Every car that you buy comes with an owner’s manual. This manual contains information about how to maintain your vehicle. Although septic tanks can be more costly than cars, they are not often given a manual. Many people don’t realize they have one. As a result, many septic systems fail unnecessarily.

Failure can come at a high price

Failure can have serious consequences. Failure of septic systems is the leading cause of waterborne disease in America, with over 1200 Americans dying every year from contaminated drinking waters. According to an EPA 2000 study, 31 states ranked septic systems as second for groundwater contamination. It is possible to replace a septic tank for as little as $5,000 or $20,000; it can be very expensive. This problem can be solved in a number of ways, some more effective than others. Let’s start by looking at why septic systems fail.

Septic tank inspections San Antoino Texas is easy. The problem is not in the tank but in the drain field soil. It can become clogged with solids and prevent liquids from flowing through it. If it’s been used in a washing machine, it can get clogged up with solids or lint. These are some possible solutions.

1. Filter your washer.

Did you know that washing machines are the main cause of septic system problems? The main reason for a septic system breakdown is lint from washing machines. Lint can block drain fields and cause soil to clog. Did you know that the average washing machine produces enough lint each year to cover a living room’s carpet and floor? Lint screens and nylon traps found in hardware stores only trap 5% of these particles. Lint particles are light and small, so they don’t settle in septic tanks. They are suspended and flushed to drain fields, where they can clog soil beds’ pores.

This problem is compounded by the fact that many clothing items today are made from synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. These synthetic materials can’t be biodegradable, and they won’t go to the toilet. They can clog the soil and build up. Once they are in the soil, there is no way to remove them.

Filtrol 160 is a reusable inline filter that attaches directly to the washing machine discharge line. It can help prevent lint from entering your septic tank. Filtrol 160 filters retail for $139.95

2. Avoid Excessive Water Use

If you do laundry frequently, it is possible to cause damage to your septic system. Standard septic systems allow solids to settle in the tank, while the effluent is pumped into the ground. The system can handle more water than it is capable of handling. The system will flood, and this can also cause solids to rise. Septic pumpers might use water from their hoses to break down the solids in the tank before pumping them out.

60 gallons of water is required for every wash load in a washing machine. In a matter of hours, your washing machine can run 400, 500, and 600 gallons. You can spread your water consumption. Do not do 10-12 loads Saturday morning. Instead, only one or two loads per week. Water softeners can cause damage to your system if they allow too much water through the septic. These devices can drain hundreds upon hundreds of gallons every week. This water is clean and has not need to be treated.

This problem can be solved with two solutions. You can upgrade your water softener with a more efficient model, which uses less water and regenerates on demand. It is independent of water usage. For your water softener, a mini-septic system is possible.

3. Keep solids out of the tank

Regular pumping is essential to prevent solids buildup in your tank. Normal conditions require that the tank be inspected and pumped no less than once every three years. Important: The manhole cover should be used to pump the tank, not the inspection tube. Your septic contractor should install an effluent filter in the tank’s exit baffle. Effluent filters keep larger solids out of the drain field. They are cleaned once every three years after your tank is pumped. They are about $80. They can be used as insurance and are inexpensive.

4. Use of household cleaning products

If used in excess, these products could cause problems with your septic system. If you use bleach in more than 5 loads per week, problems could arise. Avoid powdered detergents as they can block your drain field or cause damage to your lines. You should be cautious with toilet bowl cleaners as they can cause severe damage to your system.

5. Do I need separate systems for my washing machine?

Some argue that you need a separate washing machine system known as a laundry interceptor. This is not necessary and in fact undesirable. It is better to allow the washing machine to go into its own system than to let it discharge into the regular one. To break down biodegradable materials, septic systems require bacteria colonies. These bacteria require food, which is found in wastewater but not detergent. Without food, these bacteria colonies will die. Many people discovered this the hard way after installing these systems. High-tech systems were used to discharge washing machines in a research project on the east coast. These systems often failed in less than eight months.

Tips for maintaining a septic system

  • Avoid directing any surface runoff water from patios or roofs to your drain field. It should be inspected for cracks and leaks. Also, make sure the exit baffles have been installed.
  • Install lint- or effluent filters.
  • Distribute your laundry loads.
  • You can either throw your garbage out or make it compostable


  • Use garbage disposal.
  • These appliances often double the number of solids added to the tank.
  • You can toss disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, and other non-biodegradable products.
  • Avoid flushing solvents, oils, paint thinners, disinfectants, or pesticides down your toilet. They can disrupt the treatment process and could pollute groundwater.
  • Don’t dig in the drain field.
  • Don’t drive over the drain field.

It is a good idea for trees and shrubbery to be planted near the septic system, as roots can get into the pipes and cause damage. Only grass should ever be produced in or near drain fields.

System Failure

A tune-up can help you save money and keep your system running smoothly. Tune-ups include properly pumping the tank, and cleaning out the drain field lines. This includes the installation of washers and effluent filters. You can also fracture soil to restore some damaged systems if none of the above steps work. To create thousands of fissures, the hollow tube is inserted into the soil with a 300-pound blast of water or air. These fissures enable the drain field to drain, and provide oxygen for aerobic bacterial colonies. Aerobic bacteria, which are dependent on oxygen, live in the top 26 inches. They process waste more quickly than anaerobic bacteria.

Lone Star Inspections
5715 Kissing Oak San Antonio, TX 78247