Four Seasons Checklist for Septic Tanks & Lagoons
Practical homeowners in the Mid-Missouri counties of Columbia, Jefferson City and Fulton should know that completing a few key tasks, at the right time of the year, helps ensure a septic system that operates problem-free regardless of the season. For optimum four-season septic system performance, bear these tips in mind:
When thoughts turn to spring cleaning, don’t overlook the septic system.
- Switch-out the filter: A filter clogged with left-over winter gunk or debris from spring storms can negatively impact the entire system’s performance.
- Pump the system: The ideal time to pump a septic system is when temps begin to rise so have it professionally serviced in late-spring.
- Check the gutters and drains: Spring can be rainy so be sure that downspouts are turned to direct water away from the tank and that interior drains are clear so the system isn’t taxed dealing with obstructions.
- Schedule an inspection – A Peace of Mind Home Inspections’ pro can identify any new minor problems, caused by winter weather, before they become major issues.
The lazy days of summer often include freuquent guests and lots of entertaining which can strain a septic system.
- Flushing no-no’s: Remind family/guests not to dispose of materials–from cigerette butts to kleenex to diapers–in the toilet as that will fill the system with solids and decrease it’s efficiency.
- No parking: Identify where system components are located and ensure there is no vehicle traffic allowed on the tank, pipes, and the lagoon/soil treatment area since this may damage pipes and compact the soil.
- Party Planning: If hosting a large group, pump the septic system in advance of the gathering so as not to tax it’s capacity. Consider renting a portable toilet for major events.
- Intelligent Design: When landscaping, research how plantings will impact the septic system and design accordingly.
Autumn is the ideal time to ready your septic tank & lagoon for Mid-Missouri’s winter temps.
- Leave the grass longer: Let the grass around your tank, lagoon and all connecting pipes grow an extra six inches so it can serve as insulation against winter chills.
- Mulch: Spread a at least eight inches of natural materials–leaves/straw/hay–to provide additional insulation all winter.
- Fix Leaks: Make repairs to dripping faucets or leaky plumbing since come winter improper drainage can lead to nasty ice buildup which causes septic pipes to freeze.
- Make sure to perform regular maintenance: Ensuring the tank is pumped before winter is wise because in the event of a tank freeze, a little extra space inside for expanding liquid may save the tank.
Winter issues can be disastrous as a frozen tank is among the worst of all septic problems.
- Check for cracks: To keep unwanted water out of the tank, inspect the tank lid for leaks and the drainage system for clogs.
- Keep Water Flowing: When colder temps arrive, consistently use hot water–for dishes, doing laundry and bathing–throughout the day to keep warm water regularly flowing through the septic system.
- Don’t tax the tank: Don’t let a faucet run nonstop as too much water in the septic tank can be equally problematic. Insulate pipes so they don’t freeze and keep the heat in the home above 60° F.
- Aim for efficiency: Driving over the snow can cause it to compact above the system’s components which sees it become less effective as insulation. Be sure to aerate soil before bitter temps arrive and give winter driving over these areas a pass.
Mid-Missouri homeowners can supplement routine seasonal maintenance with an inspection from Peace of Mind Home Inspections that will identify and address any issues that affect septic system performance. And that’s a smart move at any time of the year!