Two Ways to Minimise the Environmental Impact of Your Home's Septic System
For those who reside in rural areas, where there is no direct access to public sewer lines, septic systems are essential. However, it's important for those who make use of these systems to take certain precautions, in order to prevent their septic tanks from having a negative impact on the environment. Read on to find out more:
Have it pumped regularly
The wastewater that flows from your home into the septic tank separates into liquids and solids after it enters the container. The latter are converted into sludge by the biological activity of the tank's microbes, whilst the former pours out into the drain field. The sludge will remain inside the tank and, over time, will begin to accumulate.
If you do not have this sludge pumped out of the tank, it can cause serious environmental damage. This is because, without periodic pumping, it will eventually start to seep into the drain field. In addition to significantly shortening the lifespan of the field, the sludge will also contaminate the earth and groundwater in this area with harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These microbes can kill nearby plants (and in doing so, may negatively affect the amount of vegetative food available for wildlife in the area).
This sludge may also contain chemicals and phosphates from household cleaning products and detergents. If these pollutants enter the groundwater or get into nearby lakes and rivers, this could kill the fish inside these bodies of water and poison any wildlife that drinks from these water sources.
As such, it is absolutely essential for you to ensure that your septic tank is pumped at least once every three years or so.
Be cautious about what goes into your drains
If you own a septic tank system, you should be extremely cautious about the things that you put into your kitchen and bathroom drains. Anything that could potentially create a blockage (such as the grease leftover from frying meat, which will solidify at room temperature, as well as coffee grounds, strands of hair, shards of eggshells, etc.) should not be allowed into your plumbing system.
The reason for this is simple; a large blockage inside a pipe can place a huge amount of pressure on its walls. If the pipe in question is old and, therefore, slightly weak, it is likely to split as a result of this pressure. Should this happen in a septic system, the untreated, potentially dangerous contents of this pipe could end up leaking into the drain field and contaminating it with pollutants.
Much like the above-mentioned sludge, this untreated wastewater could wreak havoc on the surrounding environment, harming both plant and animal life. Given this, you should be extremely wary of what goes into your drains and take precautions where necessary (by, for example, investing in some drain catchers for your sinks).
Contact a company like Econocycle for more information and assistance.