Many people that buy homes that have septic systems have never been taught about the problems that can arise from disposing improper materials though their waste water system.
This is unfortunate and can lead to early servicing or replacement but more often then not the home owner never knew that what they were doing is wrong.
The first thing you should do when you purchase a home that is on a septic system if you have been on a municipal sewer system is understand how they operate. You will also want the previous home owner or the inspector to provide you with a diagram and as built design of the system.
Since newer homes will need permits for septic systems as a last resort you may be able to contact your local building official and find plans for your home or if your home is under 10 years old I would suggest asking the building official for the name of the builder and ask them for the plot plan for the home and any other plan information that you can get such as the electrical and plumbing layouts along with a framing layout. It will be very helpful in the years to come.
Basic Parts of a Septic System
There are three basic parts of your septic system.
- Connecting Pipes – New systems use PVC pipe. Normally 3 to 4 inches depending on your system size and the location of the system on your property.
- Septic Tank – Concrete catchment tank to catch waste solids This tank must be pumped out every few years depending on your use.
- Leach Field – Waste Liquids from your septic system are pumped or flow into a series of parallel perforated pipes laid in the ground to allow absorption into the soil and evaporation. There must be enough pipes to allow good drainage and the soil must be tested for its absorption rate.
Ok so now you know there are three basic parts of a Septic System.
The problem with Hair in your system is that it will float in your septic tank. Depending on the design of your system this means that the hair can flow through the septic tank into your leach field.
If your leach field pipes get clogged then they will not release waste water into the soil and you will end up needing to replace your leach field.
This can be extremely expensive.
Although a small amount of improper materials will probably not cause you a problem immediately. They can cause you a problem over time.
In addition to Hair you should not put Grease or Oils or Animal Fat down your sink. You should not place any material down your waste lines that is not necessary for proper hygiene.
Meaning don’t flush sanitary napkins or tampons or even paper… don’t clean your carborator in your sink and don’t use a garbage disposal.
Yes thats right don’t install a garbage disposal .. you should dispose of waste in the trash or some people put it in a mulch pile but that can get pretty nasty.
So, yes hair can clog your system but so can a lot of stuff. You may think that a garbage disposal can grind up your vegetable or animal scraps but .. don’t do it. In the end you will find you are pumping out your septic tank and replacing your leach field many years before it should be done.