A Guide to Basic Maintenance on Septic Systems

Part of being a homeowner is maintenance. Unfortunately a lot of homeowners forget about the maintenance on their septic systems. Here in Wisconsin, homeowners are reminded every 3 years to have their system pumped and inspected. But what can be done between pumpings to keep the septic system in good shape?  Here are some tips:

Beware of excessive water use or leaky fixtures. The more the system has to work to keep up with a home’s usage, the quicker it will need attention.

Some clean-water source hookups, such as the sump-pump, can be routed away from the septic. But make sure it doesn’t dispense near the drainfield, adding unnecessary saturation to that area.  Keep down-spouts away from this area as well.

Be aware of improper landscaping around the tanks and drainfield.  Contact a local knowledgeable landscaper and/or septic service company for suggestions on this.

Avoid excessive use of anti-bacterial cleaners and strong chemicals that find their way down the lines in the sinks, tubs, and toilets.  These affect the healthy bacteria in the septic system that it needs in order to do its job.  And also realize that medications affect the septic system too.  Using a bacterial additive for the system can be very beneficial in these situations.

Keep up with regular maintenance by a licensed pumper. They should be emptying the tanks and looking over all the components, including the drainfield or mound, to make sure all looks good.


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7 Responses to A Guide to Basic Maintenance on Septic Systems

  1. I really appreciate you mentioning how landscaping effects septic systems. The thought of designing my landscaping around my septic tank should be considered. We are moving into a home that has a septic system, so we want to make sure we know how to maintain it. I also want to be sue that I know where to find help for repairs if needed too.

  2. Jane Ambrose says:

    My husband and I have never had our septic system checked, and we aren’t even really sure how it works. Before reading this, I had no idea that an overuse of anti-bacterial cleaners can cause issues on the system. It seems like this is something we should have someone come look at and help us out with. Thank you for the information!

  3. I like that you recommend being wary of excessive water usage. It makes sense that this could be good because overusing the system could result in premature wear. Thanks for the tips; this could be particularly helpful for commercial applications where failure can cause serious financial damage in terms of time wasted and issues.

  4. It was helpful to know that a septic tank should be pumped and inspected every 3 years. My husband and I are looking at homes to buy, many of them being on a septic tank. We want to know how to properly maintain one, in case we do buy a home with one. Thanks for the great information!

  5. Thanks for mentioning that you should always be sure to ask a landscaper about how your landscaping will affect your septic tank. It makes sense that you would want to be extra careful with the features surrounding it. I am getting a septic system for the first time, and I want to make sure IU can care for it. I will definitely keep these tips in mind, thanks for sharing!

  6. Braden Bills says:

    One of my neighbors had some problems with their septic system and it sounded like it was a nightmare! It makes sense that I would want to take good care of it. I’ll make sure that I avoid doing too much landscaping work around the tanks. It would also be a good idea for me to get a professional to pump it out every once in a while!

  7. Derek Dewitt says:

    My wife and I just moved into a new home with a septic tank so we’re looking for ways to maintain it. I like that you suggest looking for improper landscaping around the tank itself. The last thing we want is for the tank to fall or roll over so we’ll have to contact someone to make sure the landscaping is in order. Thanks for the tip!

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