At The Drain Doctor, we know that proper septic system care is essential to maintain the health of your home. That's why our technicians have compiled a list of some pointers you want to keep in mind when maintaining your septic system.
The information below was provided to us by the Washington State Department Of Health, publication DOHpub334-009(2/26)
By reducing the amount of water you use, you produce less wastewater that your septic system has to process, and can extend the life of your septic system by several years to avoid costly repairs.
Know where your septic tank system is and keep a diagram of its location. Records of its size and location may be available at your local health agency. It is also wise to keep a record of maintenance on the system. These records will be helpful if problems occur, and will be valuable to the next owner of your home.
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Check your septic system at least once every year to ensure that sludge and scum levels are not within "early warning" levels.
Also make sure to inspect the tank so that it is in working order and inspect the drain field for strange odors, wet spots, or surfacing sewage.
Don't wait until you have a problem. Routine pumping can prevent failures, such as clogging of the drain field and sewage backup into the home. Using a garbage disposal will increase the amount of solids entering the septic tank, requiring more frequent pumping.
Grease, cooking oils, newspaper, paper towels, rags, coffee grounds, sanitary napkins, and cigarettes cannot easily decompose in the tank. Chemicals, such as solvents, oils, paint and pesticides are harmful to the system's proper operation and may pollute the groundwater.
Water from surfaces, such as roofs, driveways, or patios, should be diverted away from the septic tank and drain field area. Soil over your system should be slightly mounded to help surface water runoff.
Keep traffic, such as vehicles, heavy equipment, or livestock off your drainfield or replacement area. The pressure can compact the soil or damage pipes. Before you plant a garden, construct a building, or install a pool, check on the location of your system and replacement area
Don't place impermeable materials over your drain field or replacement area. Materials, such as concrete or plastic, reduce evaporation and the supply of air to the soil for proper effluent treatment. They can also hinder getting to the system for pumping, inspection, or repair. Grass is the best cover for your system.
Poisonous gases or the lack of air can be fatal. Any work to the tank should be done from the outside.