The holidays offer a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the people you care about the most, but it can be hard to stay in good spirits when the possibility of a holiday home disaster is perpetually on your mind—and a non-functioning septic system certainly qualifies as such a disaster. With the added strain on septic systems that comes along with hosting holiday parties and out-of-town guests, making sure your septic system is well-maintained in advance of the winter holiday season is key to avoiding unwanted problems.
By following these tips for performing preventive septic maintenance in Modesto, CA, homeowners have a better chance of avoiding septic system disasters this holiday season and all year round:
- The kitchen sink is not a garbage can: Since everything that goes down the drain ends up in the septic system, a good rule of thumb is that, if it can be thrown away in the garbage can, do that rather than feeding it to the garbage disposal. Holiday time is a season of excess fats and grease from cooking. Dispose of cooled-off fat and grease in the trash can rather than pouring it down the drain.
- Be water-efficient: While it’s great to be water-conscious on a regular basis, it’s especially helpful during the holidays. Hosting guests can mean more water usage for appliances like your laundry machines and dishwasher. To prevent overloading your septic system, especially if it hasn’t been pumped out recently, avoid running back-to-back loads. Instead, spread them throughout the day. And if you notice any plumbing leaks, be sure to have them fixed as soon as possible!
- Don’t flush that: No one wants to experience a septic tank backup during a party. A septic system cannot handle certain things being flushed as well as a regular sewer system can. As a benefit for your holiday guests, it can be a good idea to leave a simple note in the restroom asking that certain items not be flushed. Items such as “flushable” wipes, paper towels, cigarette butts and feminine hygiene products belong on this list.
- Chemicals are a no-no: Septic tanks are considered natural living environments, which means you must limit your use of non-biodegradable chemical substances going down drains. This includes laundry detergents, bleach, harsh cleaning products and motor oil.
- Block off the leach field: Your septic system has a leach field or drain field that’s composed of underground pipes for wastewater disposal, and there’s likely grass or gravel on top of the pipes. Before your holiday guests begin to arrive, have this area clearly blocked off or mark a section where guests are to park their vehicles. Heavy weight on the leach field can lead to pipe damage or cause a disruption in the underground water flow.
- Have the tank professionally pumped and inspected: Depending on the size of your tank, experts recommend that residential septic systems be inspected by a professional every three years and pumped out at least once every three to five years. Schedule an inspection before your holiday hosting duties get crazy!
You may already be a little tense if you’ve decided to host holiday parties and overnight guests—don’t let septic system disasters ruin your plans. If you require septic maintenance in Modesto, CA, contact Alvarado Pumping Septic Service before the winter holiday season.