Maintaining Aging Septic Systems: Steps to Longevity & Efficiency
Has your septic system become less efficient in the last few years? If you’re having problems, is it because something within the system is fundamentally wrong, or is it just getting older? An aging septic system is often inefficient and maintenance-heavy. For prolonging longevity and ensuring efficiency of your septic system, you need to have routine inspections, scheduled tank pumpings, mindful waste disposal, drain field protection practices, and water conservation.
According to our in-house experts, it is important to maintain an aging septic system by providing a boost to the bacteria inside your septic tank. These microorganisms are responsible for conducting the natural biological process of breaking down and digesting the solids and sludge in the septic tank. By making sure there’s a healthy ecosystem inside your tank, you’ll enhance percolation in the leach field, avoid backup-causing clogs, and ensure a well-maintained and more efficient septic system.
The Aging Process of Residential Septic Systems
Everything in your house – walls, paint, floors, driveways, and even appliances undergo wear and tear over time and your septic system is no exception. Understanding the aging process of your septic system and the preventative measures you should be taking to prolong its lifespan and efficiency will prevent you from future headaches, and a “slow drain” on your wallet as well.
As septic systems age, they experience a natural degradation of the septic tank materials, pipes, and the drain field. While beneficial bacteria in the tank will break down most organic matter over time (if they are at healthy levels), inorganic materials accumulate, settling at the bottom of the tank as sludge. If you’re dumping certain materials into your system, like antibacterial soaps or chemicals, the useful bacteria will diminish or even die off completely over time. Sludge buildup at the bottom of the tank is often accompanied by drain field saturation. When this happens, the drain field, which is responsible for managing liquid wastewater, becomes less effective in treating and disposing of sewage, leading to potential inefficiencies or even system failures.
Additionally, bacteria breakdown of plant and animal material from garbage disposal waste can lead to hydrogen sulfide buildup. This buildup accelerates your septic tank aging.
Common symptoms of an aging or compromised septic system include slow drainage in sinks, tubs, or toilets, unpleasant odors around the yard, wet spots or pooling water near the drain field, and, in more severe cases, sewage backup into the home. Read on to learn about the treatments for aging septic systems and the steps you should take for prolonging longevity and ensuring efficiency of your system for years to come.
Steps to Prolong the Life of Your Septic System
1. Routine Inspection
Inviting a local septic system professional to inspect your septic system every 3 to 5 years prevents potential issues before they escalate.
2. Scheduled Tank Pumping
To manage the sludge buildup and eliminate non-organic materials that may have found their way into your tank, it is recommended to pump out your septic tank every 3 to 5 years. The frequency of pumping your tank depends on how many people live in your home, how much water you use, and the size of your septic tank.
3. Mindful Waste Disposal
To ensure the proper functioning of your septic system, only biodegradable waste should be flushed. Non-biodegradable items such as diapers, wipes, feminine products, or other inorganic materials will not break down into liquids and will eventually obstruct the septic system.
Another key is to make sure you don’t pour fats, oils, chemicals, or medicine down the drain as they will make their way directly into your septic tank. These substances are hard to break down, leading to clogs, and chemicals often introduce antibacterial material into your system, killing the ecosystem that naturally breaks down the waste inside your tank. Reintroducing bacteria into your system consistently with biologic additives is a good way to counter this, but you have to do your research.
There are a lot of products on the market that actually make problems much worse. There are “emulsifiers” which simply break apart solids, failing to digest them. They become small enough that they end up in the drain field, leading to clogs and backups. Some septic maintenance products introduce adverse bacteria that kill off important biological enzymes that your septic system needs to function.
HOTROD Septic Treatment is a great septic treatment solution that actually digests waste material instead of just breaking it apart. With 26 strains of compatible bacteria and enzymes, our septic treatment reintroduces the right organisms back into your system and keeps it working efficiently all year round. And the best part is, it’s good for 6 months, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to add it every few weeks, just twice a year.
4. Protecting the Drain Field
It’s important to keep vehicles from driving over the drain field and to plant only grass above it to avoid system damage from deep-rooted plants or trees. Some plants aggressively search for water, and if planted near your septic system, they’ll find it, and if they grow into it, they can break or block vital pipes or create leaks in the tank. If you have deep rooted trees or other plants near your septic system drain field, be sure to check our content to solve tree root problems.
5. Water Conservation
Implementing water-saving techniques, like fixing leaks and using water-efficient fixtures alleviates unnecessary strain on your septic system and the drainfield. When the septic tank is overfilled, the water doesn’t have enough time to get treated before flowing out into the drain field, leading to wet grass, pooling water, and gross odors around your yard and house
Signs It’s Time for a Replacement
There are times when maintenance alone just isn’t enough to fix the problem, and system replacement is the next step. Here are some signs you should keep an eye out for if you think it’s time for a replacement:
It's Getting Old
25-30 years is about as old as you want your system to get. That’s when systems show reduced efficiency and start having irreversible problems.
Frequent and recurring malfunctions or failures happen when a system is past its prime. If the same problems keep happening and you can’t find a fix, it’s time for a new system.
Backups & Saturation
Consistent noticeable sewage backups or overly saturated drain fields can signal a system beyond repair.
The HOTROD Septic Treatment Advantage
Among the available solutions to maintain septic system health, experts agree that HOTROD Septic solutions stand out. In essence, the unique scientific approach behind our product fosters biological activity and waste digestion, resulting in a cleaner, more efficient septic system. Homeowners benefit from reduced blockages, increased system lifespan, and an environmentally-friendly approach, ensuring both their investment and the environment remain protected. That’s why homeowners keen on ensuring the longevity and efficiency of their septic systems integrate HOTROD Septic into their maintenance routine, it’s a real game-changer.