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We all use water on a daily basis for various activities, most of which goes down the drain as wastewater. Whether your house or business is connected to city sewer, a septic system, or an advanced treatment system, its wastewater must be treated properly before the water can be released back into nature.

When people are connected to a city sewer system, they are prone to flush anything and everything down the drain without a second thought. But if you have a septic system, you have to take much more care with what you put in there.

In both sewer and septic systems, all of the trash, debris, and solids must be removed and the water must be treated. City wastewater plants have people and complex machinery to clean and treat everything you flush. When you are on a septic system, your tank captures your waste and allows space for bacteria to grow and treat the solids in the water before it is released directly underground.

Here are the best ways to keep your septic system working properly:

  • Avoid flushing any trash or debris other than toilet paper. This includes items like “flushable” wipes and feminine hygiene products, which could take months or years to break down in your septic tank.
  • Don’t use more water than you need to. Too much water in the septic system is a major cause of failure, as there won’t be enough time for the sludge and scum to separate and decompose before being carried into the drain field.
  • Common household cleaning chemicals will kill both good and bad bacteria, including the beneficial microbes in your septic tank. Make sure you’re introducing good bacteria on a regular basis.
  • Hire a professional to service your tank every 3-5 years.

All of these practices will help your ground accept the effluent water you are sending through your septic system. Remember that, as a general rule, anything that doesn’t deteriorate naturally when lying on top of the ground won’t degrade inside your septic tank. If items like these build up in your tank, they can cause serious problems.

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