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5 Ways to Be Mindful of Your Septic System's Capacity

Your septic system's health depends on the maintenance it receives as well as on how you use it from day to day. Unlike a sewer system, a septic tank has a limited capacity that's designed to deal with a normal amount of water usage.
If your family tends to do a lot of water-heavy activities, you may need to consciously manage your water usage to keep the system happy. You'll need to be especially careful during the wet season or whenever the ground is saturated with rain. Here are five ways to respect your system's capacity and make allowances for its limitations.
1. Pace Yourself
Your septic tank can only hold a certain amount of water at a time. The tank is also constantly draining water through the drain field. Using a lot of water is fine, as long as you don't do it all at once. If you have a lot of laundry to do, for example, washing just a few loads one day and a few the next can help.
Other water-heavy activities to pace out include:
  • Taking a bath
  • Running faucets constantly (to prevent frozen pipes)
  • Filtering with reverse osmosis
  • Flushing the toilet frequently
If you have to do any of these activities, try to do them one at a time, ideally on different days, rather than simultaneously or all in a row. 
2. Consider a Graywater Disposal System
One way to reduce the load you place on your septic system is to create a separate disposal system for graywater. If you've had problems with your septic system's capacity in the past, this can help you manage better. Eventually, though, you may need a larger septic system, so consult with a professional about this before installing a graywater system.
A graywater system can take the only-slightly-dirty water from your home (such as water from washing laundry and from handwashing) and distribute it to your landscaping. This type of system isn't recommended for use with edible plants, though; don't route it through your vegetable or herb garden or near your fruit trees.
3. Make Other Arrangements for Stormwater
Your septic system is more vulnerable during rainstorms because it can't process water quickly when the ground is already wet. And when the ground is flooded or totally soaked, the septic system may not be able to move any water through at all for a while. So routing the stormwater from your roof to the septic system is a really bad idea.
Instead, you can create a dry well for stormwater disposal or collect rainwater and filter it for use on plants. 
4. Don't Flush Trash
Flushing the toilet too often can add to your septic system's burden, especially if you're using the toilet to flush foreign objects. As a rule, you should only expect your septic tank to deal with water, human waste, and bathroom tissue. Any other trash, including so-called flushable wipes and even natural materials like hair, can clog the system and hamper its effectiveness.
Be sure never to flush these items down the drains either (including the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink). This goes for some liquids as well. Cleaning solutions that you no longer want can be very bad for your septic system, as can drain cleaners.
5. Go Low-Flow
Low-flow plumbing fixtures have many benefits, including eco-friendliness and lowered water bills. But these water-light fixtures are also friends to your septic tank. The same goes for appliances that use water. The less water your washing machine uses, for example, the more loads you can wash per day before causing problems with your septic system.
These five tips will help you to live in harmony with your septic tank and not place demands on it that it's unable to handle. For more information about how we can help you keep your septic healthy, contact Economy Septic Tank Service today.