There are few things more disgusting or troublesome than an overflowing septic tank. Unfortunately, however, many homeowners will encounter this problem. You can greatly reduce the risk of this happening with regular septic tank pumping by professionals. How often your septic tank will need to be pumped will depend on the age of your plumbing system, the number of people in your home, and the frequency of use. Any good septic tank professional can get you set up on a regular maintenance schedule.
If you get off schedule or if something goes wrong, however, overflow can still occur. Don't panic! Simply contact a professional for assistance as soon as possible. And, in the meantime, there are a few things you can do on your own to help the situation.
Apply Some Additives
At any home goods or hardware store, you can purchase special septic tank additives. These liquid formulas contain microorganisms that are important for the proper functioning of your septic tank and that can kill harmful bacteria that, if built up, can lead to overflow.
For best results, you should apply these additives on a regular basis, according to package directions. In some cases, however, applying them in an emergency can actually stop overflow or, at the very least, reduce the amount of overflow happening. This plan is not foolproof, but it's definitely worth a try if you're looking to do some "damage control" until you get the professionals out to help you.
Turn Off the Water Supply
Sometimes, a toilet that won't stop running, a severely stopped up sink, or some other household problem can cause a septic tank to overflow. If you think that may be what's causing your overflow problems, or if you just want to do a little trial and error, it never hurts to cut off your home's water supply. The problem may temporarily clear up on its own after turning off the water line.
Unclog Your Drains and Toilets
In some cases, a clogged up drain or toilet could be the reason that a septic tank is overflowing. This is especially common if you're guilty of putting non-approved materials, like feminine hygiene products or solid food waste, into these receptacles.
If you think a clog may be to blame, plunge the toilet and/or get and use some liquid drain cleaner. In this situation, and in all the others, at least you'll have something to try until you can get some professional help.
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