Septic System FAQs

/Septic System FAQs
Septic System FAQs 2018-02-15T20:00:18+00:00

How to Take Care of Your Wastewater System

Your septic wastewater system represents a sizable investment. When properly designed and installed, onsite wastewater treatment does a terrific job of decomposing household waste and recycling precious water resources. Our systems use little energy and frequently outperform municipal sewage treatment plants. There’s no degrading of our nation’s rivers and oceans…which is so often the case with municipal sewage.
Your onsite wastewater system will work better and last longer if it is regularly maintained by a qualified service provider.
Your system will also work better and last longer if you learn what can go into it — and what can not. Every member of your household should be familiar with these. With Royal Flush Septic providing maintenance, along with periodic inspections, your onsite wastewater system should function for decades. And you’ll save water, energy, and pumpout costs, too!

Don’t flush dangerous and damaging substances into your wastewater treatment system. (Please refer to the “Substitutes for
Household Hazardous Waste,” on the next panel.) Specifically, do not flush . . .

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Excessive amounts of bath or body oils
  • Water softener backwash
  • Flammable or toxic products
  • Household cleaners, especially floor wax and rug cleaners
  • Chlorine bleach, chlorides, and pool or spa products
  • Pesticides, herbicides, agricultural chemicals, or fertilizers

Don’t plumb water softener discharge brine into your wastewater system. (The softened WATER is OK, just not the BRINE that’s produced during the regeneration cycle.)

Do route the brine around your wastewater system so it discharges directly into the soil. This is a cost-effective solution that ensures the long-term performance of your system and the biological processes that occur inside it.
Water softener brine can interfere with nitrogen removal. And it degrades treatment by interfering with the settling process inside the tank. Without proper settling, solids, grease, and oils are carried through your system, clogging components. This increases your costs by…

  • requiring the tank to be pumped more often (at hundreds of dollars per pumpout)
  • requiring filters to be cleaned more often
  • fouling drainfields and other downstream equipment

Do collect grease in a container and dispose with your trash. And avoid using garbage disposals excessively. Compost scraps or dispose with your trash, also. Food by-products accelerate the need for septage pumping and increase maintenance.

Do keep lint out of your wastewater treatment system by cleaning the lint filters on your washing machine and dryer before every load. Installing a supplemental lint filter on your washing machine would be a good precautionary measure. (This normally takes just a few minutes. Lint and other such materials can make a big difference in the frequency and cost of pumping out your primary treatment tank.)

Do use your trash can to dispose of substances that cause maintenance problems and/or increase the need for septage pumping. Don’t ever flush the following down the drain:

  • Egg shells, cantaloupe seeds, gum, coffee grounds
  • Tea bags, chewing tobacco, cigarette butts
  • Condoms, dental floss, sanitary napkins, diapers
  • Paper towels, newspapers, candy wrappers
  • Rags, large amounts of hair
  • Baby wipes, medicated wipes, cleaning wipes, and wipes made out of nonbiodegradeable material

Don’t use special additives that are touted to enhance the performance of your tank or system. Additives can cause major damage to other areas in the collection system. The natural microorganisms that grow in your system generate their own enzymes that are sufficient for breaking down and digesting nutrients in the wastewater.

Don’t ignore leaky plumbing fixtures; repair them. A leaky toilet can waste up to 2,000 gallons (7500 liters) of water in a single day. That’s 10-20 times more water than a household’s typical daily usage. Leaky plumbing fixtures increase your water bill, waste natural resources, and overload your system.

Don’t use excessive amounts of water. Using 50 gallons (200 liters) per person per day is typical. If your household does not practice any of the “water conserving tips” below, you may be using too much water.

Do conserve water:

  • Take shorter showers or take baths with a partially filled tub. Be cautious about excessive use of large soaking tubs.
  • Don’t let water run unnecessarily while brushing teeth or washing hands, food, dishes, etc.
  • Wash dishes and clothes when you have a full load.
  • When possible, avoid doing several loads in one day.
  • Use water-saving devices on faucets and showerheads.
  • When replacing old toilets, buy low-flush models.