Are Septic Tanks Environmentally Friendly?

December 16, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re new to owning a septic tank, you might wonder whether septic tanks are environmentally friendly. More people than ever are concerned with the impact that humans have on the environment, from climate change to maintaining a healthy groundwater supply. The idea of sending human waste into the soil—and the groundwater supply—might seem counterintuitive, but we can happily declare septic tanks an eco-friendly alternative to municipal wastewater treatment.

Most properties with septic tanks are too far away from municipal sewer systems to rely upon them. Septic tanks are a safe and easy way to treat your own wastewater. As long as you keep up with regular maintenance and pumping, you can rely on nature to process the wastewater for you.

Here’s an overview of septic tanks and how to keep them environmentally friendly.

Why septic tanks are an eco-friendly choice

To understand why septic tanks are good for the environment, you need to know how they work. When you flush water down the toilet or drains, the water is collected within the tank. Solids settle at the bottom, while fats, oils and grease rise to the top. The middle wastewater layer (effluent) moves into a drain field. As the water penetrates the ground, helpful bacteria process the water. This gets rid of harmful bacteria and allows the water to reenter the groundwater supply.

When you use a septic tank, you’re using a natural and safe way to treat your wastewater, without harmful chemicals or additives. In turn, this helps replenish the local water table.

Furthermore, septic tanks are a cost-effective way to treat wastewater. They’re cheaper to install than sewer systems and, with proper maintenance, can last up to four decades.

Maintaining your septic system

To ensure that your septic system remains eco friendly, it’s important that you keep it well maintained. First, you’ll need to have the tank pumped every three to five years—sometimes sooner if you have a particularly large business or household. This prevents the tank from overflowing and sending out more effluent than the drain field can process at one time.

Second, it’s crucial that you avoid flushing harsh chemicals down the drain. For example, any time you use drain cleaner to loosen a clog, those chemicals will go through your septic tank and enter the groundwater supply. That can be harmful for human, animal and marine life alike. If you use well water, just think, “Do I want to drink this later?” before you send chemicals down the drain. You’ll need to get familiar with eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Luckily, that’s a small price to pay for the overall benefits.

Finally, make sure that you know what’s okay to flush and what’s not. Along with chemicals and detergents, you must avoid flushing things that will clog the tank and cause it to overflow or back up.

Septic tanks are environmentally friendly, as long as you keep them well maintained. There are plenty of resources available to help you care for your septic system. When you need help, call the team at Cleveland Septic right away.

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