When septic systems are properly designed, installed, and maintained, they effectively reduce or eliminate most human health or environmental threats posed by pollutants in household wastewater.
A key reason to maintain your septic system is to save money. Having your septic system inspected regularly is a bargain compared to the cost of replacing the entire system. Knowing when your septic tank needs pumping, for instance, impacts system performance, the longevity of the system, and the local environment.
In addition to being a source of bacteria and viruses, household wastewater is also a source of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients which cause problems for water quality at high levels.
Septic Maintenance Tips
- Do familiarize yourself with the location of your septic system and its components, particularly if there is an electrical control panel.
- Don’t drive over your tank or any buried components of your system.
- Do conserve water. Wash dishes and clothes when you have a full load, take shorter showers and be cautious about excessive use of large soaking tubs.
- Don’t ignore leaky plumbing fixtures—repair them. Leaky plumbing fixtures waste natural resources and can quickly overload your septic system.
- Do use your trash can to dispose of substances that can cause maintenance problems and/or increase the need for septic tank pumping. The following items should be disposed of in the trash: egg shells, gum, coffee grounds, tea bags, cigarette butts, feminine hygiene products, birth control, paper towels and wipes, even so-called “flushable” wipes.
- Don’t flush dangerous and damaging substances into your septic system. Specifically do not flush pharmaceuticals, excessive amounts of bath or body oils, flammable or toxic products, household cleaners, especially floor wax and rug cleaners, chlorine bleach, or any pesticides or fertilizers.
- Do collect grease in a container and dispose of it with your trash. Avoid using garbage disposals excessively. Food scraps accelerate the need for septic tank pumping and increase maintenance.