Campus News

Don’t neglect your septic system

Like hot water and electricity, your home’s septic system is one of those things you may not think about every day. That is, until it stops working. Then it’s all you think about.

UGA Cooperative Extension specialist Kent McVay said an easy way to prevent septic system problems is to have your system inspected every few years.

“It’s not a pleasant topic, but it’s something that has to be dealt with,” he said. “The easy way to remember it’s time to have your septic system cleaned is to have it done every election year.”

To help extend the life of your home septic system, McVay offers these tips:

• Minimize water usage. “Your system can handle only so much water at a time,” he said. “Keep that in mind when you’re washing clothes, taking showers and running the dishwasher.”
•Don’t use a garbage disposal. “If you’re on a home septic system, compost your kitchen scraps,” McVay said. “This can reduce the organic load by as much as 50 percent and help your home garden, too.”
• Reduce harsh chemical usage. “Don’t use chlorine bleach to clean everything in your home,” he said. “Moderate use is OK, but excessive use kills the useful bacteria that are working to break down bacteria in your septic system.”

If you haven’t had your home septic system inspected in five years, McVay recommends making an appointment with a septic tank pumper.