Think Safety First.
Be aware of possible dangers associated with septic systems including:
Know your system location and condition to avoid possible unexpected collapse from an old or abandoned system that has not been properly filled in.Signs of collapse. If in doubt about a suspicious area on your property, rope off the area and don’t allow anyone in that area until it has been investigated by a professional.
NEVER enter a septic tank. Toxic gases are present in the tank and may kill in minutes.
Never smoke near tank openings.
Be certain that inspection lids and manholes cannot be opened by children.
Always be mindful of utility lines when attempting to locate your system.
Keep electrical appliances, lights or tools away from the tank and wet ground.
Discharge of sewage effluent due to a failing system can cause unsanitary conditions and become a health hazard through stream or well contamination and/or physical contact. These conditions require professional attention.
If you smell sewer gas in your home, contact your maintenance provider. If unsure that the smell is sewer gas, check for propane or gas leaks and take appropriate safety measures.
- One of the most important steps you can take in good septic tank maintenance is simply to have the system pumped out periodically. *We all know how important it is to maintain our vehicles with regular oil changes. It’s just common sense. This same common sense approach should be applied to septic tank maintenance.
- Reduce or eliminate tire traffic over your septic tank and absorption field. Excess weight crossing these areas can cause damage to the absorption fields and the tank itself.Compost your food scraps instead of using a garbage disposal. Don’t overload your system. Use low water consuming appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and faucets.
Other Important Tips for Maintaining your Septic System:
- Know the location of all septic system components. Avoid these areas when constructing patios, decks, buildings or installing swimming pools or doing landscaping projects.
- Avoid planting trees and shrubs over septic tanks or drain fields. The water seeking roots of these plants can damage your septic system.
- Divert rainwater and softener water from the absorption area and septic tank.
- Use phosphorus free laundry detergents.
- Do not pour excessive amounts of household chemicals, such as bleach and disinfectants, down drains or toilets.
- Do not flush unused medications down your toilet. Instead, see if your local municipality collects unused medications for disposal. Medications flushed down toilets can kill the bacteria in your septic system and pose a risk to the ground water supply.
- Be aware that the use of commercial bacteria additives may be helpful, but will not eliminate the need for periodic pumping of the system. 99% of septic systems do not need additives.
- If you use an effluent filter to prevent solids from leaving your septic tank, be sure to remove and clean the filter regularly. Under normal conditions, it is suggested to clean the filter each time the tank is pumped or at least every three years.
- Do not wait for problems to occur before calling your septic professional to schedule a septic tank pumping. Doing so may lead to very expensive repair or replacement of your system.
- Do not dispose of water from hot tubs into the septic system. The large volume of water and residual chlorine can be extremely harmful to the septic system.
- Do keep a record of maintenance pumping including date and any irregularities found by your septic professional. Not sure how often to schedule pumping of your system? After asking you a number of questions, your septic professional can advise you on a recommended maintenance schedule to follow.