(adapted from National Small Flows Clearinghouse)
- Do ask your inspector if your system can
handle your garbage disposal grinder.
- Do conserve water. Putting too much
water into the system can eventually leak to system failure.
- Do repair leaky faucets or toilets, and
install high-efficiency fixtures.
- Do avoid long showers.
- Do clean the toilets, sinks, showers,
and tubs with a mild detergent or baking soda instead of commercial-grade cleaners
and laundry detergents.
- Do ask your inspector about allowing the
water softener to back flush into the septic system.
- Do keep records of repairs, pumping’s,
inspections, permits issued, and other system maintenance activities.
- Do keep a sketch of your system
including measurements from two points on the house.
- Do have your septic system inspected and
pumped as part of a regular home maintenance plan.
- Do have only grass over your septic
system. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs could cause problems for the
- Do make sure that a concrete riser is
installed over the tank if the opening is not with-in inches of the surface,
providing easy access for measuring and pumping the tank.
System Do Not’s
- Don’t use your septic system like a trash can. Don’t put dental
floss, feminine hygiene
- products, condoms, diapers, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, coffee
grounds, cat litter, paper towels, latex paint,
pesticides, or other hazardous chemicals into your system.
- grade drain cleaners to clear a clogged
drain. Instead, use boiling water or a drain snake to
- Don’t allow surface water to flow over the tank or absorption
- t drive heavy equipment, trucks or vehicles over any part of
your septic system.
Doing so can compact the soil in your drainfield or
damage the pipes, tank, or otherseptic system
- Don’t dig in the absorption area.
I found this video on youtube.com and thought that you could benefit from the understanding of how a septic system works.
I highly recommend watching it if you have never dealt with a septic system before or you want a better understanding on how a septic system works.
Septic systems safely treat and dispose of wastewaters produced in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. They consist of three main parts: septic tank, drainfield, and the soil around or above the drainfield. A septic tanks’ primary purpose is to retain the waste solids while releasing the liquid part of sewage runoff to the drainfield. The drainfield distributes the run off to a soil layer, where pathogens are treated.
All of the wastewaters from a house flow into the septic tank, even waters from showers, bathtubs, and washing machines. A septic tank is a watertight concrete box, usually about nine feet long and five feet tall, and is buried in the ground near your home. The tank temporarily holds household wastes and allows some pre-treatment to take place. As wastewater flows into the tank, the heavier solid materials settle to the bottom (forming a sludge layer), the lighter greases and fats float to the top (forming a scum layer), and the liquid (sewage runoff) flows out of the tank to the drainfield. An outlet baffle prevents solids from flowing out with the liquids. Sewage runoff flows out of the tank and to the drainfield as a cloudy liquid that still contains many disease-causing germs and environmental pollutants.
Some septic systems include a device that provides additional treatment before disposal in the drainfield. They are common where the soil conditions are poor or where the groundwater table is high.
The sole purpose of a drainfield is to deliver wastewater to the soil, where further treatment and disposal occurs before the wastewater reaches the groundwater table below. A typical drainfield consists of two to five trenches excavated into the subsoil below the surface. The soil purifies the wastewater by removing the germs and other chemicals before they reach the groundwater or any adjacent surface waters such as rivers, lakes and estuaries. As sewage runoff leaves the drainfield and flows through the soil, many of the bacteria that can cause diseases are absorbed into the soil. The soil can also retain certain chemicals, including phosphorus and some forms of nitrogen.
This is a guide from the Environmental Protection Agency