If you've recently moved into a home with a septic system, there are a few important things to understand about how your laundry usage can affect the septic tank and drain field. Septic tanks work to contain, filter, and drain the wastewater you use, which of course includes water from your washing machine. Here's what you need to avoid doing so your septic system functions properly.
Do not use too much detergent
Using too much detergent can cause excessive foam in the septic system, which can affect the functioning of the microbial organisms that are necessary to break down the solids. Too much detergent also can leave too much soap residue, which can plug the holes of the perforated pipes. This, in turn, prevents the proper amount of effluent from draining out of the system, which can lead to sewage backing up.
Do not use powder detergent
Powder detergent sometimes doesn't dissolve and will end up in your septic tank and form clogs. Also, some powdered laundry detergents have clay fillers that can bind together within the septic system and form clogs over time, regardless of how careful you are to not use too much each time you wash clothes. Use liquid detergent instead of powder. Alternatively, if you prefer using a powdered detergent, choose a high-efficiency one, which means it's more concentrated.
Do not do too many laundry loads at once
Water from your washing machine goes to the septic tank. Doing too many loads of laundry on a given day can overload the septic system. The extra amount of water can flood your septic tank, which can result in sewage backing up into your home or cause too much effluent to be released into the drain field at once.
Effluent is the liquid that comes out of the perforated pipes and into the drain field. The system is designed to release effluent slowly, but excessive wash water can cause it to be released more quickly. If you are unable to divide your laundry over the course of the week, consider installing a separate dry well for the washing machine.
If you've been doing these types of things regularly and have yet to notice anything wrong with your septic system, that doesn't mean nothing will happen in the future as your methods continue, so it's a good idea to stop now doing these things before something does happen. Have your septic tank pumped and, if necessary, cleaned. Call a septic tank pumping service today to learn more.