If you've got a septic tank, then you might not be too familiar with how it actually works. After all, if you didn't install it, then chances are that you have not gotten a good look at its inner workings. To help you get a better idea of how to keep your septic tank in pristine condition, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Why is it important to maintain your septic tank?

Your septic tank works by maintaining a fragile balance of helpful bacteria. This contained ecosystem helps break down your waste products and creates an extremely efficient cycle. In many ways, a septic tank is a fascinating source of insight into how waste matter is recycled in nature.

If that balance is upset, then your waste will build up and your tank will become less and less efficient. Therefore, you want to take every precaution necessary to ensure that your septic tank's balance is protected and maintained.

What can you flush?

One of the most important things to watch is what you put into your septic tank. There are a lot of products that can upset the balance of your septic tank, if not eradicate all of the helpful bacteria outright.

For example, grease can be a real problem for your septic tank. It will add a lot of fats that are less dense than water. Ultimately, this will increase the size of the scum layer, which is not ideal. The bigger that the scum layer gets, the more likely your septic tank is to get clogged up. Excessive scum also restricts the ability of your septic tank to fulfill its aerobic functions (those that require air).

However, there are much more dangerous things to dump down your septic tank, such as chemicals and cleaning products. When it comes to pouring any chemicals down your drain, try to only use products that are designed for usage in septic tanks. Of particular note are drain cleaners, which can instantly wipe out your septic tank's helpful bacteria.

Chemicals also pose another threat when put into your septic system. They can easily leech into the surrounding soil, eventually affecting nearby groundwater. You don't want to have such toxic water near your home, since it will make water purification difficult at the very least.

Avoid putting any paper products into your septic tank aside from those that are specifically designed for toilets, such as toilet paper. if you flush paper, towels, condoms, or diapers into your septic tank, expect them to sit around for a long time, clogging up your septic tank. While having a company like Hemley's Septic Tank Cleaning come every few years to clean the tank is always a necessity, if you fill up the tank with materials that won't break down properly, you'll find that you need to get the tanked pumped far more often than usual.