Do’s and Don’ts If You Have a Septic System

If you own a septic system for your property, it is imperative that you maintain it properly. If you fail to maintain your septic system correctly, you will eventually wind up with expensive repairs. This quick guide will provide helpful tips on what you should and should not do if you own a septic tank.

Do Spread Out Your Laundry

Try to avoid doing many loads of laundry in one single day. Rather, you should try to spread out your laundry loads over the week. If there are many people living in the home, you can assign laundry days to individuals to help keep them from doing too much in one day. You should also use liquid laundry detergent. Dry or powdered laundry detergent uses a clay carrier that can cause buildup in the septic tank.

Do Use Less Harsh Household Cleaners

Harsh household cleaners, such as bleach, are very toxic and will, over time, slow down the naturally occurring micro bacteria that work inside the septic tank. This micro bacteria is essential for breaking down the material in the tank. When there is too much cleaner present in the system, it will kill the bacteria, and the material can not break down normally.

Do Stay Aware of Where Septic Parts Are Located

If you have a septic tank emergency, it is helpful if you already know where the key components of the tank are located.

Do Pump the Septic Regularly

The tank needs to be pumped every two to three years. If this is not done regularly, solids will start moving into the absorption field. This can eventually lead to the complete replacement of the leech field. Pumping the tank is always less expensive than replacing the leech field.

Do Pump Water Softeners to Another Area

People often wonder, “Can I use a water softener if I have a septic system?” You can, but the salt drained off must be pumped somewhere else. It can build up in the tank.

Don’t Use a Garbage Disposal

Although these are attractive as an easy way to get rid of trash and old food, they are actually not great for your septic system. These devices can really contribute to the overall solids in the system.  

Don’t Flush Certain Things Down the Toilet

Another common question is, “What can I flush if I have a septic system?” You should only flush human waste and toilet tissue. Nothing else. Specifically, do not flush the following items:

  • Cigarettes
  • Diapers
  • Feminine products
  • Wipes
  • Toilet scrubbers
  • Condoms
  • Hair
  • Bandages
  • Anything else that is not human waste or toilet tissue

Don’t Ignore Leaks

Remember, leaking water goes somewhere. Anytime you have a leak, it needs attention immediately. Not only can a leak cause damage inside your home, but it can also cause problems with your septic tank. Excess water of any kind can throw off the balance of the septic tank.

Don’t Wash Mud in the House

If you have clothing, shoes, or other items caked in mud, take them outside and wash it off with the house. Allowing large amounts of mud to go down your drains can damage your septic system.