As part of your normal routine, you have to wash your clothes and linens to keep yourself and your family clean. However, if you are using your washing machine and have a septic tank, you may not realize that there are things that you need to change so that the system stays healthy. While washing your laundry, make sure you avoid the following mistakes that could throw your septic system out of balance.
1. Using the Wrong Type of Detergent
If you have always preferred using powdered detergent, you may still continue doing so even if you have a septic tank. However, if you are using powdered detergent instead of liquid, you may be damaging your septic system.
Unlike liquid detergent that has its ingredients already dissolved, the powdered type comes with granules that sometimes do not dissolve completely. You have probably noticed this sometimes when you tried washing a larger than usual load and discovered residual powder on your items.
If this undissolved powder reaches your septic tank, it will eventually break down inside. However, the excess, undiluted soap it produces can kill the good bacteria that is necessary for breaking down waste materials.
Also, since most powdered detergents contain some kind of clay binder, using this type could clog up your leech field. As the clay makes its way to the soil, it binds with the dirt and makes it harder for the field to absorb and release gray water. This can then cause the entire system to back up.
2. Washing All of Your Laundry on the Same Day
Especially when you have a hectic work and leisure schedule, you may be in the habit of saving all of your laundry for one of your days off. While doing so can help free up a little bit of your time during the week, it will overload your septic tank.
Your septic system is designed to handle only so much water and waste material every day. As long as there is a normal load on the tank, it can break down materials and disperse excess water naturally so that it does not overflow.
However, if the system is deluged with multiple loads of water from the washing machine within a few hours, it cannot keep up. This can then cause the system to overflow, requiring extra pumping of the tank.
Making sure you do not make the above mistakes while washing your laundry can help keep your septic system healthy. However, if you have been using the wrong detergent or inundating the system with several loads all at once, consider contacting a septic service company to have them inspect the tank to see if it needs pumping so you can have a fresh start.
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