Things to Remember When Switching From Sewer System to Septic System

28 June 2016
 Categories: Environmental, Blog


If you previously lived somewhere with a sewer system provided by the town, it can be an adjustment moving somewhere with a septic system. While in many ways, it feels the same as when you had a sewer plumbing system, there are some distinctions you need to keep in mind.

Water Usage Needs to Be Kept to a Minimum

While you don't have to put an extremely high limit on your water usage, there are some ways that it is a little different. All water and waste in your home will go down the pipes and into the septic tank. The liquid goes out the septic tank into the drainfield, while the solid waste remains in the tank until it is pumped out. If you use too much water at one time, it can be hard for the septic tank to handle in short periods of time, which might cause overflowing. Make sure you give it enough time to handle all the water, so don't let family members use all three baths and showers in your home at one time, and don't do multiple loads of laundry on the same day.

You Have to Be More Careful With What Goes Down the Drain

You also need to be a little more careful with what goes down your sink and toilet drains. You probably know that you shouldn't put paper towels and napkins down the toilet, but it is even more important with a septic system. With a sewer system, you might get away with using a napkin if you run out of toilet tissue, but a single napkin can do a lot of damage with a septic system. Some plumbers even suggest only using single-ply toilet tissue so you don't clog the tank. You also should never use drain cleaning liquids but should instead call a plumber to clear the drains, since these heavy liquids can be too much for the septic system. Be careful with harsh cleaning chemicals going down the drains as well.

The Tank Needs to Be Pumped Regularly

One of the biggest differences between a sewer system and septic system is that you now have a tank that needs to be pumped. All that solid waste builds up in the tank and eventually needs somewhere to go. This makes a septic system a little higher in maintenance requirements than a sewer system. Make sure you call a plumbing professional on a routine basis to pump out the tank. The frequency depends on the size of your home and number of people using the plumbing system, but a septic tank pump out professional can help you determine how often to have the tank pumped.