How Your Septic System Changes in the Summer

It may seem strange that weather and temperature can affect an underground system like your septic. But the reality is that your septic is just like any other biological system and is affected by these changes. Remember that natural bacteria in your tank helps to break down and filter the wastewater from your home. These bacteria can be affected by weather changes and temperature increases/decreases. Let’s take a deeper look at how your system is affected by the weather, especially during the summer months. 

Let’s just get down to the nitty-gritty details. The aerobic microbes decomposing your waste are comfortable at around 77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This ideal temperature range helps the microbes best perform their work and keeps them safe—the warmer the system, the quicker the breakdown of waste. Warm systems can even result in microbes doubling their production. This means that more oxygen is needed and that waste will sit for a shorter time in the tank before being passed onto the next phase. In layman terms, the warmer your tank, the quicker the microbes will work. This means that your system will likely be slower in the winter and in the summer a bit faster! 

We’ve covered the good, but what about the concerns? One of the biggest summer concerns for your septic system is the growth that occurs in the season. If you have a green thumb, you know lots of gardening is done this season. But here’s your reminder not to do any gardening around your septic system. Gardens, large-rooted plants and other vegetation can disturb your septic system. Roots may grow into the pipes below and cause serious damage. 

Another summer septic concern is lots of guests and foot traffic. With all the kids home from school and lots of visitors celebrating holidays or enjoying a summer vacation, there’s likely more septic usage than normal. This may stress a septic system out, especially one that typically doesn’t see a lot of use. Just be mindful of your usage and how full your septic tank is during this time to avoid any disasters like a septic backup. 

Overall, it’s important to know the ins and outs of your septic system. That includes knowing that it can be affected by the weather and temperature. Being a good septic system owner means doing your best to take care of your system. Regular maintenance and pumping can be extraordinarily beneficial for your system and, therefore, for you! If you have septic concerns or questions, call our septic experts at (804) 758-4314. Miller’s Services is here for you and your home.

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