How to Avoid Common Septic System Problems

by Ri Industries Ri Industries

What is a septic system? Essentially it is a large tank where human biological waste materials are broken down. Natural bacteria break the waste down into three components: gases, water, and solids.  The gases and water are eliminated into the environment while the solids sink to the bottom of the tank and eventually will be pumped out. If human biological waste were the only substances to enter the septic system, many of the commonly known problems would not occur.

Most households require their septic system to handle much more than human waste materials. For example, kitchen wastes, water from baths and showers, out put from dishwashers and washing machines including soaps and cleansers. Non-biodegradable items also make their way into the septic systems.

The added substances and extra work required of the septic systems are where many of the problems arise.  Why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Water levels rise more quickly than the solids can break down due to the excess water. This forces the solids into the distribution tubes which are solely designed for water.
  • Non biodegradable substances also cause the water levels to rise forcing the solids into the distribution tubes.
  • Detergents contain phosphates that act as fertilizer causing algae growth which blocks the perforations in the distribution tubes.

The above issues can be avoided or reduced by:

  • Spread the clothes washing out over the course of the week.
  • Shorten the length of showers.
  • Use liquid or gel soaps in dishwashers and washing machines as they do not contain phosphates.
  • Eliminate kitchen wastes.
  • Keep all non biodegradable substances out of the septic system.
  • Have the tank pumped on a regular basis.

For further guidance on maintaining your septic system, call Ri Industries at 08 8444 8100.