When we lived in the country, our septic system was out of sight, out of mind. We had moved from being on town sewer where we didn’t have to worry about septic systems to a place in the country with a septic tank that we discovered hadn’t been pumped in a while and a septic field in layers of shale – not sand.
Our septic system happened to be in view of our dining room window, hidden from the rest of the front yard by shrubs, but in plain sight of our dining room table.
One spring after snow melt and a lot of rain sitting down to lunch, we noticed bubbling around the septic area – and it sure wasn’t oil. We didn’t know about the EPA’s septic check list or our bubbly septic might never have happened. We just took our septic for granted…and then this happened.
It’s EPA’s National Septic Week this week and the EPA apparently knows that most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their septic system – unless they have a problem – and we sure did!
If we had this EPA checklist maybe we could’ve avoided our own ‘septic spring.’ Here’s what the EPA suggests:
- Have your system checked every 3 years.
- Pump your septic every 3-5 years.
- Don’t pour paint, oil, and other harsh products down your drains.
- Make sure roots of your plantings don’t interfere with your septic system.
- Use low or phosphate free soaps and detergents.
- Fix leaky faucets so they don’t overload your system.
We called the septic pumper and soon our ‘septic spring’ disappeared. Maybe we should have been more aware of what we needed to be doing for the system.
Why not check out www.epa.gov/septicsmart – it will just take a minute and it might save you some serious bucks. I wish we had.