Remembering The Basics

Your Septic System – Protecting It From Failure

Your home's septic system can last for quite a while if it is maintained properly. If you don't know how, or don't take the initiative to care for your septic system, it could fail and cost you a lot of money in repairs and create a huge, disgusting mess for you to clean up.

Typically Common Knowledge

There are several things that homeowners with septic tanks should know –

  • Don't introduce anything but bodily waste, water and toilet paper into the septic system.
  • Limit the amount of antibacterial cleaning solutions and bleach introduced into the septic system.
  • Don't drain grease in the kitchen sink and run it down your drain system into the septic system.
  • Use septic tank additives to maintain proper bacteria levels to break down solids.
  • The average septic tank must be pumped every 3 years.

Less Common Knowledge

A few things that should be known but aren't common knowledge include –

  • Repair leaky faucets to limit the amount of water running into the septic system.
  • Take short showers instead of baths to decrease the amount of liquids running into the septic system.
  • Install water-saving shower heads and toilet tanks to decrease liquids in the septic system.
  • Choose toilet paper that is rated for septic systems.
  • Don't flush products that claim to be septic tank friendly – feminine hygiene products, flushable kitty litter, etc.
  • Don't install patios, sidewalks or driveways in the area where the leach bed is.
  • Never drive over the leach bed with anything heavier than a garden tractor.

Uncommon Knowledge

A few things that most homeowners with septic tank systems don't know include –

  • Trees and plants with deep roots should never be planted over the leach bed or sand mound. The roots on trees and plants can penetrate the pipes in the septic system and cause them to back up and/or fail.
  • Keep tall trees shaped and trimmed to allow for as much sunlight in the leach bed area as possible. This will help expedite the evaporation process and keep the leach bed dry.
  • Pouring a packet of cooking yeast into the toilet and flushing it into the septic system is a natural and inexpensive method of maintaining septic bacteria levels.

Following these simple tips will help your septic system maintain its good condition and prevent backups from occurring. Talk with your local septic tank professional to learn more about caring for your septic system to ensure you have covered every base.

Click here for more information about septic tank maintenance and repair.