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New Tenants? 6 Things They Should Know About Septic Systems

A septic

If you own rental property, the way your tenants treat the septic tank can have devastating effects on your property and your bank account. Unfortunately, not all tenants know how to care for septic tanks. To avoid serious problems, you should always give your new tenants a list of instructions. Here are six things your tenants need to know about the septic system they'll be using.

1. Keep the Clean-Out Pipe Covered

Your property has at least one clean-out pipe outside that's used to access your septic lines. If the cover comes off the pipe, your septic can fill with water from outside sources, such as rain and sprinklers. When you talk to your tenants about the septic, show them where the clean-out pipe is located and tell them to keep it covered at all times.

2. Watch What they Flush Down the Toilet

The toilet is another area of concern for the septic system. Many people don't give a second thought to what they flush down the toilet. Unfortunately, this lack of thought could destroy your septic system. When your tenants move in, talk to them about the items that shouldn't be flushed down the toilet, including the following:

  • Tampons

  • Baby wipes

  • Kitty litter

  • Cigarette butts

  • Expired medication

The items on this list can lead to clogs in the septic lines and should be disposed of in other ways.

3. Don't Overuse the Garbage Disposal

If your rental home's kitchen has a garbage disposal, talk to your tenants about how to properly use it. Overusing the garbage disposal can clog up the drain pipes and lead to problems inside the septic tank. The natural bacteria inside the tank isn't able to process food waste properly, which means that your septic system will fill up too quickly. To protect your septic system, encourage tenants to discard their food waste in the trash can instead.

4. Limit Washing Machine Usage

If your rental property has washer and dryer hookups, you will need to warn your new tenants about water overload. Too much water in the septic tank at one time will cause an overflow. If that happens, your tenants will be faced with raw sewage in the bathtubs. They can avoid that problem by implementing a laundry schedule. One or two loads of laundry a day will prevent overflows and backups.

5. Go Easy on the Antibacterial Cleansers

When your tenants move in, talk to them about antibacterial cleansers. Antibacterial cleansers do more than kill the germs in your home; they also kill the good bacteria that helps your septic system process the waste. If your septic tank can't process the waste properly, then the entire system will fail. To protect your septic system, ask your tenants to limit their use of antibacterial cleansers.

6. Know What the Warning Signs Are

If your tenants have no experience with septic systems, they may not be prepared for the warning signs. Unfortunately, if your tenants miss a warning sign, you'll have a costly mess to clean up. Before your tenants move in, talk to them about the warning signs, which include:

  • Foul odors from the drains

  • Brown water coming up in the tub

  • Gurgling from inside the toilets

  • Brown, smelly puddles over the septic field

If your tenants notice any of these signs, they should contact you immediately.

Don't take chances with your septic system. If you own rental property, provide your tenants with clear instructions on how to avoid problems with the septic. When you need maintenance on your septic system, contact us at JT Sanitation. We'll take care of all your septic needs.