Can I Get COVID from Wastewater or Sewage?
The World Health Organization (WHO) EXIT has indicated that “there is no evidence to date that COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, with or without wastewater treatment.”
Pandemic Guide for Septic Systems
How Staying Home More Often Can Cause Issues With Your Septic System
The Coronavirus has definitely caused most of us to make changes in how we interact with the public, especially after our government has issued certain guidelines and placed restrictions on public events to help slow the spread of this new disease.
Self-Quarantining Our Families
With schools closing and a lot of people working from home or just unable to go to work at all, due to the scare of spreading this virus, we are in affect imposing our families and whole communities in a quasi- quarantine situation?
Hopefully, your family is still healthy and unaffected by this threat, but with families being home more often than normal, there are things you can do to reduce the effects of stress on your septic tank.
Use Water Efficiently
Being home more often means more water use, and perhaps in ways you haven’t really thought about like:
Flushing Toilets More Often
Use of Water in Cooking
Change in Bathing Behaviors
Laundry Use & Cleaning
Outdoor Use like washing the car, general clean-up, gardening, etc – perhaps doing things you haven’t had time to do in a while!
How Does This Affect Your System?
It Could Put Additional Stress On Your System
DID YOU KNOW the average indoor water use in a typical single-family home is nearly 70 gallons per individual, per day? How many people are in your family?
The EPA site states, “Just a single [leak] or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day.” This ‘wasted’ water goes down the drain and…
All of the water a household sends down the pipes winds up in the septic system.
On the other hand, the more water a household conserves, the less water enters the septic system. Efficient water use improves the operation of a septic system and reduces the risk of failure.
Modern Families already create more waste than we used to. Watch our Featured Video to learn more.
EPA’s WaterSense Program gives you tips here on how to conserve.
Updating Your Appliances Can Help
If able financially, this down time could be the perfect opportunity to make some improvements around the house and make your home more energy efficient!
DID YOU KNOW TOILETS USE 25-30% of your Household Water? Many homes have older toilets that hold 3.5 – 5 gallons of water in the tank; newer systems use 1.6 or less gallons of water each flush! Just think how many gallons this could save in one day (x a week, month, or year)!
DON’T DO LAUNDRY ALL AT ONE TIME & Choose The Correct Setting! Washing small loads of laundry on your washing machine’s large-load cycle wastes water and energy. By selecting the proper load size, you will reduce water waste. If you cannot select a load size, run only FULL loads.
Try to spread washing machine use throughout the week. Doing all household laundry in one day might seem like a time-saver; but it can harm your septic system, not allow your septic tank enough time to treat waste, and could flood your drainfield.
Does Your Washer Have the ENERGY STAR label? These use 35% less energy and 50% less water than standard models. Other Energy Star appliances provide significant energy and water savings.
BATHING HABITS Can Impact Your Septic System. Long showers or increasing the number of showers can overload your septic system just like washing machine use. And although the added stress on you may make you crave a soak in the tub, you should limit deep tub baths/soaks for the same reason.
Being at home for longer periods of time during this crisis does not have to create chaos on your septic system if you follow a few guidelines and be a bit more eco-conscious.
DISPOSAL OF WASTE
With the kids home from school during the day, be sure to help them understand the importance of the septic system and how it works. When we understand how our modern conveniences operate and how we can help them run smoothly, it’s easy to keep them in working order longer – and the kids can help!
The Toilet & Sink Is Not a Trash Can!
Lentz has created a fun way to remind family members not to flush anything but TP and human waste.
You can get a FREE COPY of our #doNOTflush bathroom art sent to your email – just print and frame – voila!
Things NOT Meant to be Flushed or Put Down a Sink:
Cooking grease or oil
Non-flushable wipes, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
Feminine hygiene products
Household chemicals & cleaners
Gasoline or oil
Pesticides for home or garden
Paint or paint thinners
Toys (legos, die-cast cars, glow sticks, blocks, stuffed animals, etc)
ANYTHING THAT IS NOT TISSUE PAPER or HUMAN WASTE
More Tips at the Sink!
Eliminating or limiting the use of a garbage disposal will significantly reduce the amount of fats, grease, and solids that enter your septic tank and ultimately clog its drainfield.
If you have a clog, avoid chemical dissolvers and use boiling water and/or a drain snake instead. Remember, your septic system contains a collection of living organisms that digest and treat household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can kill these organisms and harm your septic system.
Inspect & Pump
The EPA suggests having your SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTED at least every 3 years! Lentz offers a FULL Septic Inspection with a 45 point checklist to give you peace of mind and a thorough service.
HAS YOUR TANK EVER BEEN INSPECTED?
Most people do not think about Septic Inspections until they have a major issue OR when they are selling their home. But your home is a major investment and if your home has it’s own septic system, it is a responsible task that should be added to your maintenance checklist. The Lentz FULL Inspection includes a pump out for an actual visual inspection of the tank and we are investing in a special camera to make this service even more thorough for our customers!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU HAVE TANK CLEANINGS?
Most companies recommend a pump out cleaning every 3-5 years but this is an outdated suggestion, based on usage averages from years ago. See the chart below for a basis to see how often your system needs maintenance.
NOW IS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE YOUR TANK CLEANED!
The suggested pump frequency chart below shows how often a tank should be pumped per size of tank + family size – but does not take into account the higher percentage of use made possible with larger appliances, garbage disposals, etc. Frequency listed should be seen as a MAX time between services to avoid major repairs and/or complete replacement.
MODERN FAMILIES with modern conveniences produce a substantial amount of more waste adding stress to our private septic systems as well as our public utility service.
We suggest pumping your tank every 2-3 years based on your lifestyle and usage factors and size/age of your system. The EPA site states the following:
Four major factors influence the frequency of septic pumping:
Total wastewater generated
Volume of solids in wastewater
Septic tank size
See our blog, Get The Scoop for more detailed posts about pumping frequency, modern family usage, how-to, weather, and more that affects our homes with septic systems.
This is an informative video about the Septic System you may find interesting: Septic Video. If you have any questions regarding your septic system, feel free to post them on our FB PAGE or give us a call!