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How to Manage Your Septic or Wastewater System

Proper care for your private septic/wastewater treatment system is in your best interest. Such management not only protects your health it saves you money and minimizes environmental impacts. When a septic system fails it can both contaminate your water and impacts you and your property.

Best Management List:
  • Pump septic tanks every 3-5 years.
  • Remember to wash hands and wear protective clothes when is possible contact with septic system waste since it is capable of causing infectious disease.
  • Keep vehicles and heavy equipment off septic systems, including tanks, drainfields and other components.
  • Never enter septic tanks. Placing your head down inside for inspection is very dangerous since methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other threatening gases.
  • Do not smoke near septic tank opening since gases may combust.
  • Never use electrical appliances, cords, tools in or close to wet ground or water near septic tank or drainfield since this is dangerous.
  • Keep children and spectators away from a septic tank when it is being cleaned or repaired.
  • If you smell sewer gases in your home call your plumber or other qualified person to correct this emission. If the smell is very strong immediately leave your dwelling until problem is addressed.
Hiring a Septic Service Firm
  • Get quotes for specific service. If it is a septic pump-out get quotes for just tank cleaning. What is the price to find your tank? Price to have the line snaked to the house.
  • If you need to get your T's replaced or distribution box get several quotes from other firms.
  • Make sure the cleaning company takes this waste to an approved facility. Please consult your local Yellow Pages for septic service companies.
Other Best Management Practices
  • Purchase biodegradable products such as toilet paper. Certain high grade paper does not breakdown in the tank. Also use biodegradable detergents and cleaning products that are SAFE for septic system. READ the label also use liquid instead of powder dish and laundry detergents.
  • BE careful that your toilet bowl cleaners do not destroy you toilet cap thus allowing more water into your septic tank.
What Not to Throw Down the Your Drain and or Toilet

  • Excessive amounts of body or bath oils.
  • Flammable or toxic products.
  • Water softener backwash.
  • Household cleaners including floor wax and rug cleaners.
  • Chlorine bleach.
  • Pesticides.
  • Cooking grease (pour in secure container and then dispose of in the trash).
  • Eggs shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, gum.
  • Paper towels, sanitary napkins, kitty litter, diapers (other trash caddy wrappers).
  • Do not allow latex paints to be drained into septic system.
  • Do not drain hot tub or swimming pooling into septic system.
  • Compost organic food waste instead of letting it go down the drain (please not fat, grease, meats, bones, oils that can attract pests).
  • Use backing soda or white vinegar instead of ammonia-based cleaners.
  • Use a plunger or metal snake instead of drainer decloggers.
  • Use borax and water as disinfectant and deodorizers.
  • Use oil soap to polish floors.
  • Use lemon juice to polish and clean furniture.
  • Choose liquid laundry detergents with a zero phosphate and wash with full loads.
  • Install water conservation devices like shower savers and low-flow toilets (old ones use 6 gallons per flush while low-flow use less than half or more of this).
  • Repair leaky facets and shower over baths.
  • Use septic friendly toilet papers(minimize amounts )and white may be better since it may be difficult for bacteria to break down colored toilet paper.
  • Reroute water softener recharge outside the septic system to ditch or dry well.
  • Dispose of harmful household products at local events.

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