Tips for Maintaining a Safe & Healthy
SEPTIC SYSTEM

Protect The Environment That Surrounds You!

Daily household actions can have lasting and costly effects on the life and health of your septic system and leachfield, and the environment around you. Following a few simple guidelines will protect you and extend the life of your system.

Conserve water. The septic tanks pretreats solid waste prior to its discharge into the leachfield. High water usage over a short period of time flushes solids out of the tank before this pretreatment process is complete.

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
  • Spread out heavy water use such as washing clothes and showers.
  • Repair leaky faucets.
  • Replace old toilets that use up to five gallons per flush with new 1.6-gallon toilets.

Keep drains clean. If it’s not biodegradable, it doesn’t belong in the system.

  • No cat litter, coffee grounds, cotton swabs, diaper, cigarette butts, or sanitary napkins.
  • No paints, oils, chemical drain cleaners, solvents, poisons, or pesticides.
  • No grease or cooking oils.
  • Limit or eliminate garbage disposal use.
  • Reduce the use of disinfectants, ammonia, bathroom cleaners, and bleach.

Schedule regular maintenance. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every two to three years. High levels of water usage and garbage disposal use may result in the need for more frequent service.
Hire a septic system contractor to inspect your tank.
Keep a regular maintenance schedule and record.

Keep surface water away. Divert water from downspouts, roofs, driveways, and sump pumps.
Landscape your yard to channel rainwater away from your septic system.

Encourage the right plants.

  • Grow grass or ground cover over the septic system to prevent soil erosion.
  • Plant beneficial evergreens, such as pines, near the leachfield to absorb water.

Avoid physical damage.

  • Don’t drive over your septic system.
  • Don’t dig in the leachfield, or cover it with a structure, concrete, or blacktop.

If you suspect a problem, contact a professional septic contractor for help. Should repair or replacement be necessary, review your options carefully. Ask about new environmentally-superior technologies, such as chamber leaching systems. These systems can offer better performance, improved longevity, and less site disruption during installation.

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Last Revised: Thursday, February 18, 1999

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