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10 Dos and Don’ts for New Homebuyers with Septic Systems

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Your Septic System Do’s & Don’ts


  • Inspect your system annually.
    • Routine maintenance allows you to catch issues before they become emergencies.
  • Pump your tank every 3-5 years or as frequent as your service provider suggests, based on technology and system usage.
  • Spread out your laundry loads over the course of the week.
    • Excessive water discharge into the septic system is known as “Hydraulic Overload” and is the number one killer of drain fields.
  • Choose one day a week for all bleach loads.
    • One cup of bleach to a 1000 gal   tank kills 80% of the beneficial bacteria for up to 72 hours.
  • Clean your filter every 6 months.
  • Pay attention to your water bill!
    • Running or leaking toilets can also hydraulically overload your drain field.
  • Put risers on your tank for easy inspections, quick access, and to save your back or wallet from having to dig up the lids every time your system needs to be serviced.


  • Do not dispose of the following down the drain:
    • grease, fats, oils, pesticides, herbicides, paints, household chemicals, automobile fluids, strong medicines, strong disinfectants or bleaches, cleaning products,  excessive citrus products, or other toxic products. If you wouldn’t put it in your body, don’t pour it down the drain.
  • Do not flush the following:
    • cigarette butts, disposable diapers, baby wipe, flushable wipes, cleaning wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, hair, coffee grounds, egg shells, rags, paper towels, pet waste, bandages, etc. ONLY flush human waste and toilet paper.


  • Additives advertised for septic systems. These products do more harm to a drain field than they do good for the tank.
  • Home brewery waste, strong antibacterial soaps, vinegars, and Epsom salts should be used sparingly and whenever possible, disposed of outside the system.
  • Downy and Snuggle fabric softeners – these products contain animal fats that clog pipes.
  • Water softeners clog drain lines and baffles, inhibiting the effluent flow.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, use it sparingly.
    • Put food waste, grease, etc. into the solid waste bin or compost it. Garbage disposals chop particles so fine, they don’t sink or float, and then clog filters and drain lines.


  • Detergents: liquid, low sudsing, low phosphate, and biodegradable.
  • Cleaning Products: liquid, non-chlorine, bio-degradable and non-toxic.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our office at 253-447-0069.

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