Essential Septic System Maintenance Tips You Should Never Forget

The septic system is one of the most important, yet commonly overlooked elements of a comfortable residential property. Even though most homes have septic systems, many homeowners do not know how to care for them. Most don’t even know the location of the tank. Without proper maintenance, the health and longevity of your septic system may be compromised. If problems get out of hand, you may need to have the whole system replaced. Here are a few tips to maintain your septic system.

01. Trenchless Repairs

Trenchless repairs are the types of repairs where a plumber doesn’t have to dig out entire pipes from the ground. Usually, the main sewer drain is the pipe in question. It goes from your home to the septic tank. The most common problem that the sewer line can have is issues with tree roots.

With trenchless repairs, you can deal with the issues without causing too much stress to the environment. You get to avoid issues that arise from major excavation projects. They include:

  • Fuel from the excavation machines
  • Exposing untreated sewage
  • Loose soil getting washed into waterways

02. Protect the Area Around Your System

Protecting the area around your septic system will keep it healthy and damage-free. Preserve the ground above and the soil around your tank. One of the simplest ways is by ensuring that it is covered with lawn grass at all times. Use septic tank lids and covers for basic protection. Avoid using the area around your septic system as a parking space, a playground, or a hot tub

03. Regular Pumping and Inspection

On average, your household septic system needs to be maintained once in three years. You need the help of a professional for the job. Household septic systems need to be pumped at least once every three to five years. Septic service professionals will let you know the needs of yours.

If you have an alternative system with mechanical components or electrical float switches, it needs more regular maintenance. Generally, it should be maintained every year. Service contracts are important because of the mechanized parts. Factors that may influence your need for septic pumping include:

  • Septic tank size
  • The total amount of waste water generated
  • Household size
  • The volume of solids in your waste water

When working with a septic service provider, do not forget to keep records of their job. They will check your system for leaks and examine layers of sludge and sum in your tank. Keep details of their findings as you may need them in the future. The report of your provider will include the repairs completed, the condition of the tank and the recommended repairs.

04. Proper Waste Disposal

Dispose of your waste properly to protect your septic system. Anything you flush down the toilet, pour down the drains, grind in your garbage disposal, or pour in your sink ends up in the septic system. If you aren’t disposing of waste responsibly, your system will suffer. 

Do not use your toilets as trash cans. Anything that isn’t toilet paper or human waste should not be flushed. Avoid flushing the following:

  • Cat litter
  • Coffee grounds
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cigarette butts
  • Diapers
  • Paper towels
  • Condoms
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Paint or paint thinners

Always think at the sink. Your septic system has lots of living organisms. They treat and digest a lot of the waste. If you pour toxins down your sink, you may be killing these helpful organisms. Follow these tips when using your bathtub, kitchen sink, or utility sink;

  • Do not pour grease or cooking oil down your drain
  • Use boiling water instead of chemicals to unclog your drains
  • Do not pour toxic cleaners, oil-based solvents, or paint down your drain
  • Minimize the use of your garbage disposal. This way, you can limit the number of solids and grease that end up in your septic system. 

05. Use An Efficient Toilet

About 30 percent of all the water used in regular households goes to the toilet. In older homes, the percentage may be even higher. The reservoirs are large, and they can hold up to 5.0 gallons of water. New homes have more efficient toilets and a flush can hold up to 1.6 gallons. If you have an older toilet, you may be using twice as much water as you need. Consider replacing it with a newer model that will put less stress on your septic system. It reduces your likelihood of needing a repair.

06. Drainfield Maintenance

Your drain field is the part of your septic system that gets rid of contaminants from the liquid in your septic tank. Maintaining it protects the health of the entire system. Here are a few tips to maintain your drain field:

  • Avoid driving or parking on it
  • Direct sump pumps, roof drains, and rainwater drainage systems away from the drain field. Excess water can derail the process of water treatment
  • Plants trees and other crops away from the drain field. This way, you can prevent the leaves from getting into your system. A professional will give you advice on the appropriate distance based on your landscape and septic tank
  • If you are unsure if your area is clear enough, you can contact experts like these Dallas arborists for tree roots removal.

07. Minimize Water Wastage


Using water efficiently will protect your septic system. On average, a single-family home uses about 70 gallons per individual per day. If you have just one leaky faucet or toilet, you could be wasting up to 200 gallons of water every day. It all goes into your septic system. The more water you conserve, the less stress you put on your septic system. Consider using high-efficiency showerheads, shower flow restrictors, and faucet aerators. They lower the volume of water going into your septic.

When using your washing machine, small loads are wasteful. Pick the appropriate load size to save both water and energy. If you can’t select a load size, it would be wise to run full loads.  

Avoid doing all your laundry in one day and instead, spread it all through the week. Even though you may save time by doing all your laundry in one day, it takes a toll on your septic system. The tank doesn’t get enough time for waste treatment and your drain field may be flooded.

Care and regular maintenance of your septic system are critical. It prevents the need for costly repairs or replacements. A good technician will be able to detect problems during routine maintenance. They will advise you on the best ways to protect your system, and recommend helpful repairs.

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