If you are a like most everyone in the world, you are keenly aware of human’s impact on the planet. The general consensus is that we are impacting the planet negatively and many people have started to consciously reduce their carbon footprint. Drip septic systems are part of an overall water conservation plan that is helping many people do just that.
First, we need to familiarize ourselves with what a drip septic system is. A drip septic system is composed of a regular tank plus a finger-like system that "drips" water into the septic drainfield. When the gray-water level (review basic septic tank design) makes it up to the baffle it will exit the septic tank and flow into the drip fingers. The fingers will then drip the gray-water into the soil for filtering and purification. Septic systems are a very crucial part in a rural setting. Mostly, it is a public trend to neglect septic systems which is may be an important aspect of their lives and many even lack basic knowledge about the functioning of their septic system.
Many people see a septic system as just a pipe that sends whatever you flushed down your toilet to the yard and is instantly turned into mulch. Owning and maintaining a septic system does require some basic knowledge and it is your responsibility as a homeowner to educate yourself. Drip septic systems are becoming an important part of rural living, so read up!
People who live in cities often have a cottage in the country or move to the country entirely. This is when they encounter the rural-living learning curve. The first thing you need to learn about is the hidden costs that may come with your septic tank installation. Installing your system in rocky ground can cost an average of $35,000 more than installing in soft soil.
Once your septic system is installed you have to care for it. Never flush anything non-biodegradable down your drains. That includes disinfectants, bleach, anti-bacterial chemicals, paint, oils, drain cleaner, solvent, pesticides, swabs, cat litter, cigarettes, sanitary products and cooking oils. The only things entering your septic tank should be water, toilet paper and excrement. Non-biodegradable products will fill your septic tank up in record time and require septic tank pumping on a regular basis. If you choose not to pump out your drip septic system then you run the risk damaging the system and the drain field which can cost tens of thousands to fix if it fails. Some signs of a failing septic system include:
- Patches of very green and rapidly growing grass above your drain field
- Spongy turf above your drain field
- Slowly draining toilets and sinks
- A septic tank smell floating around the neighborhood
A drip septic system is just the beginning of your water conservation strategy. In order to actually make a difference in your water use you will have to install low-flow water fixtures, install water-conserving dishwashers and washing machines, take shorter showers and turn the water off while you brush your teeth.
Another consideration is the need for regular maintenance of your drip septic system to keep it running smoothly. One of the things that really helps with that is septic tank risers because they allow easy access to your septic tank by septic contractors. Easy access means that you have to pay less for the work and paying less is always the way to go. You should have your drip septic system checked every 2 to 3 years and emptied with about the same frequency.