Knowing how to keep your septic system healthy will ensure that it is functioning properly and will prolong its useful life. With that thought in mind, we’ve created a list of helpful hints based on over 50 years of practical experience. It is our hope that you’ll follow these suggestions because they will save you time, money and protect the environment.
NEVER enter a septic tank. The gasses within the tank are toxic and can be fatal.
Pump your tank regularly. Clogged drainfields are the leading cause of septic system malfunctions and failures. Regardless of what the advertisers claim, there are NO chemical or biological additives that can substitute for a regular septic tank pumping.
Monitor water consumption. Your system was designed to handle certain levels of water based on the number of occupants living at your residence when the system was installed. Make adjustments if the water usage increases drastically.
Conserve water. Reducing the water flow into the system produces less agitation within the tank, keeping the solid waste at the bottom of the tank. Keeping the solids in the tank prolongs drainfield life.
Read product labels carefully. Make sure they are safe for your septic system. Many will actually be labeled, “Septic System Friendly" but there is no such thing as a “Flushable” wipe!
Use the strainer in your kitchen sink. This will help prevent large food particles from going down the drain and causing a backup. If you have a garbage disposal, use it sparingly! Garbage disposals can increase the amount of solids in your septic tank by up to 50%.
Know the exact location of your septic tank and drainfield. This can save tiem when the system needs to be pumped or repaired.
Harmful Products and Practices
NEVER place these harmful products or foreign objects into your septic system!
Knowing When to Pump Your Septic Tank
This chart is a pumping schedule guideline based on average water usage. Most residential septic tanks have enough room to hold sludge for up to 2 years. An increase in water usage by appliances, toilets, showers, laundry etc. can increase the frequency you’ll need to have your septic tank pumped. If you run a business from your home like a daycare, beauty shop or dog grooming parlor, you should have your tank pumped more frequently.
A backed up toilet, sink or shower can be a real pain. But determining who to call can be an even bigger headache. Don't wait until you have an emergency to learn the basics of septic system maintenance! Get the facts.
The easiest way to know if your problem is septic or plumbing related is to count the number of fixtures backing up. If your kitchen sink is the only fixture clogged, you can call a plumber to snake the drain or get to the root of the problem. If you notice that all of your sinks are draining slowly, however, you most likely have a septic backup. Additionally, you can determine it’s most likely a septic system issue if the fixtures backing up are the ones closest to the septic system, such as those on the ground level or in the basement.
Here are more clues your problem is septic related:
We’ve been in the septic business for over 60 years and we’ve dealt with tons of backups – the most common thing we find when we’re looking for the cause of the clog or backup, is flushable wipes! Yes, “flushable” wipes. Don’t let the labels fool you… There is no such thing as a “flushable” wipe when you have a septic system.
Unlike toilet paper that dissolves quickly as soon as it gets wet, baby wipes, cleaning wipes and makeup removing wipes are durable and can take years to break down and dissolve. Don’t believe us? Watch this video.