Septic System Maintenance Tips
Conserve water. Fix
leaks and drips. If you replace old fixtures,
install new "low flow" types.
Do not install garbage disposals, water conditioners with backwash features, Jacuzzis, or hot tubs into the septic system. The system is not designed for these appurtenances and can accelerate or cause failure.
Do not overload the system—this is the primary cause of system failures. Early morning and bedtime are peak water use times in the bathroom. Run dishwashers and washing machines at other times of the day. You should not do all the family laundry in one day.
Do not dump coffee grounds in the sink. Increasing the load of solids into the tank decreases the capacity and shortens the interval between pumping.
Do not pour fats and oils down the drain. They can build up and clog the septic tank pipes.
Put paper towels, tissue,
cigarette butts, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins,
tampons and other material in a trash can, not the
Do NOT add any commercial products or yeast to your system. Additives can damage your system by breaking up the sludge and scum layers, causing them to flush out of the tank and clog the leach field.
Use normal amounts of detergents, bleaches, drain cleaners, household cleaners and other products. Avoid dumping solvents like dry cleaning fluid, pesticides, photographic chemicals, paint, and paint thinner, or auto products down the drain.
Direct down spouts and runoff away from the septic field to avoid saturating the area with excess water.
Do not drive, park vehicles, or build sheds on the septic tank, d-box or leach field. These activities can crack pipes, cause the distribution box to settle allowing effluent to flow unevenly into the drain field, and/or compact soils suffocating the leach field.
The septic tanks should be
checked annually and pumped when the sum of the scum and
sludge levels are equal to, or greater, than 1/4 of the
total liquid depth of the tank. The general rule
of thumb is to pump the septic tank once every two
years. If the tank gets too full, particles of scum or
sludge will flush out of the tank. This material
will clog the leach field and cause the septic system to
If applicable, clean the effluent filter annually.
If your system is a vented system, be sure the opening contains a screen and obstructions are not restricting airflow.If your septic tank contains an effluent filter, it should be cleaned annually. Accessing the outlet access port on the septic tank, remove the filter, spray cleaning with a hose to remove debris, and then replace the filter.