Do's & Don'ts for Septic Systems

  1. Conserve water to reduce the load on the septic system. For example, do laundry throughout the week instead of all at once; use flow reducer nozzles on showers; install water-conserving commodes.

  2. Do obtain an as-built drawing of your septic system to locate system components prior to landscape planting. Tree roots can cause major damage to the septic system.

  3. Design landscape, roof drains, and foundation drains to divert excess water away from the septic system area. A drainfield cannot function properly in saturated soils.

  4. Avoid flushing cat litter, disposable diapers, baby wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial wipes, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, or similar items down the toilet. Your septic tank can be greatly compromised when it is used as a garbage can. Some items used excessively (baby wipes, anti-bacterial soap) can kill needed bacteria in your septic tank. Facial wipes can elevate the greases and oil levels in your tank.

  5. Do not put food scraps down the disposal. Use a garbage disposal sparingly. Scrape dishes into garbage, rinse in sink then use disposal.

  6. Do not overuse heavy cleaners, especially those containing bleach. They kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank; solids cannot break down as quickly.

  7. Do not pour grease down the drain. It most likely will clog your drainfield.

  8. Do not discard medications into sinks or other drains that lead to the septic tank.

  9. Do not pour hazardous chemicals down the drain. They can harm your septic system and may find their way into the groundwater.

  10. Do plant grass on the drainfield to minimize soil erosion.

  11. Before using septic additives, consult with a septic professional to determine if there is any real benefit to your septic system operation.

  12. Do not drain a hot tub (or other large amounts of water) into the septic.

  13. Do not clean paintbrushes into sinks or other drains that lead to the septic.

  14. Do have annual inspection conducted of your septic system.

  15. Do not disturb or compact the soil over the drainfield or in the area within 30 feet down slope of the drainfield.

  16. Do not place a driveway over the drainfield area as this will compact the soils over time.

  17. Do not build any structure over the tanks, drainfield or reserve area.

  18. Do not install a sprinkler system or waterline on or within 10 feet of any septic system component.