Monday, June 14, 2010

Country Living The Septic System

When you live in town you pay for sewer use but when you live the in the country you use a septic system. You are in charge of your septic system, we knew nothing about septic systems. Then I was reading in The Thrifty Gazette that if you do some simple maintenance on your septic system you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars. Our septic system was ready to be pumped as the 'true top' of our pipe is that ring you can see at the bottom of the slightly smaller pipe. Our septic installers were excellent and they provided us with a little bit of extra protection.

During the septic pumping I learned from Tommy the Septic man that we have 3 tanks. Basically two for sludge and 1 that is a pump tank that takes care of all the liquids. If the septic system backs up into the the third tank that is when you incur all kinds of extra expenses.

 Also I found  out that although many folks have their septic system under maintenance contract to make sure it is working right that may or may not include checking the level of sludge.

Our papers recommend pumping the system every two years and this is nearly year 4, OPPS! We will pump again in about three years but we will check it each year to make sure we do not need to pump it earlier.

My paperwork gives the following warnings regarding your septic:
  • Don't wash more then two loads a day
  • Don't put in grease, fats and oils
  • use the garbage disposal sparingly (thus we compost)
  • No chemical or mop water into the system
  • No non biodegradable items (such as the tea cup and pecans found in our system)
  • don't use citrus products
  • don't use too much water (no long showers!)
  • No strong disinfectants like Lysol, pine sol and tidy bowl
  • Use low sudsing, low phosphate and biodegradable washing products
  • No liquid fabric softener or laundry detergent
  • Recommends use of ivory, sunlight dish washing cascade, sunlight dishwasher detergents, Comet  & Biz and baking soda.
I need to photo copy this and put it in the laundry room and by the kitchen sink!

There was a lot of grease in our system and we do not fry anything but green tomatoes. Yes, my southern friends close your mouths remember we are from California and we don't fry stuff there! I am considering switching to biodegradable soaps and cleansers to make it easier on our septic and we can use the water on our garden if we use these sort of cleaners. Additionally, we may be able to stretch out the time between pumpings and save money in the long run!

And of course everything that occurs around here is a homeschool learning event and the ever curious students learned a lot from Mr Tommy too!

So I encourage everyone with a septic system to check it out and get it pumped before you really have to pay the big bucks!


Mrs. H. said...

Thank you! Thank you! We are in the septic system learning process, too! :-)

Miller Plante said...

Since the EPA puts the liability of septic system failures on the homeowner and since most homeowners still use anti-bacterial soaps, cleaners and detergents which kill all the natural bacteria that liquefies the waste. To prevent backups and protect local water supplies; homeowners need to maintain their system by using the best septic system bacteria treatment possible, such as the Septic-Helper 2000 from Miller Plante Inc. and the Enza Washer Balls, a chemical free laundry detergent replacement.

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