How To Care For The Septic Tank At Your Tiny House
Did you just build a tiny house? It is a marvelous way to live more cheaply, more simply, and with less of an impact on the environment. These are probably the things that appealed to you about living in a tiny house. While you were building, you had to decide how you would handle the water in your tiny house. If you decided to go on the grid, but your tiny house is located in an area without municipal sewage services, you had to install a septic tank to take care of your waste water. If you have never had a septic tank before, you should know that you can't just let it sit there forever, and you can't flush just anything down the drain or you will damage it.
Here are the things you need to know about septic tank cleaning and care if you are a first-time septic tank owner at your tiny house.
1. Make Sure You Are Conserving Water As Much As Possible
Septic tanks are designed to take liquid and solid waste. The solid waste will break down eventually. The liquid waste will gradually fill up in the tank until it hits the overflow pipes and goes out into the drain field. It is absorbed into the ground in the drain field.
Most of the time, this system works fine. However, if you are using an excessive amount of water on a regular basis, or if you have any leaks in your indoor plumbing that you haven't addressed, you will end up with an overflowing septic tank. The water will rise to the top of the tank and seep out into your yard where you can see it, because it won't have time to get absorbed into the drain field.
This leads to a messy, smelly yard and a call to your local septic tank repair company. Avoid this by addressing any leaks in your plumbing right away, and keeping your water use to the minimum necessary for you to do all of your washing and bathing.
2. Don't Put Anything Heavy on Top of Your Septic Tank
Even though your septic tank is located below the ground where you can't see it, it is still vulnerable to weight from the top of the soil. You should never put anything heavy on top of your septic tank. This means avoiding parking cars there, building or placing outbuildings there, or situating and above-ground pool on top of it.
Any of these things, or similar heavy things, can crack your septic tank and break the pipes. You will end up with a big mess and need to replace the whole septic tank system...something you want to avoid having to do.
3. Get Your Tank Cleaned Regularly
The solid waste in your septic tank breaks down over time, but the sludge it leaves behind will need to be cleaned out every so often. If you don't get this done, your septic tank could overflow.
Most tanks need to be cleaned via pumping out the solid waste sludge every one to five years. How often you need to do it will depend on the size of your tank and how many people live with you in your tiny house. According to SepticHelp.org, a household with four people will probably require cleaning about every 3.4 years. With a tiny house, you will probably be closer to the every five years time frame.
Call your local septic tank service company to do the cleaning. They can tell you if your tank is in good working order, and can also give you an appropriate cleaning schedule for it if you need one.
Treat your septic tank right and it will be good to you. Always remember to use septic tank-friendly products when you clean your plumbing or flush things down the toilet. The label on the product will let you know if you can use it in your tank or not.
If you have any questions on whether you are treating your septic tank correctly as a new owner, do additional reading or call your local septic tank service company to come out and give you a tutorial and do some basic maintenance on it.