Tips for Maintaining Your Septic System
1. Pump your septic tank every two to five years, depending how heavily the system is used. Insist that the pumper clean your septic tank through the manhole in the center of the top of your septic tank, rather than the inspection ports above the inlet and outlet baffles.
2. If you use a garbage dispose, pump your tank every year.
3. Keep kitchen grease, such as bacon fat and deep fryer oil, out of your septic system. It is not broken down easily by your system, can clog your drain field, and can not be dissolved by any readily available solvent that is legal to introduce to groundwater.
4. Space out laundry loads over the course of the week and wash only full loads. The average load of laundry uses 47 gallons of water. One load per day rather than 7 loads on Saturday makes a big difference to your septic system. Also, front loading washers use less water than top loading machines.
5. Use liquid laundry detergent. Powered laundry detergents use clay as a "carrier." This clay can hasten the buildup of solids in the septic tank and potentially plug the disposal area.
6. Do not use disinfecting automatic toilet bowl cleaners, such as those containing bleach or acid compounds. The continuous slow release of these chemicals into the septic system kills the micro-organisms which treat your waste water.