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5 Ways to Protect Your Septic System From Overuse

Hole of a septic tank
limits can vary based on the size of the tank and the leach field, the drainage capabilities of the soil, and the weather. As the system's owner, your job is to know what the limits are so you don't overwhelm the system.

This guide lists five ways to protect your septic system from overuse and overflow problems.

1. Divert Your Stormwater

When it rains, hundreds of gallons of water drain off your roof. In the city, downspouts are sometimes connected to the sewer system, but if you have a septic system that's really not an option.

Instead, you need to use an alternate drainage system for stormwater runoff. French drains, dry wells, and other drainage solutions can help with this.

2. Educate Family and Guests

Anyone who's used to living in the city may need to change their mindset and consider the effect their water usage has on the septic system. Start by retraining family members to think about how much water they're using whenever they turn on the faucet. This may be less of an uphill climb if your family is already eco-conscious or living with a water shortage.

3. Space out Heavy Water Use

If you're going to be doing the entire family's laundry, your septic system might not be able to handle that much water in one day - especially on top of the family's showers and other water uses. Instead, consider spreading the laundry out over multiple days to give the system time to recover.

This is an especially important technique to use if your system is already under stress, such as when you have a lot of houseguests staying with you.

4. Keep an Eye on the Weather

Because septic systems use the soil to drain away wastewater, it stands to reason that the system works better when the soil isn't already soggy. If the ground is completely saturated from rain, septic wastewater processing can slow down practically to a standstill.

Because of this fact, you'll need to slow or even stop your water usage using your drains during floods and record rainfalls. In addition, if you know there's going to be a heavy rainstorm, then you can plan ahead by not taking a bath or washing a load of laundry that day.

5. Consider Diverting Gray Water

Like stormwater, your gray water can add a heavy burden to your septic leach field. Gray water is relatively clean wastewater - for example, the water that is used to wash your clothes. Too much gray water can overwhelm your system.

To make things even easier on your system, you can space out laundry times or set up a gray water system that uses laundry water to water your lawn or landscaping plants.

Of course, some local regulations prohibit this, so be sure to check your local laws and regulations before attempting to use gray water. You also need to switch to a biodegradable laundry detergent that won't hurt your plants if you decide to go through with it, and remember not to use gray water on anything edible. 

These five strategies will help you guard against septic system overuse. Be sure to have your system inspected and serviced regularly in order to avoid mechanical problems that could cause blockages and sewage backups.

No matter what septic service you need today, our team at AAA Whites Septic Tank Services, Inc., is here for you. Get in touch today to let us know what you need. We'll help repair or replace your system and teach you more about preventing overuse.