15 Things to avoid to ensure safe operation of onsite wastewater treatment system
A properly installed onsite wastewater treatment system will give you years of service; however, like anything else it must be properly maintained.
The following is a list of things you need to avoid to not put undue stress on your system.
- Overload the system by introducing wastewater flows greater than the design flow.
- Flush excessive amounts of grease, oil or fat into your septic system.
- Dump excessive amounts of disinfectants, cleaners or detergents (normal amounts will not harm the system.)
- Allow storm water into your septic system (storm water drains should not be connected to the septic tank and landscaping should divert storm water away from the modules.)
- Use additives (septic tank additives should not be introduced into the septic tank for grease reduction, stimulation of biological activity or other purposes.)
- Dispose of large quantities of organic material through a garbage disposal as this may organically overload the system and cause more frequent pumping of the septic tank.
- Flush cigarettes, tea bags, sanitary napkins, tampons, diapers, condoms, wipes and other non-biodegradable products capable of blocking pipes or filters into your system.
- Dump solvents, oils, paints, thinners, pesticides or poisons down the drain which can disrupt the treatment process and contaminate the groundwater.
- Dispose of water softener waste directly into the septic system (where practical design a separate disposal system or balance flows into the septic system.)
- Dig in your drainfield or build anything permanent over it.
- Plant anything over your drainfield except grass.
- Drive over your drainfield or compact the soil in any way.
- Attempt any homeowner maintenance to the septic tank, pump tank, electrical controls or treatment modules — do not remove caps or covers as potentially hazardous gases and waste matter are contained in the treatment tanks which may result in death or bodily injury.
- Place heavy objects on or drive across your treatment system.
- Bury or cover the modules with soil as the Puraflo treatment is an aerobic process that requires free passage of air through the module lids.
Tom Smith Tom Smith is the former director of operations and marketing at Anua. Tom is driving demand for wastewater treatment, water reuse, rainwater harvesting and odor/VOC control solutions. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business.