If you recently moved or are about to move into a property that uses a septic tank system, you are likely aware that you and your family may need to change some of your daily habits when it comes to water usage. Septic tanks are more than capable of handling a large workload, but you need to be careful not to do anything that will make the tank's job harder than it needs to be. Here are three best practices to keep in mind in order to ensure that your septic system continues to run smoothly for  years to come:

Space It Out

In order to keep your septic system running as efficiently as possible, you need to space out how much water or waste you are sending into it at any given time. For example, you don't want to wait until literally all of your clothes are dirty and then run multiple wash cycles all on the same day. Instead, get into the habit of doing your laundry throughout the week, as soon as you have enough clothes for a decent-sized load. This same concept comes into play for other areas of your home like the dishwasher. Try not to let the dishes pile up and then run the washer multiple times within a short time period. If you have a large family, consider setting up a schedule where some people shower in the morning and others shower at night before bed. Your septic tank (as well as your water heater) will thank you for the break.

The Trash Can is Your Friend

If you are used to using your kitchen garbage disposal as a trash can, you will need to change things up once you are living in a home with a septic tank. Never put any paper products down the sink and especially don't dump any grease or large pieces of food. Even with a disposal running to help break the food apart, the grease and food residue could cause a serious issue in your tank over time, as solids are simply much harder for the tank to break down. Get into the habit of scraping excess food into a trash can instead of the kitchen sink.

Get an Annual Check-Up

For best results, contact a local contractor that offers services for septic pumping to schedule a regular maintenance appointment. The exact amount of time a tank can go before needing to be pumped will vary according to how large the tank is and how much waste you are sending out. That said, a professional will be able to take a look at the situation and give you a heads up if that time is coming near. You don't want to wait until the tank is backed up to figure out it needs to be taken care of.

Living in a home with a septic tank is no big deal as long as you follow some common sense practices and make sure the rest of the family is on board. Opt for the trash can instead of the kitchen sink when disposing of leftovers and be smart about how much and how often you are using water throughout your home. For more information, reach out to a septic tank professional like W C Lowery Inc