Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be
treated and disposed of by your system. Doing laundry over several days
will put less stress on your system.
* Repair any
leaking faucets or toilets. To detect toilet leaks, add several drops of
food dye to the toilet tank and see if dye ends up in the bowl.
* Divert down
spouts and other surface water away from your tank & drainfield.
Excessive water keeps the soil from adequately cleansing the wastewater.
* Have your
septic tank inspected and pumped regularly by a licensed septic tank
contractor. Suggested frequency is 3-5 years. Pumping your septic tank is
probably the single most important thing you can do to protect your
system. If the buildup of solids in the tank becomes too high and solids
move to the drainfield, this could clog and strain the system to the point
where a new drainfield will be needed.
* Keep your
septic tank cover accessible for inspections and pumpings. Install risers
with lids if necessary.
* Call your
county health department or a registered septic tank contractor whenever you
experience problems with your system, or if there are any signs of system
* Keep a detailed
record of repairs, pumpings, inspections, and other maintenance
activities. Pass these on to the next homeowner.
X Don't drive
over your tank & drainfield or compact the soil in any way.
X Don't dig
around the tank or drainfield, or build anything over it, and don't cover it
with a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt.
X Don't plant
anything over or near the drainfield except grass. Roots from nearby
trees and shrubs may clog and damage the drain lines.
X Don't use a
garbage disposal, or at least limit its usage. Disposals increase solids
loadings to your tank by 50%, so you have to pump your tank more often than
X Don't use your
toilet as a trash can or poison your system and the groundwater by pouring
harmful chemicals and cleansers down the drain. Harsh chemicals can kill
the bacteria that help purify your wastewater. Examples:
coffee grounds, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, cigarette butts, fats,
grease or oil, paints, thinners, photographic solutions, antibiotics, dental
floss, kitty litter, tampons, condoms, paper towels, varnishes, waste oils and
X Don't put in a
separate pipe to carry wash waters to a side ditch or the woods. This
graywater contains germs that can spread disease. Use a laundry system.
X Don't allow
backwash from home water softeners to enter the septic system.
X Never enter a
septic tank -- toxic gases from the tank can kill. If your system
develops problems, get advice from your county health department or a licensed
septic tank contractor.