To help ensure minimal maintenance of a septic tank it’s important to follow the do’s and don’ts of wastewater system maintenance.  As a basic rule for septic tanks, nothing should be deposited into the system that hasn’t been ingested.  Only toilet paper, wash water and mild detergents should be introduced into a wastewater system.

Do’s

Do less laundry loads in one day
While it’s more convenient to do multiple loads of laundry, dedicating one day to laundry can put strain on a septic system.  With the average load of laundry using 47 gallons of water, it’s better to do one load a day compared to multiple loads.

Do use liquid laundry detergent
Powdered laundry detergent contains clay materials that can buildup in a septic tank, potentially clogging the disposal area.  Limit clay buildup and decrease septic tank repair by using only liquid laundry detergent.

Do limit hazardous household cleaner
Hazardous chemicals found in everyday household cleaners can destroy bacteria essential in breaking down solids. Instead of using harsh chemicals like ammonia-based cleaners use environmentally friendly substitutes.

Do septic tank pumping regularly
Pumping every two to three years or when the depth of sludge exceeds one-third of the tank can extend the life of a septic tank.

Do keep septic tank service records
Keeping a permanent record of septic tank maintenance can extend the life of a wastewater system by ensuring regular pumping and repairs in a timely manner.

Don’ts

Don’t flush items that aren’t biodegradable
Flushing items of non-biodegradable materials buildup overtime leading to septic tank failure.  Non-biodegradable items include cleaning wipes, seeds, coffee grounds, tobacco and large amounts of hair.

Don’t dig
Before doing landscape projects always know the location of a septic tank to reduce potential damage and repairs to a septic tank.

Don’t use excessive amounts of water
Practice conserving water by installing low-flush toilets, water saving faucets, shower heads and taking showers instead of baths.

Don’t ignore leaking fixtures
Ignoring leaking plumbing fixtures increases water consumption 10 to 20 times over a household’s average daily water consumption.  Unnecessary water consumption overloads a septic system leading to increased septic maintenance.

Don’t leave water running during cold weather
Letting a faucet run to avoid freezing pipes increases wastewater flow by 1,000 to 3,000 gallons a day.  To avoid unnecessary wastewater flow in the septic tank, insulate or heat pipes and fixtures.

Don’t dump RV waste into a septic tank
Dumping RV waste directly into a septic tank causes clogs and septic equipment failure leading to increased maintenance.