The Ultimate Guide to Septic Tank Maintenance for Homeowners
To any New Zealand homeowner with a septic system, its upkeep should be as important as any other home maintenance task. Whether you’ve just purchased a property with a septic tank or have been living with one for years, understanding its function and importance can prevent costly repairs and potential environmental hazards.
A septic system, in essence, is your personal, on-site sewage treatment facility. It’s composed of a septic tank and a drain field. The septic tank is a watertight box, usually made of concrete or fibreglass, that holds the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down as sludge, while the grease and oil floats as scum. The drain field, also known as the leach field, is designed to absorb the liquid waste that exits the septic tank.
Neglecting this crucial part of your property can lead to serious consequences, from unpleasant odours and backyard puddles to the costly replacement of your entire system. However, with regular maintenance, you can avoid these headaches and save significant amounts of money in the long run.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to maintain your septic tank, spot warning signs of issues, and protect your system with some landscaping tips.
Regular Septic Tank Inspections and Cleanings
On average, septic tanks should be inspected every six to 18 months and pumped every two to three years, depending on usage and tank size. Regular inspections and cleanings can catch problems before they become serious and ensure your system’s longevity.
Recognising the Signs of Septic Tank Issues
Stay vigilant for signs that your septic system isn’t working correctly. Foul smells, slow drains, lush patches of grass near the tank or drain field, and water pooling in the garden are all indications of a problem. Address these issues promptly to prevent more significant complications.
Maintaining a Healthy Bacterial Balance
Your septic system relies on a balance of bacteria to break down waste. Harsh cleaning chemicals can disrupt this balance, causing your system to underperform. Use septic-friendly products and avoid pouring cooking grease, coffee grounds, or non-degradable items down your drains.
Proper Disposal of Waste and Household Chemicals
Not everything should go down your drains. Non-biodegradable materials can clog your system, while certain chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria in your tank. Limit the use of your waste disposal and never flush medications, oils, or chemical cleaners.
Landscaping and Property Management Practices
Good landscaping can protect your septic system. Plant only grass, small grassy plants or bark mulch over and near your septic system as roots from trees or shrubs may clog or damage it. Moreover, do not drive or park vehicles on any part of your septic system as this can compact the soil and damage the tank or pipes.
Regular maintenance + Next Steps
Taking care of your septic system is vital. Regular maintenance, proper use, and attentive landscaping can save you money, prevent unpleasant issues. Remember, your septic system is a significant investment, and a little proactive care goes a long way.
Consult with the professional septic tank cleaning service at Drain Ninjas for further guidance and assistance. Call our team today on 0800 475 008 for more information.