Water conservation is a priority for many people today, but if your home relies on a septic system for waste disposal, decreasing your daily water use is even more important. By tweaking your normal activities a bit, you can extend the life of your septic tank. Here are some easy ways to conserve water and protect your septic system.
How to Conserve Water & Protect Your Septic System
Below we discuss 5 ways to conserve water by reducing usage and being more intentional to limit water waste. These tips can not only help with conservation but also serve to protect your septic tank and system.
1. Shorten Your Showers
A long, hot shower may feel rejuvenating, but it doesn’t do your septic tank any favors. Shorten your showers to five or 10 minutes long to keep your water consumption at just 10 to 25 gallons per shower.
2. Install Low-Flow Fixtures
The EPA’s WaterSense program helps consumers find energy-efficient plumbing fixtures. When you install a septic system, consider upgrading to low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets as well. Energy Star dishwashers and washing machines are also worthwhile upgrades, not only because they conserve energy to lower your utility bills, but because they reduce water consumption with every load.
3. Use Your Dishwasher & Washing Machine Wisely
Whether you install new appliances or not, operate them with water conservation in mind. This means only running full batches or adjusting the water settings if you run a partial load.
You should also spread batches out over the week rather than doing several in one day. This gives solids and grease particles time to separate properly in the tank while also allowing the absorption area to keep pace with the volume of wastewater flowing in.
4. Check for Plumbing Leaks
A slowly dripping faucet or running toilet may not seem like a big deal, but these problems could add 10 gallons or more per day to your septic tank. Repairing or replacing a leaky faucet or toilet is a simple task that can help protect your septic system.
Other plumbing leaks are harder to find. To make sure no pipes or hoses are leaking without your knowledge, take a quick reading of your water meter. Then, refrain from turning on faucets or flushing toilets for two hours. Check the meter again, and if the reading has changed, you have a leak. Hire a plumber to find the hidden cause.
5. Reduce Outdoor Water Use
Although the water you use outside doesn’t end up in the septic tank, it’s important not to over-saturate the absorption area so it can properly treat and drain your home’s wastewater. To reduce outdoor water use:
- Only irrigate the lawn when it no longer springs back after you step on it.
- Use plants native to the area that requires less water.
- Use a pistol-type sprayer nozzle on your garden hose to adjust the flow and shut off the water between tasks.
- Sweep grass clippings off the driveway and sidewalk after mowing instead of hosing them off.
You should now be aware of several ways that you can increase efficiency with water usage and limit waste. For homes hooked up to a city water line, these tips can help you to save money on water utilities or even fines during California drought restrictions. For homes on well water and those who rely on septic systems, these changes to the way you use water could help to avoid depleting water resources and protect your septic tank to ensure you get the full life out of your system.
If you are in need of septic tank pumping, grease trap cleaning, or any other waste disposal service, contact A-1 Septic Tank Service online or call us at (510) 886-4455 to schedule service for your home or business.
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