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Tips For Caring For Your Septic System

Things you should do to maintain your septic system

  • Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system

    Routine maintenance can lengthen the life of your septic system. Contact a certified On-site System Maintainer (OSM) to inspect and monitor your system on a regular basis. The frequency of maintenance depends on the type of system, ranging from 3 months to 3 years. Gravity and Pump to Gravity system owners may inspect their own system, or hire a Pumper or OSM.

  • Pump your septic tank every 3-5 years

    How often you pump depends on the amount of water use in your household or business. General rule of thumb: the more people using your septic system = increased water flow = your septic tank will fill up faster = more frequent pumping.

  • Be water-wise

    Using less water may increase the life of your septic system. Using too much water is a frequent factor in failed systems.

    • Quickly repair all leaky faucets and toilets

      This is one of the easiest ways to be water wise.

    • Use “low flow” fixtures on faucets and shower heads (these may be found at most hardware stores)
    • Spread laundry washing throughout the week and wash full loads
    • Dishwashers and washing machines should not be run at the same time
    • Don’t flush anything except toilet paper into your septic system

      This includes diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, grease, oils, unwanted medications or paper products other than toilet paper. Products labeled as “flushable” may not be suitable for a septic system.

    • Don’t drain water from hot tubs or swimming pools into your septic system

      Large volumes of water can ‘drown’ your drainfield and chlorine can destroy important bacteria in your septic tank and drainfield. Drain hot tubs away from the system, especially the drainfield.

  • Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield

    This additional water may prevent the drainfield from working properly.

  • Landscape with love

    Grass is the best cover for your septic tank and drainfield. Other plants with very shallow root systems can also be used for landscaping.

  • Keep septic tank lids easily accessible

    Have “risers” installed to make septic tank pumping and monitoring visits easier and less time-consuming. A “riser” also makes pumping and monitoring cause less mess and disruption in your yard. Contact a certified Installer, Pumper, or On-site System Maintainer about their services.

  • Contact a certified professional to repair your system

    Prevent costly future system problems by contacting a certified professional, such as an Installer, Designer, or qualified professional Engineer to repair your system.