Generally, septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years. Inspection, by you or a professional, may show that you need to pump more less often. Regular pumping ensures that solids will not flow from the septic tank into the drain field.
Don't wait until you have a problem. Routine pumping can prevent system failures. If you can't remember when your tank was last pumped, your septic system may be living on borrowed time.
Keep a diagram of your system's location and keep a record of system maintenance for future owners. Keep this information in the house. (We've included space in this brochure to make this simple.)
The less wastewater you produce, the less strain on your system. By reducing your water use, you can extend the life of your drain field and decrease the possibility of system failure.
No vehicles, heavy equipment or livestock because the pressure can compact the soil or damage the system pipes. Do not plant a garden; construct a building or a pool near the septic system without checking with the health department first.
Do not place impermeable materials over your drain field. Concrete, asphalt and plastic prevent oxygen from getting into the soil. Oxygen is needed by bacteria to break down the sewage.
Drain cleaners, floor cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, paints solvents, waxes, polishes, coating or strippers may destroy important bacteria in the septic tank and contaminate ground and surface water.
It adds solids and grease to the system. If a garbage disposal is used, more frequent cleaning of the septic tank will be required.
The large volume of water will overload the system and the disinfectant in the spa water can destroy important bacteria in the system.
Water from roofs, driveways and patios could overwhelm the drain field, causing irreversible damage.
Poisonous gases or lack of oxygen can be fatal. Any work to the tank should be done from the outside.
Additives may provide a short-term benefit but create long-term problems. If used continually these products do not reduce the need for routine pumping.