yikes! It can also lower the value of your property when you go to sell it someday.

A non-functioning septic tank can clearly break the bank, however, it can also harm the Earth. Wastewater that comes from your household can contain pathogenic bacteria and viruses as well as high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 4 billion gallons of wastewater are dispersed below the ground’s surface every day. That being said, sewage that isn’t properly treated from septic systems can potentially cause groundwater contamination – this is very bad for the environment and our own health. 

Groundwater contamination can spread disease in both humans and animals. Essentially, untreated sewage risks contaminating nearby surface waters – which can threaten humans with infectious diseases (like eye and ear infections or gastrointestinal illness and hepatitis).

Damaged septic systems release bacteria, viruses and chemicals into local waterways – this is extremely toxic to our planet. When these pollutants are released into the ground, they eventually enter streams, rivers, and lakes. This harms local ecosystems by killing native fish and shellfish. This Earth Day, protect our fish friends and make sure your septic system is being maintained correctly!

How to maintain your septic system by efficiently using water:

According to the EPA, the average indoor water use in a typical single-family home is near 70 gallons per individual per day. Learning to efficiently and effectively use your water not only helps the planet but also improves the way your septic system operates. Here are a couple of ways you can efficiently use the water in your home:

  • High-efficiency toilets: Did you know that toilets account for 25 to 30% of household water use? If your home has older toilets, you are probably flushing 3.5 to 5 gallons of water per flush – that’s insane! One way to save money, in the long run, is to get newer, more efficient toilets. Nowadays, newer toilets only use 1.6 gallons or less of water. Save time, money, and the planet by getting more efficient toilets!
  • Faucet Aerators and high-efficiency showerheads: Both faucet aerators and high-efficiency showerheads reduce water usage by dividing the flow of the water into several small streams. By doing this, the amount of water flowing out is significantly reduced because air has been added to it. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t affect the pressure of your water.
  • Washing Machines: It may seem efficient to do all of your laundry in one day, but it can actually harm your septic system. By doing laundry every day and not selecting the proper load size, you are not allowing your septic tank enough time to treat waste and you can potentially flood your drain field. If your washer doesn’t bear the ENERGY STAR label, consider looking into one that has it. Washing machines with the ENERGY STAR label use 35% less energy and 50% less water.

How to maintain your septic system by properly disposing of waste:

If you don’t know by now, everything that goes into your garbage disposal, flushed down your toilet, or down your sink, shower, or bath drain leads to your septic system. What goes down your drains has an impact on your septic system but also on the environment. Think of it almost like littering – throwing an apple core into the woods is not bad for the environment, but throwing a plastic water bottle and a paper bag into the woods isn’t good for the environment.

According to the EPA, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet – and you NEVER flush the following:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Non-flushable wipes, like baby wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Paper towels
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household chemicals like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Septic systems contain an assembly of living organisms that digest and treat your household waste correctly. Therefore, if you pour toxins down your drain, you can potentially kill these organisms and damage your septic system. The EPA suggests the following when it comes to pouring things down your drain:

  • NEVER pour cooking grease
  • NEVER pour oil-based paints, solvents, or large volumes of toxic cleaners
  • Avoid chemical drain openers for a clogged drain. Instead, use boiling water or a drain snake
  • Try eliminating or limiting the use of garbage disposal. By doing this, you will significantly reduce the number of fats, grease, and solids that enter your septic tank and eventually clog its drain field

Save the planet today by taking care of your septic system! 

Crews Environmental is the leading company for septic services in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. We are available 24/7 for any emergency pump out needs! Call us today at 239-347-0644 to schedule a same-day appointment!

We offer both residential and commercial septic services!

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