The Do's & Don'ts for Septic System Care & Usage
These following tips and guidelines apply to both Peat Moss and Conventional Septic Systems and will greatly extend the life of your system and protect local groundwater.
Things You Can Control IN Your Home
CONSERVE WATER: The soil around your disposal field must accept all of the water used in your home, using less water is an important tip.
- Repair water leaks, such as toilet valves and dripping faucets.
- Space out water use throughout the day and week. For example, avoid washing all of your laundry on one day; don't have several people in a row taking showers, space them out.
- Install water conserving fixtures like low flow shower heads, low flow toilets and even purchase front loading washing machines, for they use less water.
- Plan ahead. Planning a large party, having many sleepover guests? Pump out your septic tank before guests arrive to prevent any "over use" problems.
BE PICKY WITH WHAT GOES DOWN YOUR DRAINS: It is wise to educate your entire family on what should not go down your drains.
- Don't use your septic tank as a trash can for:
- cat box litter
- cigarette butts
- coffee grounds
- cooking oil
- cotton swabs
- disposable diapers
- paints & paint thinners
- pesticides & poisons
- petroleum products
- sanitary & paper products
- baby & Hygiene wipes
- latex gloves
- Restrict the use of your garbage disposal, or better yet, don't have one.
- Save money, DON'T USE septic tank additives. Commercial septic tank additives are sold under the premise that if you use them you do not have to pump out your septic tank as often because the sludge gets broken down. Because of the presence of an effluent filter on a peat moss system you DO NOT want to break down the sludge. The bacteria needed for partially decomposing the tank solids are naturally present in sewage and do not need any futher help. If you use additives you will still need to pump the solids out of your tank. Be warned: these additives are effective in breaking down the solids into small suspended particles (called suspended solids). The effluent filter on the septic tank will now be burdened with a tremendous amount of small particles and will require more frequent cleaning. Periodic septic tank pumpouts and annual filter cleaning are the only maintenance your septic tank needs
Clean water is our heritage and also our responsibility.
As the population grows and more land is developed, we must all find ways to safeguard our clean water. Properly maintaining your septic system plays a large part to ensure that our drinking water remains clean and that your family, your neighbors and the environment are protected from contamination. With the increased use of antibacterial cleaners and the huge array of shampoos, laundry detergents, bleaches and paper products, homeowners can easily overburden and "mess up" their septic systems.
Here are some additional products that should never go down the drain into your septic system. Stop using antibacterial soaps, harsh cleaners and strong laundry detergents. All organic waste (human body waste) is broken down by a natural biological process. Enzymes break down waste so that bacteria can then digest it. Many chemicals stop or inhibit this natural process from occurring. This in turn will accelerate the speed at which your septic sludge piles up and starts causing problems if not carefully watched or routinely pumped out and inspected. Some household chemicals should be eliminated or reduced and some can easily be replaced by suitable substitutes, for example:
- Automatic Bowl Cleaners - DO NOT USE (most contain chlorine)
- Deodorant Soap - Use regular soap, NOT ANTIBACTERIAL
- Hand Soap - Use regular soap, NOT ANTIBACTERIAL
- Chlorine Bleach - Use Peroxide Bleach (non-chlorine)
- Dishwashing Products - Use non-chlorinated, biodegradable & phosphate free, NOT ANTIBACTERIAL
- Laundry Detergent - Use only Liquids that are biodegradable
If you and your neighbor(s) rely on well water you should both keep up with your inspections & pumpouts, as well as making sure your water well's cap is always intact so things like unfiltered rain water, grass, mice, birds etc. don't fall in. These suggestions will help protect your family from contaminated drinking water.
Things You Can Control OUTSIDE on Your Property
PROTECT THE ENTIRE SEPTIC SYSTEM AREA FROM PHYSICAL DAMAGE:
- DO NOT cover the Eco-Pure module lid.
- DO NOT cover the Eco-Pure module vents.
- DO NOT drive vehicles and heavy equipment over the system. Park cars, boats & other vehicles away from the disposal field, peat moss module and septic tank area.
- Keep pavement, pools and decks away from the system.
- Divert downspouts and other rainwater drainage away from both the septic tank area and the soil disposal field.
- Don't direct sump-pump discharge into your septic tank.
- Keep the soil over the disposal field covered with light vegetation (grass or mulch) to prevent soil erosion.
- Do not plant large rooted trees over system; roots may disrupt the tanks and/or disposal field.
- DO NOT attempt your own repairs or annual maintenance checks.