During the holidays, you may have a large number of guests at your home—and that means a large amount of wastewater. If you want to avoid having your septic tank back up in the middle of Christmas dinner, here is a list of best practices when it comes to having unusually high wastewater volume around the holidays.
The general idea is to space out your water use so that the system has some breathing room and doesn’t get slammed all at once.
- Be sure you have low-flush toilets. If you don’t have low-volume toilets or don’t have time to change them out before the holidays, an old trick is to put a few bricks inside the reservoir tanks to reduce the amount of water storage and flushing capacity. Also, check to make sure that none of your toilets are leaking.
- Do laundry at off-times. Maybe you can do your laundry in the late evening; then the water can be absorbed in the lateral or drain field while your guests aren’t using any water. Also, make sure you are washing full loads—don’t fill up the washer for a shirt or two.
- Run the dishwasher at off-times as well. Go ahead and load it after your meals, but wait to run it until a time when there’s not a lot of water usage (perhaps start it on your way to bed). As with your laundry, only run full loads.
- Take shorter, scheduled showers. At our house, some people take morning showers, others take evening showers, and the kids don’t mind either way. When your guests arrive, you can suggest a shower schedule that will help even out the water flow. Setting a timer on showers also helps, and if you need to remind them and you’re feeling a little bit ornery, you can shut off the hot water at the water heater (while cousin Jeffrey is taking a shower, of course).
- Conserve in small ways. Put a reminder by each sink asking folks to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. If you’re doing dishes by hand, turn off the faucet between rinses.
- Keep cold water on hand. Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge so that you don’t have to leave the tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.
Our BBB team wishes you and your family the happiest Christmas and New Year!