Septic System Brochure: Preventing Failures
Septic tank systems fail when the drainfield does not dispose of sewage as rapidly as it is being added to the system. Thus, improvements that reduce the amount of incoming water or improve the quality of wastewater passing through the system will increase the system's longevity. Other important considerations include the following:
A drainfield can be damaged by compaction due to vehicular traffic and can be blocked by excessive shrubbery or tree root growth. The drainfield should be unobstructed and seeded with grass. Grass and sunlight aid evaporation.
Washing machines are responsible for large volumes of water entering the septic tank. The surge of wash water can create turbulence in the tank which increases the amount of solids flushed into the drainfield. Space washings throughout the week rather than doing many loads at a time, or, install a separate system for washing machine water.
Cooking oils and grease are trouble makers. The type of bacteria found in septic tanks and drainfields do not survive or function well in solidified grease. Grease and cooking fats should never be washed down the sink drain. Save grease in jars or cans for disposal in the garbage.