Septic System Do’s & Don’ts


  • Learn the location of your septic tank and drainfield. Keep a sketch handy for repairs.
  • Have your septic system inspected annually.
  • Have your system pumped out regularly by a licensed contractor.
  • Keep your septic tank cover accessible for inspections and pumping. Install risers if needed.
  • Call a professional when you experience problems, or if signs of system failure.
  • Keep a record of repairs, pumpings, inspections, and other activities.
  • Conserve water to avoid overloading the system. Repair leaky faucets or toilets.
  • Divert other sources of water, like roof drains, sump pumps away from septic system. Excessive water keeps soil in drainfield from naturally cleansing the wastewater.


  • Go down into the septic tank. Toxic gases are produced by the natural treatment process and can KILL in minutes! Even just looking into the tank can be dangerous! Extreme care should be taken when inspecting a tank!
  • Allow anyone to drive or park over the septic system.
  • Plant anything over or near the drainfield except grass. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs may clog and damage the drainlines.
  • Dig in your drainfield or build anything over it, and don’t cover with a hard surface such as concrete or¬†asphalt. The area over the¬†drainfield should only have grass, which will prevent erosion and help remove excess water.
  • Make or allow repairs without obtaining the required health department permit. Use licensed contractors.
  • Use septic tank additives. They usually do not help and can be harmful.
  • Use your toilet as a trash can or poison your septic system and the groundwater by pouring harmful chemicals down your toilet or drain. Harsh chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria that treat your wastewater.
  • Use a garbage disposal without checking with your local regulatory agency to make sure your system can handle the additional load.
  • Allow backwash from home water softeners to enter the septic system.


  • Leftover medications
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fat, grease, oil
  • Dental floss
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable diapers
  • Paints
  • Kitty litter
  • Varnishes
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Thinners
  • Tampons
  • Waste oils
  • Cigarette butts
  • Photographic solutions
  • Condoms
  • Pesticides