Septic Maintenance Guide for Home Owners

Two men shaking hands in front of a houseThere are a number of steps home owners can take to improve the functioning of their septic system and extend its life:

  • Conserve water and reduce waste flow into the system
  • Only do full loads of laundry and use chemical-free soap
  • Install water saving features in plumbing fixtures such as shower heads, faucets, laundry machines
  • Don’t flush chemicals down the drain
  • Fix leaky faucets right away and avoid the use of garbage disposal units
  • Only put biodegradable products down the drain. Disposal of non-biodegradable products such as condoms, feminine hygiene products, plastics, dental floss is not recommended.
  • Anything bulkier than toilet paper does not belong in the septic tank.
  • Have the tank pumped out at least every 3 – 5 years (or sooner since frequency depends on tank/household size).
  • Do not build anything over top of the septic tank or leaching bed
  • Avoid extra traffic or weight over the septic system. This could potentially crush pipes or compact the soil or fill material
  • Make sure an effluent filter is installed in the septic tank. This will reduce the amount of solids entering the leaching bed and prevent clogs
  • Avoid planting trees or shrubs on the leaching bed area since roots can clog the perforated pipes and shade the leaching bed area
  • Minimize grass watering and water play (blow up pools, etc.) around the septic system
  • Direct rainwater runoff away from the leaching bed area and septic tank access ports