May 24, 2013

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Common Misconceptions About Septic Pumping and Maintenance in Gig Harbor WA

If you own a home in Gig Harbor, WA, there’s a good chance that it has its own septic system instead of using a public sewage system. Since the septic system is underground, and anything that goes down the pipes is “out of sight and out of mind”, it’s easy to forget the rules of septic system maintenance. If you properly maintain your septic system, you will avoid a costly replacement as well as an unscheduled Septic pumping in Gig Harbor. Following are some common misconceptions to correct if you want to prevent a septic system emergency.

Misconception Number One: It’s okay to flush anything down the toilet as long as it’s made of paper. First of all, many items that seem to be completely made of paper actually aren’t. For example, disposable diapers and sanitary napkins contain plastic, so they aren’t bio-degradable. Cigarette butts and baby wipes contain cloth-like fibers that don’t degrade properly. Even “flushable” baby wipes aren’t truly flushable, and paper towels are just too thick to be deemed safe to flush. Only toilet paper should be flushed, unless you want to risk eventually clogging the septic tank.

Misconception Number Two: Only items flushed down the toilet affect the septic system. Actually, whatever goes down the kitchen sink travels through a grease trap, then on to the septic tank. Clothes washers usually drain to the septic tank, too. For this reason, you should not designate one day of the week as “laundry day”. Too much water draining in a short period of time wreaks havoc on your drain fields, which are made of perforated pipes that drain water from the septic tank. However, you should only bleach laundry once a week, because one cup of bleach kills 80% of good bacteria in the septic system for 3 days!

Misconception Number Three: Proper maintenance of the septic system includes using chemical or bacterial additives. Chemical additives are not recommended for septic systems. Like bleach, they kill good bacteria, harm the soil near the drain fields, and can contaminate groundwater. Bacterial additives are unnecessary and can possibly harm your septic system. Your local septic service company has safer, more effective methods of maintaining your system until it’s time for your next Septic pumping Gig Harbor WA. Correct these misconceptions and you will only need to have your septic tank pumped out about once every three years.

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