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Contrary to popular belief, septic tanks are not maintenance free. In order to keep your septic tank running properly, follow these easy tips:

  1. Water conservation is key. The less water used in the household, the less chance there is for septic tank system failure. Donít wash too many loads of laundry in a day. Use low flush toilets and install water saving faucets and shower heads.
  2. Be careful what you flush. Do not flush items that are difficult to degrade and wonít break down naturally. These include disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, cotton, condoms, paper products, cat box litter, plastics, cigarette filters or coffee grounds. All of these items can clog your pipes, tank and drain field.
  3. Be careful what goes down the drain. Avoid pouring chemicals such as bleach, drain cleaners, varnish, gasoline, oils, pesticides, antifreeze, disinfectants, paints, solvents, thinners or nail polish remover. Even in small amounts, these chemicals can kill the bacteria that break down the organic matter in wastewater and can seep into groundwater poisoning your drinking supply.
  4. Beware of garberators.Use of in-sink garbage disposal units can cause a rapid overload of the system.  Unless your septic tank and leaching bed are designed to accommodate the increased water and organic load created from these devices, more frequent pumping may be required.
  5. Check for dripping faucets and leaking toilet valves or flappers and repair them quickly. Constant leaks can flood the drain field and cause system failure. A flooded system can also contaminate groundwater that is a source of drinking water.
  6. Be aware of unusual liquids at the ground surface. If system failure occurs, a black-grey odorous liquid may be seen at the soil surface. This can be hazardous to children and pets who should be kept away from the area until the problem is solved.
  7. Be aware of odours. If odour is a problem, this could be a sign that sewage is surfacing, there is a blocked or ruptured line or another problem may be present.
  8. Keep trees away from your system. Trees with aggressive roots can clog or rupture your septic system and cause excessive damage. Do not plant trees or shrubs on top of your drain field.
  9. Pump your system regularly. Solid material accumulates in the septic system over time and may become more than your system can handle. If sludge reaches the outlet level and flows directly into the leaching bed, the pipes or bed may quickly plug. Pump out your tank very 1-5 years depending on the tank size and the number of people in your household.
  10. Pump your system when the weather is right. The best time to pump the tank is in the summer or early fall when the ground is not frozen. A good time to pump is before you go on vacation. This rest period will allow the drain field to dry out allowing partially decomposed organic waste to fully degrade.
  11. Donít drive over your septic system or drainfield. Driveways, concrete surfaces or asphalt should never be placed over your system. These can compress and compact the bed subjecting it to costly damage.
  12. Get on a regular treatment schedule. By timing your weekly doses of SeptoBac along with your weekly cleaning schedule, you will maintain a continuous level of bacteria within your septic tank and reduce the risk of septic back-up and damage to your system.
  13. Call a licensed professional for service. If you require an inspection or pumping service for your tank, always call a professional. The area should be well ventilated and someone should be standing nearby.
  14. Never enter a septic tank! The tank contains extremely toxic gases which can kill you in seconds.