Septic Tank Maintenance: Preserving Your System's Health


A septic tank system is a crucial part of any home that lacks access to municipal wastewater systems. When properly maintained, a septic tank can serve your household for decades. However, neglecting this essential system can lead to expensive repairs and serious environmental damage. This blog post will guide you through the steps to keep your septic tank in working condition and highlight items you should never put down your drain.

Regular Inspections and Pumping

Routine inspections and pumping are critical to maintaining your septic system's health. A professional should inspect your septic tank every few years to assess the scum and sludge layers and ensure all parts are functioning correctly. The tank should also be pumped every few years. How often the tank is pumped depends on the tank size, total wastewater generated, and the volume of solids in the wastewater.

Mind What Goes Down the Drain

What goes into your septic tank has a significant impact on your septic system's health. Here are items you should never flush or put down the drain:

Non-biodegradable items: These include plastics, diapers, sanitary napkins, cigarette butts, and wipes (even those labeled "flushable"). These items do not break down and can cause clogs.

Chemicals: Avoid flushing hazardous chemicals like motor oils, gasoline, paint, antifreeze, and pesticides. These can kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank needed to break down waste.

Food waste: While garbage disposals are convenient, they can lead to quicker septic tank filling. Avoid disposing of food waste, especially hard-to-break-down items like coffee grounds, eggshells, fats, and oils.

Medications: Flushing medications can disrupt the necessary bacteria in your system and contaminate groundwater.

Efficient Water Use

Reducing the amount of water flowing into your septic system can prevent it from overloading. Install high-efficiency toilets, showerheads, and washing machines. Also, spread out laundry over several days to avoid overwhelming the system with large volumes of water.

Maintain Your Drainfield

The drainfield plays a crucial role in removing contaminants from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank. Protect it by avoiding parking or driving on it, planting trees at a safe distance to prevent root intrusion, and keeping rainwater drainage systems like roof drains away from it.

Be Alert to Signs of Trouble

Stay vigilant for signs of a malfunctioning septic system. These may include odors, slow drains, gurgling sounds in the plumbing system, or standing water on the drainfield. If you notice these, contact a professional immediately.

Maintaining your septic tank system involves regular inspections and pumping, careful disposal of waste, efficient water use, drainfield maintenance, and vigilance for signs of malfunction. With proper care, your septic system can effectively manage your household waste for many years.

For more information, contact a septic tank cleaning company near you.


1 August 2023

Fast Facts and Deep Insights: Septic Edition

As you read the articles on this website, you will notice two things. First, they are all about septic services in some ways. Second, some go deep — and others are full of more surface-level facts. This is kind of like your septic system itself! The tank is buried deep, but the drain field is more superficial. You don't have to be an expert on septic systems, but as someone who owns one, you should at least know how to tell when something is wrong with yours so you can call for service. You'll get that level of understanding from this blog — and probably more!