Your septic system is an underground network that provides your household with basic sewage treatment. It receives all wastewater from your home and ensures that your plumbing remains in optimal working order. With the holiday season upon us, the last thing you want to encounter is a septic backup. Unfortunately, septic backups occur frequently during the holidays due to the influx of house guests, the constant use of kitchen appliances, and the increased usage of bathrooms. Check out these top tips for avoiding septic backups so that your household remains in good cheer this season.

Never Pour Oil, Grease, or Turkey Drippings Down the Drain

The holidays are glorious occasions for cooking everything from turkey and ham to stuffing and sweet potato pie. However, this increased amount of cooking also produces by-products like fats, oils, and grease. Often shortened to the acronym FOG, these dense substances are challenging to dispose of. While it may seem easy to simply pour grease down the drain, this is one of the worst things you can do to your septic system. While oil and fat drippings are liquid while warm, they eventually solidify into hard clumps as they cool and go down the drain. These hardened clumps create blockages that cause septic backups. Instead of dumping FOG in your pipes, pour them into a sealed container and throw the container away once the contents cool.

Be Careful With Your Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher

While the role of a garbage disposal is to pulverize food scraps so that they can flow down drains, many holiday foods are inappropriate for this appliance. These holiday scraps can jam your garbage disposal, and they still contain enough FOG to cause a blockage. Some examples of holiday scraps that should never go in the garbage disposal include thick potato peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, and turkey giblets. Instead, put organic food scraps in the compost pile and discard the rest in the trash. Similarly, use a paper towel to wipe pots, pans, and tableware before loading these items into the dishwasher. Doing this removes the leftover FOG so it does not enter your plumbing and sewer pipes. For some gatherings, you may opt for holiday paper plates to avoid overusing the dishwasher.

Never Use the Toilet as a Trash Can

Not all holiday guests are familiar with the rules of septic system care. To avoid septic backup, inform your guests about items that should never go down the toilet. These items include baby wipes, cosmetic supplies, cigarette butts, wrappers, diapers, and sanitary napkins. Some homeowners choose to place a discreet notice in the bathroom along with clearly labeled trash cans. Remind guests that even items marked “flushable” can cause clogs and septic problems. To keep things simple, always remember that toilet paper and human waste are the only items that belong in the toilet.

Do Not Park Vehicles Over a Leach Field

As you welcome holiday guests, remember that parking cars on top of your septic drain field can cause thousands of dollars in damage. This is especially true after heavy rainstorms or snowfalls. A telltale sign of a backup is when your drain field suddenly fills with standing water. To avoid such an issue ruining your holiday, learn the location of your septic tank and drain field. Consider roping this area off to prevent guests from parking their vehicles over your septic system.

Pump Your Septic Tank Regularly

Septic systems require regular maintenance to operate effectively. Over time, a thick layer of solids, sludge, and slime can build up at the bottom of your septic tank. Pumping the tank can help prevent these solids from causing a septic backup or tank failure. To avoid the possibility of slow drains, foul smells, and backups at the worst possible time, schedule a septic tank pumping long before your guests arrive.

Contact Us Today

Nobody wants to experience a septic emergency during a holiday celebration! Fortunately, we can help. At Salina Septic Service, we provide septic services for homes in Salina, KS and the surrounding areas. We are experts in septic pumping, filtration, and septic cleaning. Our technicians can also repair septic tanks and lateral fields. If you are hosting a large holiday gathering, wedding, or another special occasion, contact us about setting up portable restrooms and handwashing stations. From excavation to sanitation, our septic services help your plumbing operate without issues. Contact Salina Septic Service for all your septic system needs!

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