If you are using an old and tired septic system, then you have a time bomb on your hands. Sewer backups, failing drain fields, leaking drain pipes, and contaminated drainfields are just a few examples of emergency problems you may have to deal with if your septic system is about to fail. The following preemptive measures may keep the emergency issues at bay:
Reduce Effluent Flowing in the Tank
If you suspect that your septic system isn't in tiptop condition, you need to reduce its load. One of the best ways of doing this is to reduce the amount of waste flowing from your house into the tank. Here are a few specific ways for doing this:
- Flush the toilet only when necessary; don't flush superfluous materials, such as waste paper.
- Minimize running sinks and taps.
- Take shorter showers.
- Wash your clothes on full load.
- Ensure your plumbing fixtures aren't leaking water.
Pump the Septic Tank
Pumping the septic tank isn't a permanent solution to your septic problems, but it will give the system a reprieve for awhile. Reducing the volume of the sludge in the tank reduces the risk of a sewage backup; as you know, a backup definitely calls for emergency measures. In addition, pumping the tank increases the ability of the system to separate solid from liquid wastes.
Rent Portable for Big Occasions
If you anticipate big gatherings, its best to rent portable bathrooms so that the inevitable extra waste don't add to the load in your septic system. For example, if you will be hosting a family gathering or plan to have your coworkers over for a party, they will make your system more stressed. The bigger the number, the more stress your septic system will experience.
Redirect Surface Runoff
It's not just the water or waste from your house that affects your septic system; even surface runoff such as that from rainfall or melting snow can also affect the system by clogging up the drainfield. Therefore, direct the surface runoff away from the drainfield; for example, you could dig channels to cart the water away, or you could ensure that your downspouts don't channel water in that direction.
Note that the above are just temporary measures; they won't do anything to rejuvenate your septic system. They may help you for a time, for example while you budget for a complete overhaul of the system. In the end, you will need a professional's input for a proper solution.