We are all very excited to be here and to have this beautiful land to enjoy. As custodians of the land it falls to us to care for it as best we can. Part of that care is being mindful of what goes into our land by way of our septic system. Taking care of what goes down the drain will benefit us by reducing the expense of maintaining our system and by keeping the land healthy. Our waste is managed by a septic system that feeds into a leach field at the northwest corner of our land bordering conservation area. What goes in will come out in one form or another so as you can see it is important to follow the guidelines below as much as you can.
Sound operation practices include water conservation and keeping harmful substances out of the system. Good operation and maintenance practices start with everyone in your household knowing what damages the septic system.
Household Cleaners, Chemicals and Other Waste
A septic system is essentially a living organism that processes waste through bacterial action. These bacteria break down the solids in waste allowing it to pass back into the ecosystem through the leach field. These bacteria can be poisoned by non-environmentally friendly cleaners and household chemicals causing the system to require expensive maintenance and repair.
Never Dispose of Any of the following by pouring down the drain or flushing down the toilet:
Water from Washing Paint
Avoid as much as possible:
Harsh Detergents and Soaps
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Suggested Alternatives: (Need to get comprehensive list of alternatives)
Using too much soap or detergent can cause problems with the septic system. It is difficult to estimate how dirty a load of laundry is, and most people use far more cleaning power than is needed. If there are lots of suds in your laundry tub when the washer discharges, cut back on the amount of detergent for the next similar load. It’s better for the system, and conserves soap.
It's generally best not to use inexpensive detergents which may contain excessive amounts of filler or carrier. Some of these fillers are montmorillonite clay, which is used to seal soils thereby reducing the effectiveness of the leech field. The best solution may be to use a liquid laundry detergent, since they are less likely to have carriers or fillers that may harm the septic system.
Household Cooking Oils and Liquefied Meat Fats (such as bacon grease) may pass through the septic tank and as they cool, solidify and clog the leaching fields. ALWAYS Dispose of the fats and greases in a container in the house hold garbage.
Sink Installed Garbage Disposals are not permissible- Coarse organic matter such as vegetable trimmings and ground-up garbage and coffee grounds increases household waste by more than 40% and will over load the septic tank.
“Step Away From the Toilet!”- Things to avoid flushing
Never flush the following items:
Fat or Grease
Other Non-Decomposable Materials
It is recommended to use a good quality toilet tissue that breaks up easily when wet. One way to find one is to put a hand full of toilet tissue in a fruit jar half full of water. Shake the jar and if the tissue breaks up easily, the product is suitable for the septic tank.
Reducing Water Consumption
Tips to help reduce water consumption:
- Check faucets and toilets for leaks; make repairs if necessary. You can check your toilet for leaks once a year by putting a couple drops of food coloring into the tank, if the color seeps into the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
- Use aerators on faucets and flow reducer nozzles on showers to help lower water consumption.
- Reduce water levels for small loads of laundry, or better yet, only run full loads spread out over the week.
- Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Keep a bottle of water in your refrigerator instead of running the water till it gets cold enough to drink.
- Take shorter showers and reduce water levels for baths.