How to Keep Your Commercial Septic System in Good Shape

How to Keep Your Commercial Septic System in Good Shape

Commercial septic systems are bigger than residential ones and can be more complicated. They sometimes require pre-treatment to break down waste faster and keep the system from flooding. They also need a lot more maintenance. Educating staff and customers about how to treat the system is key to keeping it running smoothly.

Regular Pumping

Since a commercial septic system operates on a larger scale than residential ones, it requires more frequent maintenance and can be more complicated to repair. Putting your septic tank on a regular pumping schedule prevents waste build-up and reduces the risk of major repairs. A septic system that isn’t functioning can cause foul odors, turn away customers and taint your business reputation. In addition, sewage leaks can contaminate groundwater and cause disease. A good rule of thumb is to have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. It’s also a good idea to keep records of inspections, pumpings, and repairs to detect a problem before it worsens. The professionals are well-versed in commercial septic cleaning and can see possible issues before they develop into significant ones. They can even advise you on the best landscaping for your property to help protect your drain field.

Regular Inspections

A commercial septic system handles far more waste than its residential counterpart, requiring specialized septic maintenance. Routine inspections of the tank, lines and drain field help spot problems early and prevent serious stresses and damage.

Look for Visual Clues: Check your property for maintenance hole covers, inspection ports or other indicators of a septic tank. Identify the location of your absorption field, too, and avoid planting trees, shrubs or vegetables there. The roots of these plants can ensnarl and clog drain field pipes.

Practice Waste Prevention: Commercial septic systems can be affected by the same issues plaguing residential ones, including excessive water usage, inappropriate flushing and garbage disposal. To minimize the load on your septic system, take steps to conserve water and limit wastewater flow, such as fixing leaky faucets, using low-flow toilets, and rethinking how you use appliances and fixtures. Also, plant only shallow-rooted grasses over your drain field area.

Keep the Drain Field Clear

While a commercial system can handle a lot of wastewater, it’s still important to avoid sending anything but human waste and degradable toilet paper into the septic tank or drain field. Items like baby wipes, cleaning, feminine hygiene products, and cigarette butts can’t be broken down in the septic system and will clog pipes. Grease, oils, and fats should never be poured down drains as they solidify into difficult-to-break clogs. It’s a good idea to have diagrams or drawings of where the septic system is located on your property, so you know which areas of your business should be kept clear of trees and shrubs. It’s also wise to keep detailed maintenance records on your septic system when you sell the property. A clean, functioning septic system is more attractive to potential buyers than one with a history of clogs and expensive repairs.

Educate Your Staff

Commercial septic systems require regular cleaning and maintenance. Educating employees, tenants, and other system users is one of the best ways to prevent operational problems. Posting signs and providing large trashcans in bathrooms are also important. It’s helpful to list septic tank rules you want everyone to follow, such as flushing only waste and toilet paper and not disposing of non-biodegradable items (like tampons, wet tissues, and diapers) down the drain or garbage disposal. It’s also helpful to remind your staff about the importance of using a grease trap for greasy waste. Grease is a major contributor to clogged pipes. As wastewater flows through a septic system, soil bacteria help clean it. However, bacteria entering groundwater or surface water can cause health issues for humans and animals. It is important to have your septic system pumped and inspected regularly.

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