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Your Septic Tank: Flushing Out The Best Maintenance Methods

Your Septic Tank: Flushing Out The Best Maintenance Methods

A prototype of the modern septic tank was first designed in France, in 1860. Later, especially around the 1930’s to the 1940’s, people in the United States began to briskly build homes and farmhouses. Since these rural people often lived many miles apart, a shared or public sewer system wasn’t practical. So residents installed septic tanks on their properties and highly prized indoor bathrooms in their homes.  They were certainly a major improvement over trudging through deep snow to visit a dark, frigid privy on a cold winter’s night!

Pointers: Septic System Savvy

Today, many people still have these private sewer systems commonly known as septic tanks. If you have one, it’s wise to care for it properly. Here are some tips:

  • Never drive or park a car over the location of the tank. Never place a heavy item such as a shed over the tank location, either. It could damage it.
  • The root systems of trees, bushes, and shrubs can become entangled in and around the pipes of the septic system, damaging and blocking them. Make sure these areas are kept clear of roots.
  • Never dump chemicals down your toilets or drains. They can alter or destroy the balance of bacteria in your septic tank. These bacteria are crucial for the breakdown of solid waste products.
  • Dispose of kitchen grease and similar items in the trash, not down the drain. Use an old coffee can to store old cooking oil and grease. When full, securely tape down the lid and place it in the trash.
  • Your system can only absorb so much graywater, which is water from sources other than the toilet bowl, at a time. Be mindful of how much dishwasher water and washing machine water you are draining at a time. Do only full loads, and space out showers for larger families.
  • Use your garbage disposal sparingly. Consider stopping its use altogether. Use the trash instead. Garbage disposals place a great strain on the septic system.
  • Pump your system regularly as recommended by your service provider. This is one of the best ways to prevent problems.
  • Flush nothing but septic tank-safe toilet paper. Remember, you have a closed system. Flushed solid items such as cigarette butts and tampons have nowhere to go and can cause blockages.
  • Make sure the septic system filter is kept clean. Replace when necessary.

Use only those cleaners approved for your septic tank system. Never flush drugs down the toilet. Antibiotics, in particular, could destroy necessary system bacteria. Never use chemical tank cleaners containing corrosives such as sulfuric acid. These will damage your system.

There are biological products containing bacteria and enzymes that are inexpensive and easy to use. These products give a boost to the bacterial environment in the tank.  In any case, there is NO product that will replace the need for regular, professional tank pumping. Remember to have your whole system inspected once a year. The inspector will measure scum and sludge levels, inspect the grease trap and perform other important tasks to prevent future problems.


We are EarthCare, and we are experts in the repair and maintenance of septic tank systems. You can reach us here: contact us.  A trained, professional associate will be pleased to assist you. We look forward to serving you.

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