7 Tips to Prevent Septic Tank Overload

Monday, July 27, 2020

Septic tank overload can cause plumbing issues or even break the system, however, there are things that your household can do to help prevent the septic tank from overloading. Having regular septic tank pumping from Honey-Wagon is a good start, but here are some other steps you can take to have a properly functioning septic system.

What is Septic Tank Overload?

Septic tank overload occurs when wastewater flows into the tank faster than its holding capacity. When a septic system overloads, solids are unable to adequately settle and bacterial activity is limited, inhibiting the necessary process for breaking down solids.

How Do Septic Tanks Exceed Capacity?

Excessive water use is typically the cause of septic tanks exceeding capacity which leads to overload. However, there are other reasons why tanks can overload such as physical damage, improper installation, or lack of routine maintenance.

Here are some common situations that can lead to excessive water use:

  • Hosting a large party without pumping the tank first

  • Having more people living in the house

  • Having a plumbing leak (e.g. a running toilet)

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Just a single leaky or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day.” Everybody should always be mindful of water waste, but it's particularly important for septic system owners to prevent tank overload.

Septic Tank Overload Prevention Tips

When taking care of a septic tank, keep in mind the old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are seven tips to help your household prevent septic tank overload so your system keeps working efficiently.

  1. Never flush anything other than toilet paper

  2. Avoid using harsh cleaners which can kill beneficial bacteria

  3. Use regular soap for washing hands instead of anti-bacterial soap

  4. Run full loads of laundry rather than smaller loads

  5. Take showers instead of baths to use less water

  6. Minimize garbage disposal use and dispose of food scraps in a trash or compost bin

  7. Don't use toilet sanitizing tabs because they can kill beneficial bacteria

Basically, the two most important things to remember for preventing septic tank overload is to not introduce materials that the tank wasn't designed to handle and pump the tank before it becomes full. If you stick with these rules, you should have a properly functioning system.

Preventing Septic Tank Overload in Kansas City

As we've mentioned before, it's essential to have regular pumping to prevent septic tank overload. How often a septic tank will need pumping will depend on the tank's size and the number of occupants in the home, but a general recommendation is to pump the septic tank once every three to four years.

Honey-Wagon has been helping homeowners prevent septic tank overload with pumping services since 1986. We're a family-owned septic maintenance company that services Miami, Wyandotte, and Johnson counties in Kansas, and Jackson and Cass in Missouri.

Contact us today at (913) 681-3563 or (816) 525-5100 to request an estimate!

Staff 7/27/2020