Your septic tank is a part of your home's plumbing system that you may not think about too often. Under normal circumstances, if you have it pumped every three years or so, it should be fine. But the COVID-19 pandemic is not a normal circumstance. It has changed many of the ways in which people live their lives, and in some cases, the habits people develop during the pandemic may increase the need for septic pumping services. Here is a look at some of those habits.
1. Having more people than usual in a small home.
Septic tanks are sized for the home they're placed in. Smaller homes typically include smaller tanks intended for use by only two or three people. If you suddenly have five or six people staying in that home and using the toilet, the tank will fill up faster than usual, so it may need pumping sooner. Basically, if your adult kids and their children have come to quarantine with you in a small two-bedroom home, you might need to call your plumbing service sooner.
2. Using the garbage disposal a lot.
Garbage disposals and septic tanks don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. There are even plumbers who refuse to install garbage disposals in homes that have septic tanks. If you do have a garbage disposal and a septic tank, but you only use the garbage disposal on occasion, that's generally fine. But now that everyone is home and you're cooking a lot more meals from scratch rather than eating out, you might be putting more food waste into the garbage disposal. This food takes a long time to break down in a septic tank, so it may cause you to need to pump your tank a lot sooner.
3. Flushing paper towels and facial tissues.
The toilet paper shortage is a strange outcome of this pandemic. If you did not have access to toilet paper, that's not your fault. Maybe you bought some paper towels or facial tissues to get by. Unfortunately, if you've been flushing these things, they've been building up in your septic tank. They take way longer than toilet paper to break down. You may need to have your tank pumped sooner if you've been flushing substantial amounts of these products over the past few weeks. Switch back to toilet paper as soon as you can find some, and if you do use other paper products, put them in the trash instead.
Of course, your plumbing has not been your top concern during this pandemic. You've been worried about the health and safety of your family, as you should be. Just be aware that if you have been doing the three things above, you may need to have your septic tank pumped sooner rather than later. For more information, contact companies such as Economy Septic Tank Service.
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