1. Inspect your septic tank annually.
Generally, septic tanks should be pumped every three to five
years. An inspection by you or a professional may show that
you need to pump more or less often. Regular pumping ensures
that solids will not flow from the septic tank into the
drainfield. Solids can destroy the drainfield, and once a
drainfield has failed, pumping will not bring it back to
2. Use less water Home Water Savings Makes
Sense. Reducing the amount of wastewater entering your septic
system may increase its life span, as excessive water is a
major cause of system failure. Too much water from laundry,
dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough
time for sludge and scum to separate, causing solids to pass
out of the tank and into the drainfield, ultimately clogging
the pipes. To reduce household water use:
- Limit the use of large water guzzling appliances, such
as dishwashers and washing machines.
- Use water-saving bathroom and kitchen fixtures (such as
faucets, showerheads, and toilets).
- Spread laundry over the entire week and avoid partial
- Fix all faucet and toilet leaks promptly.
3. Direct water from downspouts and roofs away from
the drainfield. Additional water from these sources
may prevent your drainfield from working properly.
4. Keep cars and trucks off the septic tank and
drainfield areas. This prevents pipes from breaking
and soil from becoming compacted. Compacted soils can't absorb
water from the drainfield.
5. Use phosphate-free detergent.
Phosphorus is harmful to the environment, as it can deplete
oxygen which is vital to fish and other aquatic organisms. The
use of phosphate-free detergents, also helps prevent algae
problems in nearby lakes and streams.
6. Install risers for easier access.
Risers from the tank lids to the soil surface make maintenance