HomeFront guest column 6/22/14: Septic maintenance crucial for your home

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The maintenance of owning a home can be a daunting task for many. At any given moment, accidents can occur costing the homeowner thousands in unplanned expenses. Preventative maintenance of your septic system is not only environmentally responsible — it can keep dollars in your pocket. 

The septic tank system is a critical part of any home. By using natural processes, the wastewater generated within the home is treated and disposed of. Working in conjunction with the drain field, the septic system filters and treats the waste before it reaches the groundwater. Regular pumping of the septic tank is imperative to ensure proper operation. 

Septic system maintenance has multiple benefits. Most importantly, it is the cheapest and most effective way to keep your system running efficiently. Additionally, routine maintenance is what is best for the environment; untreated wastewater can become a health hazard for your family, neighborhood and community. 

Maintaining your septic system is more than routine pumping. Daily management can produce long-term positive results for the overall health of your system.

Here are a few simple tips your household can use to aid in the upkeep of your septic system:

+ Know the exact location of your septic system. If you are unaware, contact the county health department for a copy of your septic system permit to give you an approximate location of the tank. 

+ Practice water conservation. The lesser the amount of wastewater going into your system, the easier it has to work. Repair leaky faucets and toilets. 

+ To optimize the productivity of the system, limit surface water from accumulating near it. 

+ Keep detailed accounts of any septic repairs or treatments. If you sell your home, share the information with the next homeowners. 

In addition, avoid the following practices to keep your system operating at its fullest potential:

+ Don’t put septic tank additives in your system. Naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater is sufficient to treat the system. 

+ Don’t flush or pour poisons or household chemicals down your drains. 

+ Never drive over your system and drain field. Compacting the soil around the system is harmful. 

+ Don’t use a garbage disposal system. Disposal systems increase the amount of solids in a system by up to 50 percent, increasing the need to have your system pumped. 

Following these simple tips can have a lasting impact on the health of your home, the longevity of your septic system and will ensure the quality of life in our community. 

Brandon Buckingham is a third-generation owner/operator of a septic tank business, Advanced Septic. He owns Sodium Fishing Gear and works for the Citrus County Fire Department. He volunteers with a number of organizations, including One Rake at a Time and Habitat For Humanity.