Section 4 Keeping A Septic System Healthy

Care & Maintenance Best Management Practices

A properly functioning septic system not only helps reduce groundwater contamination, but it can save the homeowner money. To help maintain your septic system, follow these simple best management practices (BMPs):

  • Conserve water! Install low flow fixtures such as sink aerators and low water use toilets and limit the amount of time spent in the shower. Fix all leaks. By conserving water, you can help keep your septic system from overloading.
  • Put only domestic wastewater down the drains! Do not dump chemicals, such as household cleaners and bleach, down your drains as they can affect the good bacteria that work in conjunction with the septic system. Do not dump oil and grease into the system. Do not put non-biodegradable items down the drains. Limit the use of your garbage disposal.
  • Do not flush pharmaceuticals and unused medicines down the toilet.
  • Have the septic system pumped regularly! How often the septic system is pumped is determined by the tank size and amount of people in the home. Regular pumping helps remove the accumulated sludge from the bottom of the septic tank.
  • Maintain the leach field! Do not plant vegetation with extensive root systems over the leach field as roots can cause significant damage to pipes. Large trees such as eucalyptus, pine, pepper, and palm should not be planted within or adjacent to the leach field. Do not drive or build over the leach field. Do not allow heavy livestock animals in the leach field area.
  • Divert surface flow away from the leach field! Too much water in the leach field will lead to oversaturation.

septic-tank-pumpingRegular septic tank pumping helps keep your septic system healthy and functioning!

no-chemicalsChemicals, including household cleaners and commercial septic tank additives, should never be put down the drains.

rootsRoots can damage pipes. Never plant trees or other woody vegetation over your pipes.