Septic System Do’s and Dont’s Website Copyright of VME 2017, all Rights Reserved. DO learn the location of your septic tank and drain field.                  Keep as builts handy with your maintenance records. DON’T ever leave septic lids unsecured, damaged, or compromised                          in any way.  Kids have fallen into septic tanks. If the bolts are                          lost or damaged, call your service provider immediately                           for bolts. DO have your septic tank pumped out by a licensed                  contractor at least every 3-5 years, or as often                  as is appropriate for your system. (See chart below) DO clean your effluent filter at least once a year. DO limit garbage disposal use.  Make a conscious effort to                  use your trash can to dispose of substances that cause                  maintenance problems and/or increase the need for                  septic waste pumping. DON’T ever flush the following down the drain: o Household: Egg shells, cantaloupe seeds, gum, coffee grounds. Large volumes of cooking grease. Tea bags, chewing tobacco, cigarette butts. Condoms, dental floss, sanitary napkins, or diapers. Paper towels, newspapers, candy wrappers. Rags, large amounts of hair. Any kind of wipes, even “flushable” wipes. o Chemical: Pharmaceuticals. Chlorine bleach, excessive amounts of drain cleaner. Flammable or toxic products. Paint and paint thinner. Pool or spa products. Pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. High sodium level water softener brine.            *As a general rule, nothing should be disposed into any wastewater              system that hasn’t first been ingested, other than toilet tissue, mild              detergents, and wash water. DO always secure septic lids/access risers. DO jet drain field lateral lines and the 4” transport line that                  connects your house to your septic tank every 3-5 years. DON’T allow anyone to drive or park over any part of the system. DON’T connect rain gutters or storm drains to the septic system or                          allow surface water to drain into it.  Avoid plumbing water                          softeners that discharge into the septic tank, especially high                          sodium level brines and chemicals. DON’T enter your tank, ever!  Gases that can be generated in the tank                          and/or oxygen depletion can be fatal. DON’T dig without knowing the location of your waste water system                          components.  DON’T use special additives that are touted to enhance the                          performance of your system.  Additives can cause major                          damage to other areas in the collection system.  The natural                          microorganisms that grow in your system generate their own                          enzymes that are sufficient for breaking down and digesting                          nutrients in the waste water. DON’T plant deep rooted and/or water loving trees within 25’ of                          your drain field.  These include willows, cottonwoods, poplars                          beeches, elms, red and silver maples.                          If you must plant trees near the drain field, more suitable                          species include pines, oak, cedars, cherries, or hemlock.                        DON’T   “bury” your drain field with extra soil after the system has                            been installed.  The drain field needs to “breath” so that                            the aerobic microorganisms can continue digesting the                            nutrients in the waste water.    DON’T overload your system with high water use.  Use the following                          strategies to reduce your water usage: Limit laundry to full loads and avoid trying to wash multiple                              loads on the same day. Repair leaky faucets and toilets immediately.  A leaky faucet                              or toilet can result in as much as 3 gallons/minute entering                              your wastewater system. Avoid long showers and baths or multiple showers/baths                              at the same time. *Remember: The most valuable and vulnerable component of your                      septic system is the drain field.  Many, many years of                      good drainage can be achieved if conscientious efforts                      are put towards both protecting and maintaining it. DO invest in a maintenance agreement with a licensed septic                  technician to improve the function and sustainability of                  your septic system.  Maintenance should include: Effluent filter cleaning. Inspection of septic tank/lids, control panel,                             drain field clean outs, house to tank clean out. Sludge/scum levels should be measured. Test a dosing cycle to insure the pump, on/off                              floats and high water alarm are functioning                              properly.  (If applicable) Update records of recent repairs, pumpings,                              inspections, permits issued, and other maintenance                     activities. Flush pressure dosed drain field lines. DO familiarize yourself with the location of your waste                   water system electrical control panel. (If applicable) DO establish grass and/or erosion prevention over your                  drain field. DO learn and become educated about septic systems.  When a                  system is poorly maintained and not pumped out on a                  regular basis, sludge (solid material) builds up inside the                  septic tank, then flows to the drain field clogging it                  beyond repair. *Remember: The most valuable and vulnerable component of your                      septic system is the drain field.  Many, many years of                      good drainage can be achieved if conscientious efforts                      are put towards both protecting and maintaining it. DO understand that when properly maintained, septic                  systems provide an environmentally safe and decentralized                  waste water solution for your home.  Septic systems allow                  homeowners the freedom to build and live in areas that are                  not supported by municipal waste water facilities.