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Septic Impacts After A Year of COVID-19


Impacts of COVID-19 are weighing on your home!  With the number of adults working from home and kids learning remotely, the stress on your home’s septic system has never been higher.

It is estimated that COVID-19 precautions have resulted in an increase of 54% more Americans cooking at home and over 75% of Americans planning to continue such activities for the foreseeable future according to the NY Times Opinion Poll from April of 2020.

The increased stress on sinks, toilets, washing machines, and more has also led to septic systems struggling with more solids and less efficiency from the additional usage. After a year like we’ve experienced, the last thing you want is an overflowing toilet, a clogged sink, or a flooded drain field. At first glance, these sound like unavoidable accidents, but in many cases, they are totally preventable.

Preventative maintenance not only protects your septic system and prevents problems before they happen, but it can also save you money on costly repairs. Here are a few that your septic system can give you headaches this winter and how you can prevent them.

Septic Issues to Look Out For

According to Techrepublic.com, the pandemic caused home water usage to increase 21% throughout the U.S. and that is not just water, but also cooking and waste solids. When the usage of your bathroom increases 300%, so does the stress on your septic system. This means that preventative maintenance and following the septic do’s and don’ts are more important now than ever. Learning about how your septic system works and what can cause issues are perfect places to start. COVID-19 has made it incredibly tough to stay somewhere else while waiting for repairs, so being prepared is your best option.

Did you know garbage disposals are one of the biggest problems for your septic system? It’s why many homes on septic don’t have garbage disposals, but if yours does, it’s best to avoid using it or have it removed. Also, make sure your sink is clear of large pieces of food or else you risk filling up your septic tank quicker than you intend to with hard-to-breakdown solids.

To avoid issues, you should pump your septic tank every year or two, but given our current higher than normal usage, consider a mid-cycle pumping. You won’t notice at first, but all of those extra solids entering your tank build up over time and require even more frequent pumping. A full septic tank leads to foul odors and backup through your sink, toilet, or bathtub.

The most obvious area of increased usage is your toilet. No matter what time of year it is, this is one area of the house you don’t want problems. Whether it’s because of a general volume increase or family members flushing things like antibacterial wipes, it’s important to make sure you prepare your system for the increased usage. In the event you haven’t had your tank pumped in a year or two, schedule a pumping as soon as possible.

How to Avoid Septic Problems this Winter

In general, the best way to avoid the septic problems we’ve covered is preventative maintenance. This includes routine tank pumping, using bacterial additives to help break down solids, and cleaning your septic filter, if you have one. Doing this before winter begins is best since issues that arise in mid-winter can get very costly to repair. Give yourself peace of mind that you’ve taken care of your septic system, so it can continue to take care of your home.

There are also other septic services that help in case of an emergency. Imagine a full house and your toilet or bathroom drain clogs. This could be disastrous, especially if your home only has one bathroom. Our drain cleaning services are the quickest and most reliable way to fix clogs, especially if the issue is more than a simple backup. Our septic experts are able to use video cameras to examine whether the issue is more severe including, cracked or broken pipes.

For septic emergencies this winter, Wind River Environmental offers our emergency septic services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether there’s a leak, an overflowing toilet, or slow drainage, count on the experts at Wind River Environmental to identify the problem, fix the issue, and get you back to enjoying time with family.

Avoid septic related problems this winter by contacting Wind River Environmental! If you have any questions about septic maintenance during the winter season, contact us today.