Tips on Maintaining Your System
Your septic system is a big investment and maintaining it properly will help to minimize repair costs in the future. Here are some helpful tips to take care of your system:
Do not put too much water into the septic system: typical water use is about 50 gallons per day for each person in the family.
Do not add materials (chemicals, sanitary napkins, applicators, and so on) other than domestic waste water.
Restrict the use of your garbage disposal.
Do not pour grease or cooking oils down the sink drain.
Make a diagram showing the location of your tank, drainfield, & repair area.
Install a watertight concrete riser over the septic tank to simplify access.
Periodically have the solids pumped out of the septic tank.
Maintain adequate vegetative cover over the drainfield.
Keep surface waters away from the tank and drainfield.
Keep automobiles and heavy equipment off the system.
Do not plan any building additions, pools, driveways, or other construction work near the septic system or the repair area.
If you have any questions about the maintenance of your septic system call JJ Pumping at (320) 894-7608.
Do I need to pump my tank?
A question often asked is whether or not a septic system needs to be pumped. The answer is yes.
After a few years, the solids that accumulate in the septic tank should be pumped out and disposed of at an approved location. If not removed, these solids will eventually overflow, accumulate in the drainfield, and clog the pores (openings) in the soil. This blockage severely damages the drainfield. The sewage effluent will then either back up into the house or flow out across the ground surface . If this happens, you may need to construct a new drainfield.
Are Septic Cleaners Necessary?
If you are wondering if you need to add cleaners to your septic tank to keep up with the maintenance, the answer is no.
These products include biologically based materials (bacteria, enzymes, and yeast), inorganic chemicals (acids and bases), or organic chemicals (including solvents). They do not reduce the need for regular pumping of the septic tank. Some of these products contain organic chemicals and may even damage the drainfield or contaminate the groundwater and nearby wells.
Items that don't belong in a Septic Tank
Taking care of your septic system is important both to keep your system working properly and to take care of the environment. Here are some tips that will help you to determine what can be put into your system.
Do not pour cooking greases, oils, and fats down the drain.
Grease hardens in the septic tank and accumulates until it clogs the inlet or outlet. Grease poured down the drain with hot water may flow through the septic tank and clog the soil pores completely.
Pesticides, paints, paint thinners, solvents, disinfectants, poisons and other household chemicals should not be dumped down the drain.
When put into a septic system these chemicals may kill soil microorganisms that help purify the sewage. Also, some organic chemicals will flow untreated through the septic tank and the soil, thus contaminating the underlying groundwater.
Disposable cleaning wipes, balloons, diapers, cigarette butts, paper wipes. Any other items that cannot break down naturally also should not be added to the system.
Make sure you are aware of the types and amounts of extra waste materials that are poured down the drain. Limiting the use of your garbage disposal will minimize the flow of excessive solids into your tank. Garbage disposals usually double the amount of solids added to the tank.