Maintaining Septic Health

How often should I maintain my septic system?

Have your septic tank pumped out every 3-5 years (depending on the number of people in the household) or when the total depth of sludge and scum exceeds one-third of the liquid depth of the tank. As depth of sludge and scum might be hard for most homeowners to assess, a general rule of thumb recommended by EPA is that homeowners have their septic system inspected by a qualified professional at least every three years along with pumping a 1000 gallon septic tank once every 3.7 years in a household of 3 people and once every 1.5 years in a household of 6 people. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components need to be inspected more often, generally once a year.

For more detailed information concerning special conditions in your area, contact your local health department.

Protect yourself, your family, your neighborhood and your investment by finding out answers before it becomes an emergency. Contact us today to have us service your septic system.

What type of toilet paper should I use?

Most toilet papers on the market (if used in moderate amounts) can safely be used in a septic system. Toilet paper breaks down very easily and quickly, and that’s the important part. However, facial tissue (Kleenex) and paper towels DO NOT break down easily, and should never be flushed down a toilet.

How do I lengthen the life of my septic system?

  • Conserve water and fix leaks and drips.
  • If you replace old fixtures install new “low flow” types.
  • Do not overload the system; this is the primary cause of system failures.
  • Early morning and bedtime are peak water use times in the bathroom. Run dishwashers and washing machines at other times of the day.
  • Don’t do all the family laundry in one day.
  • Do not use a garbage disposal or dump coffee grounds in the sink.
  • Increasing the level of solids into the tank decreases the capacity and shortens the interval between pumping.
  • Do not pour fats and oils down the drain which can clog your septic tank pipes.
  • Put paper towels, tissue, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, feminine products and other material in a trash can; not in the toilet.
  • Use moderate amounts of detergents, bleaches, drain cleaners, household cleaners and other products.
  • Avoid dumping solvents like dry cleaning fluid, pesticides, photographic chemicals, and paint thinner or auto products down the drain.