4 Ways to Keep Your Septic Tank Running Properly


Keeping your septic tank in full working order is necessary for many reasons. You want to ensure that it’s going to work to remove waste from your home, without endangering you or your neighbor’s health. By following these four key maintenance steps outlined below you can minimize your risk of having to pay out thousands to get malfunctioning parts replaced later down the road.

#1 – Inspect Your Pump Often

The typical septic tank is recommended to be pumped every three to five years. The necessity of the frequency of pumping highly depends on a few different things. These include the size of the household, the amount of wastewater generated, the size of the tank, the volume of the solids in the wastewater, and local government ordinances.

Although your tank may not need to be pumped every year, it’s a good idea to have it inspected at least once every three years by a professional septic service, according to Septic Solutions Inc. This can help to identify if there are any leaks or other issues. In addition, the service professional should be able to give you an estimated time when the tank will need to be pumped in the future.

#2 – Use Your Water Efficiently

All water that goes down the drain ends up in the septic tank. The more water that goes down the faster the septic tank fills up and needs to be pumped out. On average, an individual uses about 70 gallons of water per day. If there are leaky pipes this can skyrocket up to 200 gallons per day.

Take the time to fix any leaky pipes, running toilets, or other issues that can be causing a larger amount of water to be poured into your septic tank. In addition, you can greatly decrease your daily water consumption in a few different ways.

Some of the most common are to use high-efficiency toilets and showerheads. These work to restrict the water volume that is used each time. Using Energy Star washers can decrease your water usage by up to 50 percent compared to other washing machines.

#3- Don’t Treat Your Toilet, Sink, Or Shower As A Trash

It’s important to keep in mind that anything you put down the toilet, shower, or sink will end up in your septic tank. There are multiple things you should avoid putting in your septic tank. These include:

  • Flushable Wipes
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Condoms
  • Cigarette Butts
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Cat Litter
  • Paper Towels
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cooking Grease
  • Diapers
  • Dental Floss

Before you turn on the water next time, first think about what you’re using it for. If it’s something that should be put in the trash, walk over and put it in the trash. Remember that when you’re using water for household washing you can always dump the dirty water outside instead of filling up your septic tank. With a few inventive strategies like this you and your family can greatly reduce the amount that ends up in your septic tank.

#4 – Take Care Of Your Drainfield

If you’re not sure what the drainfield is, let’s define that first. A drainfield is a component of the septic system that is typically shallow, made of unsaturated soil, and covered up. When waste travels into the septic tank, the solids sink to the bottom and the liquids rise to the top.

There is a T-shaped outlet that allows only liquid wastewater to exit the tank. This liquid exits into the drainfield. The soil in the drainfield acts as a filter that accepts, treats, and disperses the wastewater throughout the ground.

An individual will not typically see the drainfield unless it becomes flooded. This can happen if too much liquid is put into the septic tank too fast. It’s likely the homeowner will also notice a backup of water in their sinks and toilets.

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your septic tank is working properly and maintained with the utmost care. By following these four maintenance tips explained above you can ensure you’re taking the necessary precautions to keep your septic tank working properly.