16 Important Tips for Septic Maintenance

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Let’s talk about some quick tips that can help you get the most out of your new or existing systems as help you avoid some costly repairs. If you have other septic or sewer questions, On Call Service Center is your local septic specialist and we can help with install, maintenance, repair and more!

  1. There are many different myths about activating your septic system like adding a “dead chicken” or add store bought “septic enzymes” the truth is your body produces all the proper enzymes needed for the sewage to break down, if you use the store bought “enzymes” your system will become dependent on it causing your system to not function effectively.

  2. Your septic tanks will always be full your inlet and outlet are located at the top of your tank so don’t be alarmed when you open it.

  3. NEVER! flush any medications into your septic systems as this could cause your system to go stagnant.

  4. When you have your septic tank pumped ensure all solids and liquids are removed as the sludge on the bottom of your tank is the dead organics and these need to be removed or this will accumulate causing your tank to have less capacity to properly work. If you don’t remove the entire top mat (active organic material) this can then float when your tank fills back up causing the inlet and outlets to plug off.

  5. Stay away from powdered soaps (dishwasher, laundry, etc.) as these products will solidify in your tank causing blockages in the inlet, outlets, distribution boxes and drain fields.

  6. Do not pour grease or fats of any kind down your drain as this can cause blockages and does not break down quick enough for your drain fields causing some serious damage.

  7. Hmm… well no one likes talking about this but condoms, feminine products, baby wipes, diapers, thick ply toilet paper will not break down in your septic systems and will cause pump failures and blockages.

  8. Ensure that you have access to the main lid (center of the tank) your inlet and outlet (located on the ends of you tank) nothing like digging up your entire yard trying to find the lids… locate it once and mark…. murphy’s law you will need access to it when you lest expect it and remember septic fields usually have greener grass then the surrounding areas.

  9. Test your pumps, floats, and alarms regularly to insure you are not waking up to a new indoor pool that no one wants to come over and use.

  10. Never drive or construct anything on your septic tank or field… repairs can get expensive!

  11. Pump your tank and pump chamber every 4 years if it is receiving more then normal use (extra people staying in the household) pump more frequently as a service is cheaper then a repair.

  12. Have a sewer smell in the house? …make sure your plumbing vent on the roof of your home is still attached check your attic as sliding snow could cause it to separate. Fill any pea traps and floor drains (remember there are some homes with one located by the hot water tank) that don’t see water regularly as they do dry up. These drains are designed to have a gooseneck design to entrap water not allowing the sewer gas to fill the room.

  13. Ensure you are proactive when it comes to scheduled maintenance as a service in the winter months cost more then when the sun is shining.

  14. If your tank is located a couple feet below ground level inquire about risers and lids as we can install, saving you the time of hand exposing. The lids and risers are sealed and can handle the weight of you and your riding mower plus they are green allowing them to blend in with your lawn.

  15.  Avoid planting trees and vegetation near your systems as roots will always find water especially fertilized water…

  16. Ensure your inlet and outlet have tank tees as this allows the effluent into the tank and prevents the solids from leaving the tank.