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How to Keep Septic Systems HappySeptic systems are used on properties that are not on community sewer service to properly dispose of waste. With sewer service, you do not need to do anything but maintain the pipes from your home to the street. However, with septic systems you have a lot more to be responsible for. Not only do you have the pipes themselves, but also the other components involved with the system. For example, you have a tank that processes the solids and liquids, and a drain field for handling the liquids. An important part of avoiding failure and repairs is knowing how to keep septic systems happy. A few dos and don’ts about septic systems will help you keep your system operating properly for years to come.


  • DO have the system inspected every three years and pumped/cleaned every three to five years. This is just a rule of thumb, and your professional can tweak that for you considering your specific equipment, family size, and usage.
  • DO keep the drain field area free from roots. The best thing to grow over the area is just grass.
  • DO keep vehicles and heavy equipment far away from your septic tank and drain field.


  • DON’T put too much water into septic systems. Stagger laundry rather than doing multiple loads in one day. Be sure your home’s downspouts are not routing water into your system.
  • DON’T use the garbage disposal regularly and never put grease or cooking oils down the drain.
  • DON’T use caustic drain openers or let the salt recharge solution from a water softener drain into septic systems.
  • DON’T use anti-bacterial soaps, cleaning solutions, or other products. These kill the bacteria that resides in septic systems that needs to be there. Also, avoid pesticides and paint.
  • DON’T flush non-biodegradable materials, such as condoms, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, etc.