Imagine one day you walked to the trash can in your home to throw a piece of paper in it. You open the lid, toss the garbage inside, and then close the lid. Then moments later, the garbage lid shoots back open, and dirty, moldy garbage begins to spray all over your house.

But it’s not just the one garbage can that’s doing it. It’s every garbage can in your house.

Sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, the good news is there’s no way this could actually happen with your garbage cans (unless you’re haunted by a poltergeist, maybe). The bad news is, this is exactly what can happen with your sewage system if your septic tank overflows.

Except it’s not garbage that your toilets, sinks, and drains will be pushing out. It’s, well, sewage.

One of the last things you ever want is for your septic tank to back up. How can you prevent this from happening?

Here are a few tips.

Take It Easy on the Chemicals

Septic tanks naturally break down waste with bacteria that’s present inside of them. However, this bacteria can be killed by certain chemicals.  Without the bacteria, the waste won’t break down, and instead, will start to build up, ultimately leading to septic tank overflow.

You can prevent this from happening by keeping harsh chemicals out of your sewage system. The general rule is, if its harmful to people, it’s harmful to the bacteria in your tank. This includes powerful cleaning materials like bleach, as well as most complex chemicals.

Other Items to Keep Out of Your Pipes

It’s not just chemicals that you should abstain from flushing down your system. Unless it’s liquid, human waste, or toilet paper, it shouldn’t be going down your septic system. Keep paper towels and tampons out of your toilets, and make sure you aren’t putting grease, large particles of food, or foreign objects like bottle caps down your drain.

If you’re lucky, these items will only clog the initial pipe they were placed in. Otherwise, they’ll get into your septic system and cause much larger problems.

Prepare for the Holidays

The more use your septic tank is experiencing, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. Every year, septic tank problems rise dramatically during the holiday season as families and friends visit.

If your septic tank hasn’t been cleaned or inspected in a while, make sure to do it before guests come over.

Keep Your Tank from Freezing

A long, cold winter can mean bad news for your septic tank. Especially if your septic system isn’t deep enough. Make sure you’re keeping your pipes warm and regularly used. For more tips on keeping your septic system protected in the winter, make sure to check out our previous post here.

Watch Out for Roots

Trees and plants are often at the root of septic tank overflow. Yes, that pun was intentional. Overtime, plant roots grow deeper into the soil beneath them. If you have a tree or plant too close to your septic system, these roots can grow right into the pipes, breaking and blocking them.

You may want to consider removing any larger plants or trees that are near your septic tank before they cause a problem.

Keep it Cleaned and Maintained

Arguably the best way to keep your septic system from overflowing is with regular maintenance and cleaning. Even a properly cared for septic tank needs regular cleaning to prevent build-up and malfunctioning.

That’s why you should keep your septic tank on a regularly scheduled inspection cycle. For general inspection and septic tank pumping services in the Centerville, Ohio area, contact AAA Wastewater.