February 2017 – Septic Tanks

If you own a septic system, it is important that it be properly maintained to extend its life and prevent contamination of ground and surface water. It is recommended that septic tanks be inspected and pumped as needed every three to five years.

Although a septic tank absorption field does not generally require maintenance, the following rules prolong its functional life:

  • Don’t drive over the absorption field;
  • Don’t plant trees or shrubbery in the absorption field; roots can plug lines;
  • Don’t cover the field with hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. Grass coverings help prevent erosion and remove excess water;
  • Do divert surface runoff water from roofs, patios, driveways, and other areas away from the absorption field.

The following items should never be flushed down a drain or toilet; they can overtax the system or clog the pumps and tiles: kitty litter, hair, coffee grounds, cigarettes, disposable diapers, condoms, dental floss, sanitary supplies, gauze bandages, paper towels, fat, grease, or oil.