Homeowners who have recently discovered that their septic system is no longer working efficiently often find themselves paralyzed by the potential cost of replacing it with a new one. According to a leading cost aggregation site, the expense of installing a new septic system, including components and labor, can be expected to be as much as $15,000. Since this amount is likely to more than most homeowners are able to comfortably afford, finding a way to improve the current system's functionality and lifespan is something that homeowners in this situation should consider exploring.
Reduce the liquid waste load
Introducing more austere water usage practices to the entire household is an important initial step when there are concerns about the functionality of the current septic system. Some good ideas for this include:
- having family members take short showers instead of tub baths
- using the washing machine and dishwasher only when fully loaded
- repairing leaking toilets and faucets that add to the burden of the septic system
In addition, homeowners in this situation should also encourage all family members to turn faucets on and off quickly during use, instead of leaving them on while washing dishes, brushing teeth, or using water for other needs.
Limit paper product usage
Another way to lessen the strain on a failing septic system is to reduce the amount of paper products and other materials that may not be easily digested inside the tank. If you are currently using double- or triple-ply toilet tissue, consider changing to thinner single-ply brands that are manufactured specifically to be septic-safe, such as those rated for recreational vehicle usage.
Set up an aggressive pump out schedule
One of the most important ways to reduce the strain on a septic system that is no longer able to efficiently process waste is to set up an aggressive pump out schedule. Taking this step will keep the amount of waste stored in the septic tank at a lower level, so that less effluent is sent to the drain field to be absorbed.
A properly working septic system may only require pumping every few years, so pumping annually or even semi-annually may be necessary to help extend the life of a failing septic system.
To get professional guidance in setting up an aggressive pump out schedule, as well as get ideas on additional ways in which you might help to extend the lifespan of your septic system, take time to discuss your situation with a reputable septic system service in your area.