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Caring for Your Septic System During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Caring for Your Septic System During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, schools have cancelled classes, PA Governor Tom Wolf has ordered “nonessential businesses” to shut down, and citizens have been asked to practice social distancing. During this unprecedented time, people are staying in their homes to safeguard their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. As you and your family spend more time at home, you use more water and place more strain on your septic system. This can present another challenge for septic system users in an already challenging time. Hapchuk, Inc provides some advice on preventing septic system malfunctions and keeping your family safe at home.

Conserve Water

Water conservation is always an effective way to increase the longevity of your septic system. This is especially true now that folks are spending more time at home and using more water. However, now isn’t the time to skip handwashing or household cleaning to save water.

The CDC recommends washing your hands frequently and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. You can conserve water by shutting off the faucet while you scrub your hands. It’s also important that you keep heavily trafficked areas and surfaces clean and disinfected, but don’t keep the water running while you’re cleaning. Fill a bucket with the amount of water you need to avoid opening and closing the tap every time you need to wet your cleaning cloth.

Here are some more tips to conserve water in your household:

  • Check toilets and faucets for leaks. Why not fix them while you’re stuck at home?
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Only use your washing machine when you have a full load of clothes.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator so you don’t waste tap water while it cools for drinking.

Only Flush Toilet Paper

Due to the panic caused by the spread of coronavirus, many stores are sold out of toilet paper as worried shoppers empty the shelves. It may be tempting, or even necessary, to use toilet paper alternatives, but it is important that you only flush toilet paper, water, and human waste down the toilet. Other paper products such as paper towels, wipes, or tissues should never be flushed. These items do not breakdown in your septic tank. The last thing you want now is a clogged line causing septic to back up into your house.

Will my septic system treat COVID-19?

Many homeowners wonder if their septic systems can properly treat their wastewater to protect against the spread of coronavirus. The EPA addresses this question on their website.

“While decentralized wastewater treatment (i.e., septic tanks) do not disinfect, EPA expects a properly managed septic system to treat COVID-19 the same way it safely manages other viruses often found in wastewater. Additionally, when properly installed, a septic system is located at a distance and location designed to avoid impacting a water supply well.”

Septic systems are vital to preventing water pollution and stopping the spread of waterborne disease. The EPA’s statement highlights the importance of proper septic system installation and maintenance.

Inform Yourself

It is important that you educate yourself and your family on how to prevent the coronavirus from spreading any further and what to do if you contract COVID-19. The CDC has been vigilant in educating the public on the virus and has provided a lot of helpful material such as the informational pamphlets below.

What you need to know:

What to do if you are sick:

You can still rely on Hapchuk, Inc.

During this time, it is particularly important to keep your home sanitary and free of any septic backups. Unless otherwise notified, Hapchuk, Inc will still be operating to keep your septic system functioning at peak performance. Don’t hesitate to contact us for routine maintenance or emergency pump outs.

Stay safe and healthy! For additional information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at


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