If your family has been home together since the spring due to COVID-19 quarantine and precautions, chances are that you’ve been giving your septic system a workout. Most septic systems weren’t designed for heavy usage of a full house of residents that are home 24 hours a day. Most likely, you’re using the sinks and toilets more often than usual. Fortunately, you can implement some easy best practices to prevent expensive septic system problems and failure.
The water level matters
Some people are mindful of water usage for environmental reasons, but it’s important to watch water usage at home. Because of the way the septic system works, the wastewater flows out of the house into the septic tank, where it needs time to settle. Using the natural properties of gravity, the heavier solids settle to the bottom and the grease rises to the top, leaving only the watery effluent to leave the septic tank into the drain field.
Too much water in the septic tank can force some of the non-settled grease and solids out into the drain field before it has time to settle. This can cause big problems, because the solids and grease can clog up the perforated pipes of the drain field. That’s where the septic failure begins.
In fact, some areas have already seen a rise in septic system failures due to COVID-19 and the quarantine. Keeping everyone home from work, school, and recreation during quarantine has meant heavy septic system usage across the globe.
Best practices for your septic system while the house is full during COVID-19
The most important thing to do while home during COVID-19 is to space out your water usage. Don’t run the dishwasher, laundry and showers at the same time. If your family showers in the morning, then maybe run the washing machine in the middle of the day, and run the dishwasher at the end of the day. With some simple planning, you can easily spread out the water usage so you don’t overwhelm your septic system.
How would you know if your septic system is overused?
If you’re outside the home, you can check for standing water in the drain field. If the septic system can’t drain the water fast enough, it will end up pooling in your yard. It may actually be draining very slowly, But since the household is using a lot of water at the same time, you may be adding more and more wastewater and it will continue to pool in the yard.
Inside the home, you may notice some telltale signs of a backed up septic system. As a start, watch for slow or gurgling toilets. If you notice any gurgling drains, especially the shower drains which should go directly out of the house, it may be time for an evaluation.
When in doubt, schedule a drain field evaluation
If you’ve seen any of those signs of a slow or clogged drain field, it’s definitely time to book a drain field evaluation. If your septic system is clogged or on its way to failure, it will save you money to catch it before it’s too late.
We’ll dig down and examine the integrity of the drain field. With our tools and equipment, we can easily tell how clean it is, or how clogged the drain field pipes are. You’ll get a full assessment of where your septic system is in its life.
Best practices and new technology to protect your septic system — even with a full house
Everyone wants to avoid septic system failures at all costs. A failed septic system can mean dangerous wastewater back up into your home and mean very expensive excavation and replacements.
Thankfully, if we discover a problem with your drain field due to overuse, Grant’s Septic Techs can save you thousands of dollars in repairs with our new Everlasting Septic System technology. This can revive your septic system to be fully functioning, without an expensive replacement. If your family is engaging in remote learning or working from home and have been using your septic system more than usual, we can do a proactive assessment and even septic pumping with our drain field evaluation. Use our simple online scheduler or call (508) 529-6255.