Septic System Maintenance Tips
- Have your tank inspected annually and pumped out every
3 to 5 years by a licensed, professional septic contractor. This is probably
the single most important and least costly thing you can do to protect
your system. Regular inspections and pumping prevents solids build-up
in the tank from clogging distribution lines. Remember: the earlier cracks,
leaks, and clogs are detected and repaired, the less potential exists
for water supply and karst
- Most engineers and sanitation professionals believe that
commercial septic system additives are, at best, useless, and at
harmful to a system. Under suitable conditions, septic systems
naturally provide for the safe treatment and disposal of household
Avoid dumping hazardous chemicals, which would include household
cleaners, down the drain. Even small amounts of paint, solvents,
waste oil, pesticides and other compounds can
kill the beneficial bacteria
that break down wastes, and can contaminate groundwater.
- It is important
to protect your septic system from damage. Don't plant anything
but grass near your septic systems. Roots from shrubs
and trees can damage the tank and lines, and/or become conduits
for partially treated sewage to flow downward to the water table. Prevent
from parking on, or driving across, any part of the system
to protect tank connections and plastic or tile distribution lines.
- Divert other sources of water, like roof drains and street
runoff, away from the septic field. Excess surface water can erode
around and beneath the tank and lines, resulting in subsidence
Several alternative, comparably priced designs are
available that improve wastewater treatment by:
- Increasing the contact
time between wastewater and soils.
- Equalizing the dispersion of
wastewater throughout the drain field (for
- Maximizing the natural adsorption and filtration properties
of the soil.
Work with the local health department and extension service
to select the best system for your site.