How To Care For Your Residential Septic Tank

For most people, the septic tank is "out of sight, out of mind." However, if you have a residential septic tank on your property, it's important to know how to properly care for it. Here are some tips on how to keep your septic tank in good working order. 


Have your septic system inspected regularly. It's a good idea to have your septic system inspected by a professional every year or so. This will help to catch any problems early and prevent them from getting worse over time.


Experts recommend having your septic tank pumped out every three to five years to prevent buildup and keep your septic system working properly. Depending on the size of your tank and the number of people in your household, you may need to pump your septic tank more or less often.

The design of a residential septic tank allows the solids to sink to the bottom while the liquids rise to the top, move through the system into the leach field, and return to the groundwater supply. When you call out a professional to have your tank pumped, they remove all the accumulated solids from the bottom of the tank as well as any sludge floating in the water.

Don't Dump

Be mindful of what you put down the drain. While your first instinct may be to assume that if something fits down the drain then you can dump it or flush it. However, this is incorrect. You should avoid putting anything down the drain that could clog or damage your septic system, including:

  • Grease
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper towels
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Dental floss
  • Eggshells
  • Diaper wipes
  • Cigarette butts

Not only do these items not biodegrade in your septic tank, filling it faster, but they can create clogs in the system, potentially breaking pipes.

Additionally, it should be pointed out that the Environmental Protection Agency does not recommend the use of septic additives, stating that additives are not necessary for a properly functioning residential septic tank and may "may decrease the performance of septic drainfields." Your septic tank is a well-balanced, biological process and adding chemical additives to that process is not a good decision for the long-term health of the tank and the surrounding environment.

Properly caring for your septic tank is important if you want it to continue working properly. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your septic system in good working order for many years to come.

Contact a local septic tank company, such as A -1 Complete Septic Tank Service, to learn more.