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Septic Maintenance Tips

Have your septic tank serviced regularly to avoid costly system failures!

Septic tank pumping removes the sludge and scum buildup in your septic tank. This saves your drainfield from unwanted wear and tear. These septic tank cleanings also allow us to examine your system and identify any malfunctions. The chart below describes a recommended septic tank service schedule.

Note: It is not recommended that you go more than 5 years between septic tank cleanings. Most septic system malfunctions are hidden (below the ground) and extended periods between service (more than 5 years) intensify these problems. The above chart is a guide. There are other factors which may require more frequent septic tank cleanings. The type of soil in your drainfield is one of these factors. Different types of soil absorb water at varying rates of speed. Clay retains water for a long time which limits the amount of water actually seeping out of the drainfield.

Do Not Put These Items In Your Septic

Do not put these items in your septic tank

  • Condoms, paper towels, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, grease, paint, chemicals, tampons, diapers

  • These items are garbage and do NOT belong in your septic tank. They are not biodegradable inside your septic system and often cause plugged sewer lines leading to the septic tank or drainfield.

Do not use a garbage disposal if you have a septic tank

  • Garbage disposals reduce the effectiveness of a septic tank by drastically increasing the amount of solid material in the septic tank. This results in an increased frequency between septic tank cleanings, e.g. every year instead of every 2-3.

Do not dump chemicals (including Drano) and bacterial enzymes into your septic system

  • Chemicals an bacterial enzymes disrupt the existing bacterial balance inherent to your septic system and usually result in more frequent septic service.

Try to avoid planting trees around your septic tank and drainfield

  • Tree roots are a major contributor to failed septic systems. Tree roots love the nutrients in the wastewater from a septic tank system. They can infest the pipes leading to the tank, as well as infiltrate the septic tank and drainfield. They can damage septic tanks by causing cracks or breaking the baffles inside the septic tank. Trees should be at least 50-100 feet away from your septic tank and drainfield.

Do not drive vehicles or build a shed on your septic system

  • These activities cause the ground to settle unevenly which can result in collapsed and broken pipes. Driving over a septic tank with anything larger than a lawnmower may cause the tank to cave in.

Septic tanks are not toys

  • They are not meant to be played on or with. Septic tanks contain large amounts of liquid human waste which is full of disease causing bacteria. Poisonous gases (hydrogen sulfide and methane) can be found in varying volumes inside a septic tank. Over 1,200 people die annually in septic tank related deaths. Please leave maintenance to your septic system to the care of a septic tank professional.

Know the location of your septic tank

  • It is much easier to inspect and provide septic tank service if you know where the septic tank is located. It takes us time, which costs you money, to find and dig up the covers on a septic tank. Many people ask us to install risers on their septic tanks which brings the cover of the tank up the surface of the ground. This creates an easy access point for septic service and eliminates the time, effort, and money involved in digging up one of the covers on your system.

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