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Septic Do’s and Don’t Quick Guide

Do’s

 

DO conserve water to avoid overloading the system.

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DO use substitutes for household hazardous waste.

DO learn the location of your septic tank and drain field.  Keep a sketch of it handy with your maintenance records for service visits.

DO cover the drain field with a grass cover to prevent erosion and remove excess water.

DO keep your septic tank covers easily accessible for inspections and pumping.  The time savings can be essential in case of an emergency.  Install risers if necessary.

DO keep a detailed record of repairs, pumpings, evaluations, permits issued, and other maintenance activities.

DO divert other sources of water, like roof drains, house footing drains, and sump pumps, away from the septic system.  Excessive water keeps the soil in the drain field from naturally cleansing the wastewater.

DO have your septic tank inspected regularly; annually for systems with any sort of pump, every three years for a gravity feed system.

DO call a professional whenever you experience problems with your system or if there are any signs of system failure.

Do have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis.  Tanks should be pumped every three to five years. Depending on usage, it may be necessary more or less often.  We can review your system and specific needs with you at any time.

Don’t

DON’T flush material that will not easily decompose such as hair, diapers, cigarette butts, matches feminine hygiene products, condoms, egg shells, coffee grounds, nut shells, paper towels or rags

DON’T wash or flush medicines or hazardous chemicals like paint, paint thinner, motor oils and bleach into system.  They kill the bacteria needed to decompose wastes in the septic tank and drain field.

DON’T drive over the septic tank or drainfield.

DON’T flush any type of flushable wipes.  Many septic tank pumpers and city public works employees are finding they don’t break down and can cause damage to the system.

DON’T plant anything over or near the drain field except grass.  Roots from nearby trees or shrubs may clog and damage drain lines.

DON’T dig in your drain field or build anything over it; or cover the drain field with a hard service such as concrete or asphalt.  Your beneficial bacteria need oxygen to break down the sewage.

DON’T allow backwash from home water softeners or condensate from an air conditioner or heat pump to enter the septic system.

DON’T enter your tank.  Any work to the tank should be done outside.  Gases that can be generated in the tank and/or oxygen depletion can be fatal.

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