Septic system maintenance is a crucial part of owning a septic tank. Often times the owners of septic systems don’t understand how they work, when they need maintenance, and most of all, the Do’s and Don’ts of their tank.
Front Range Septic has provided these recommendations to help you properly maintain your septic system:
Septic System Do’s & Dont’s
- Repair your leaky faucets and toilets. One leaky faucet can waste as much as 700 gallons of water a year.
- Use less water when possible. Use low-flow fixtures. Too much water from laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough time for sludge and scum to separate, causing solids to pass out of the tank and into the leach fields, ultimately clogging the pipes.
- Keep cars,trucks and large animals off the septic tank and leach field areas. This prevents pipes from breaking and soil from becoming compacted. Compacted soils can’t absorb water from the leach field.
- Spread out your laundry over several days. This will give the septic system more time to digest the water.
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full, and use the cycle with the lowest number of rinses. This is another way to ensure that less water is used to prevent clogged pipes.
- Allow only grass to grow on top of the tank and leaching field. The roots of grass aren’t likely to clog the pipes making it safe to grow.
- Keep roof drains, surface water from driveways, basement sump pump drains, and other drainage systems away from the leach field. This could lead to a flooded leach field.
- Limit garbage disposal use. A garbage disposal adds solids and grease to your system, which could lead to leach field failure.
- Use a bacteria additive in moderation. This will help promote healthy bacteria in your septic tank.
- Limit sprinkler system usage. Sprinkler systems can add too much water to a system. If watering is necessary to maintain grass during dry periods, manual sprinklers should be used.
- Keep a regular maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance is the key to system longevity.
- DON’T flush: dental floss, feminine hygiene products (tampons or sanitary napkins), paper towels, diapers or baby wipes, condoms, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, plastic, or cat litter.
- DON’T flush even the smallest amounts of: paint, solvent, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides, or oils down the drain or toilet. These chemicals can destroy the bacteria that break down solids in the septic tank and pollute groundwater.
- DON’T use large amounts of: laundry soap, detergents, bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners and caustic drain cleaners. Recommended quantities should not adversely affect the system.
- DON’T allow excess amounts of fat or grease to enter the system. It can congeal and cause obstructions.
- DON’T use garbage disposals. If it doesn’t come from your body, it shouldn’t be going into your septic. Garbage disposals add organic mass to the tank, so the design process calls for a 50% increase in the volume of tanks, plus a filter or divided tank. From a management perspective the filter should be cleaned annually and the tank cleaning will be needed usually twice as often as a system without a disposal.
- DON’T plant trees or shrubs on or near the leaching field. Roots can clog up your tile bed and cause backup and surface seepage.
- DON’T build over the septic system. Avoid putting patios, concrete, additional fill, fences, sprinkler lines and structures that would limit access to the tanks or the house sewer clean outs.
- DON’T assume that if you use a bacteria additive you can avoid pumping your septic tank. These additives only help digest the solids. You still need to remove the inactive sludge at the bottom of your tank at regular intervals.
Front Range Septic serves Northern Colorado with reliable septic and grease trap services. We make sure your system runs properly and efficiently, giving you the best maintenance possible. To schedule a service, contact us today.