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Septic Tank Maintenance

Septic Tank Maintenance

Your septic system can last over 200 years if sized correctly and maintained on a regular basis. This number was determined by experts at Colorado State University. Here are some important points that will help you get 200 years or more from your septic system.

Do not pour any harmful chemicals, toxic substances, anti-bacterial soap, solvents, etc. into your septic system. These things simply kill the bacteria!

Don't send ANY solid articles into the septic tank that will displace water! This means cat litter, sanitary napkins, cigarette filters, sand, lots of dirt, etc.

Minimize or eliminate the introduction of cooking grease or oils that go down your drains. Pour these into a glass jar and dispose of with your normal trash.

Space out your water usage. Do different tasks on different days. Introduction of vast amounts of water into the septic tank moves the solid waste particles into the drainfield pre-maturely!

Keep a good stand of vegetation over the drainfield. The roots of the plants help to aerate the soil.

Never compact the soil on top of the drain field.

Pipe all surface water and roof downspout water away from the drainfield. Flooded drainfields can lead to massive pollution problems.

Absolutely have your system inspected by a qualified septic service company. Watch how they measure for sludge.

Keep accurate records of your septic service. Note the length of time between service intervals and how much sludge was removed from the tank.

If you know where your septic tank and drain field lies, map it! Keep this drawing in a safe place and use it as a tool to keep your drainfield in tip-top shape. The map will allow you to keep heavy trucks, downspout drainage, etc. away from your drainfield.

Author's Note: We've received other questions with similar problems or questions. Here's one from Howard Stein of Oklahoma City, OK, regarding his home septic system.

"We have ten inches of snow and the temperature is near zero Fahrenheit. It will stay like this for several days.  Is it safe to use our washing machine (doing regular laundry) in this frigid weather since we have a septic tank and fear that the "arms" cannot properly dispose of large volumes of water into the ground?  Many thanks for your help."

Howard, typically in most septic systems, the tank and drainage fields are located well below the frost line.

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