Your septic tank contains bacteria and enzymes which create and maintain balance inside the tank. The bacteria perform several duties in the tank, but there are several things you can do to prevent the good bacteria from doing what it's supposed to do. Here are some things to avoid if you want to keep your septic tank healthy and working on your behalf.

Watch What You Drain or Flush

You can overwhelm the bacteria in your septic tank if you drain or flush too many things the bacteria will struggle with. In most cases, solid materials are the biggest problem for septic tank bacteria. They can break down most things, but the more solid the material, the longer it takes them to break it down.

If you're consistently flushing things that aren't water-soluble, then you'll give the bacteria and enzymes in your tank more than they can handle. Rather than list a bunch of examples, it's probably better to say avoid draining or flushing anything other than wastewater and toilet tissue. Even if something says safe for flushing on the packaging, err on the side of caution.

Since the bacteria and enzymes can't deal with these things fast enough, they will build up in your septic tank. You will need to have the tank pumped sooner rather than later. If you don't have the items removed, you can end up with a clogged tank and the smell of raw sewage inside and outside your home.

Some things you put into the toilet or drain can actively kill off bacteria and enzymes in your septic tanks. For example, the medications, antibacterial liquids, and toxic cleaners can all work against the good bacteria in your septic system. These things can destroy the balance in your septic tank and the result will be a tank that loses its ability to remove waste.

Have Your Tank Pumped and Inspected

Changes in your home can also mean changes in the effectiveness of your septic system. If you throw a party, have guests for a few weeks, or add any new people to your household, that means more work for your septic system. You may need to have the tank pumped after a larger event or just more often in general.

Your septic tank can remain healthy for years, but it will need some help. Every few years you should contact a professional service to inspect and pump your septic system. If you suspect you have a septic problem at any time, you should have the system looked at immediately.

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