How To Keep A Septic Tank Working? (Question)

How to Care for Your Septic System

  1. Inspect and Pump Frequently.
  2. Use Water Efficiently.
  3. Properly Dispose of Waste.
  4. Maintain Your Drainfield.

How can I keep my septic tank working properly?

How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy

  1. How the Septic System Works.
  2. Don’t Overload the Septic Tank and Drain field.
  3. Use an Efficient Toilet.
  4. Don’t Treat the Toilet as a Garbage Disposal.
  5. Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain.
  6. Divert Rain Water From the Septic Drain Field.
  7. Keep Trees Away from the Septic System.

How do I make my septic tank drain better?

4 Things to Do When Your Septic Tank Is Flooded

  1. Check the Groundwater Level. Drainfields for septic tanks are normally between 2 to 4 feet from the top of the soil.
  2. Wait to Pump Until the Ground Dries.
  3. Reduce Water Sent Down the Drain.
  4. Make Changes to Help Your Newly Pumped Septic System.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

How often should you pump your septic tank?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

How do I know if my septic tank is failing?

8 Signs of Septic System Failure

  1. Septic System Backup.
  2. Slow Drains.
  3. Gurgling Sounds.
  4. Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
  5. Nasty Odors.
  6. Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
  7. Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
  8. High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.

How do you fix a slow draining septic tank?

Dump a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into your clogged drain, followed by one half cup of vinegar. This will create a fizzing action that may cause a fizz-like eruption. This is normal. This fizzing action may help to break the clog up and get things moving in your drain once again.

Can heavy rain affect septic tank?

It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

How do I increase bacteria in my septic tank?

Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.

Can you pump a septic tank too often?

If your septic tank is pumped too often, that bacteria will have no place to go but out into the drain field, which can lead to clogs and failures. So unless your septic tank’s sludge and scum levels reach certain thresholds, it’s actually beneficial to leave the septic tank alone.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.

How to Care for Your Septic System

Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:

  • Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
  • Conserve water
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • And keep your drainfield in good condition.

Inspect and Pump Frequently

Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.

  • The size of the household
  • The total amount of wastewater produced
  • The amount of solids present in wastewater
  • The size of the septic tank

Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.

When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.

In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.

An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.

Use Water Efficiently

In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.

  • Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
  • Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.

Properly Dispose of Waste

Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.

Toilets aren’t trash cans!

Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.

A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene items Condoms
  • Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.

Think at the sink!

Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:

  • If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
  • Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.

Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?

If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.

  • The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.

Maintain Your Drainfield

It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:

  • Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.

7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System

Every editorial product is chosen on its own merits, while we may be compensated or earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of our affiliate links. As of the time of writing, the ratings and pricing are correct, and all goods are in stock.

Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.

Even though we may be rewarded or earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of our links, every editorial product is chosen independently. When this article was published, the ratings and pricing were accurate, and all goods were in stock.

What Is a Septic System?

Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.

Get Familiar With Your Septic System

Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.

Have It Pumped Routinely

Every three to five years, the ordinary residential septic system should be pumped (that is, the sediments should be removed). It is common for septic service providers to inspect for leaks and study the sludge layers in home septic tanks when a customer calls for repair. The average cost of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600, depending on the size of the tank.

Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank. They will come in helpful if there are any difficulties with the house or if you decide to sell it.

Spread Your Washing Machine/Dishwasher Usage Throughout the Week

You may believe that scheduling a “laundry day,” during which you wash all of your clothing and possibly even run your dishwasher, would save you time. However, it puts a great deal of strain on your septic system. If you don’t allow your septic system enough time to process the wastewater, you risk overloading the system and flooding your drainfield with wastewater. Replace this with doing a full load of laundry (to ensure that you are not wasting water) a couple of times a week.

Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Trash Can

The only item that should be flushed down the toilet that does not come out of your body is toilet paper. Everything else should be discarded. This implies that there will be no tissues, diapers, feminine items, hair, dental floss, or anything else. Toilet paper is supposed to decompose in the septic tank after it has been used. Any additional materials are not permitted; they will clog and cause harm to your septic tank. Make sure you use toilet paper that is safe for use with your septic system.

Think About What You Dump Down the Kitchen Sink Drain

We flush a variety of items down the kitchen sink that might cause serious damage to a septic system. Never flush objects down the sink drain, including coffee grounds, eggshells, medicine, produce stickers, flour, and other such items. All of these things can clog pipes and cause screens to get obstructed. Do not dispose of any oil, including cooking oils and paint, grease, and fat since these substances will block your sewer line and cause it to back up into your home. Even dairy products such as milk, cream, and butter are harmful if they are flushed down the toilet.

When you use a garbage disposal in conjunction with a septic tank, the ground-up food particles contribute to the layer of solids that accumulates at the bottom of the tank’s bottom.

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Be Careful With Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning agents that homeowners use can be harmful to the beneficial microorganisms in their septic systems. When washing textiles, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach. If you absolutely must, use only a little quantity of the product. Use of drain cleaners is discouraged since, in addition to destroying beneficial bacteria, they can cause harm to the tank itself. Alternatively, if a plunger does not work, a toilet drain snake, which is also effective on clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks, may be used.

Quaternary ammonia is also present in antibacterial soaps and disinfectants, which should be avoided.

Protect Your Drainfield

As previously said, proper management of your drainfield begins with careful monitoring of water consumption and the materials that enter your septic system. Never drive or park a vehicle on top of your drainage system.

Make certain that gutters and sump pumps discharge water far enough away from the drainfield to prevent flooding. Avoid growing trees and bushes in close proximity to the drainfield since the roots of these plants might interfere with the pipes.

Tips For Keeping Your Septic Tank Running

The septic tank is a septic tank. It’s one of the most important pieces of equipment in your house — yet it’s also one of the most mysterious. Even though it might be tough to comprehend something that cannot be seen, understanding your septic tank and how it works is essential. The septic tank is where all of the wastewater from your house, including that from your kitchen, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms, is dumped. We’ve included a quick description of the operation of your septic system, as well as some suggestions for maintaining it in good operating order.

  • The tank itself, as well as the drain field, are the two primary components of the septic system.
  • Upon entering, solid components are classified as either scum or sludge, depending on how much of them there are in total.
  • Within the tank, bacteria break down scum and sludge, and the separated water is sent through filters before entering the drain field.
  • Tips for keeping your septic system in good working order Reduce your water consumption to a bare minimum.
  • When there is an excessive amount of water flowing into the system, polluted water might escape from the tank and into the drain field.
  • Water use by a single person every day amounts to 70 gallons, which may be surprising, but is an accurate reflection of the situation.
  • Toilets: toilets account for 25-30 percent of the total amount of water consumed by a home. Toilets that are more recent in design consume less water than older models. Give us a call right now if your home is equipped with out-of-date toilets! In the long run, your septic system will be grateful to you.
  • Sinks: Consider all of the water that goes down your sink every day that isn’t being used. When cleaning dishes, washing their hands, or brushing their teeth, it is usual for homes to leave their water running unattended. Take the initiative and make a change! Make use of the water in your sink just when you need it.

Keep an eye on what you dump down your drains. It is critical to consider what goes down your drains before flushing it. If you find yourself second-guessing an item, it is likely that it is not intended to be flushed down the toilet.

  • Grease: While putting grease down your drain may seem like a reasonable choice, it is not recommended. Using grease to clean your pipes and drain field has the potential to clog them! It sounds like something out of a nightmare
  • Due to our familiarity with flushing toilet paper down our toilets, we have a propensity to believe that comparable goods such as tissues or wet wipes are also safe to flush. This is because the microorganisms in your septic tank are unable to break down these materials, and they will most likely continue floating in your tank.

Make an appointment for a standard checkup. Septic tanks holding 1,000 gallons or fewer need to be serviced every five years or less. For septic tank maintenance, call us at 804-758-4314 to schedule an appointment with a Miller’s specialist.

Maintain Your Septic System Naturally

Routine examinations should be obtained. Every five years or fewer, 1,000-gallon septic tanks must be serviced or replaced. For septic tank maintenance, call us at 804-758-4314 to schedule an appointment with us.

A Well-Functioning Septic System

The title of this article may be “The Care and Maintenance of the Gut in Your Yard,” which would be more descriptive. Understanding the necessity and advantages of eating dietary fiber, alkaline-forming foods, and taking probiotics for your own gut health will help you recognize the similarities between keeping a healthy septic system and maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are some items that you should avoid putting into any septic system, just as there are certain substances that are favorable to putting into our own digestive systems.

If you wait until there is a problem, you have waited too long and should contact a septic cleaning firm to pump your tank immediately. Slow water drainage, as well as water backing up in the toilet, dishwasher, tub, or sinks, are signs that you may have a septic system problem.

Septic System Care and Maintenance Tips:

  • A family of four living in a house with a 1,000-gallon tank should have their septic system cleaned every four years, according to the EPA. Inquire with your local septic cleaning firm about how frequently you should contact them
  • Avoid using bleach-containing solutions to clean your toilets since it kills the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of waste particles in your septic system. Try this all-natural toilet cleanser
  • It works great.
  • When you add yeast to your septic system, it helps to actively break down waste solids, which is beneficial. Using the first time, flush a 12-cup package of dried baking yeast down the toilet. After the initial addition, add 14 cup of instant yeast every 4 months for the next 4 months. For those who are planning to install or have their existing septic system pumped, it’s a good idea to know precisely where it is in your yard so that you don’t have to dig up a lot of your lawn when the system is pumped in the future. With a tape measure, measure the precise distance between the septic tank lid and the home, and then snap a photo of the exact distance with your mobile phone to prove you were accurate. Maintain a copy of the snapshot in a home maintenance file on your computer for future reference.
Deborah Tukua

Deborah Tukua is a natural living and healthy lifestyle writer who has written seven non-fiction books, the most recent of which isNaturally Sweet Blender Treats. She has been a writer for the Farmers’ Almanac since 2004 and has written for several other publications.

Keep Exploring

Follow these guidelines to keep your septic tank system in good working order and save money on repairs.

  • Inspections should be performed every one to two years, and cleaning (pump out) should be performed every three to five years or more regularly, depending on the tank size and number of people that use the system. It is never a good idea to flush cat litter, coffee grinds, diapers, towelettes (including the ‘flushable’ variety), cigarette butts, condoms, grease, dental floss, baby wipes, paints, thinners, pesticides, oils, pharmaceuticals, or excessive amounts of household chemicals. Understand where your system is located. You should construct a diagram or map indicating the placement of the tank in relation to permanent objects such as the corners of your home, steps, or fence posts after you have had the tank pumped. Instruct the pumper to assist you in locating the drainfield. Place it in the appropriate area on your diagram, alongside the location of your drinking water source. Keep this sketch with your septic tank records for future reference. To make it easier to discover the tank lid, place something that can be moved easily over it, like as a birdbath or ornamental rock. Protect the drainfield
  • Increase the height of the barrier to prevent vehicles from driving over the drainfield, which might cause the tank lid and pipes to break and compress the soil, reducing oxygen flow. (Bacteria in the drainfield require oxygen to survive.) Downspouts and other surface water – notably irrigation sprinklers – should be diverted away from the drainfield to prevent clogging. It can be harmed by too much water. Keep anything other than grass growing over the drainfield
  • Do not dig or build anything over the drainfield.
  • Water should be conserved. Minimize your system’s reliance on wastewater treatment and disposal. Examples of ways to do this include:
  • One or two loads of clothes should be washed everyday at the most. Each load of laundry can cause up to 53 gallons of water to overflow into your septic system, so it’s better to spread washing out over the course of the week. Make repairs to leaking faucets and toilets
  • Over time, they can cause hundreds of additional gallons of water to enter your septic system. When feasible, use low-flow fixtures and appliances to save water. Low-flush toilets consume between 1.1 and 1.6 gallons of water every flush, which can cut your water cost by up to one-third compared to traditional toilets. Sink faucets with low-flow aerators are available. Showerheads with low flow rates and low-flow washing machines will also help you save water.
  • Do not dispose of garbage through a garbage disposal. It can increase the amount of particles in your septic tank by up to 50%, increasing the frequency with which you must pump out your tank. Caustic drain openers should not be used to unclog clogged drains. Instead, use hot water or a drain snake to unclog the drain. Please check to be that your water softener is not hooked to wash back into your septic tank. Conserve your documents, which should include a copy of your septic tank permit. Avoid the use of septic tank additives, commercial septic tank cleaners, yeast, sugar, and other similar substances. There is no need for these goods, and some of them may be dangerous to your health. Commercial bathroom cleansers and laundry detergents should only be used in small amounts. Make use of a light detergent or baking soda to clean your toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs.

Important Warning

Be extra cautious when in the vicinity of open or uncovered septic tanks. Falling into a septic tank can result in death by suffocation or drowning if not treated immediately. Even leaning over a septic tank might lead you to pass out and require medical attention.


Septic Tank Alerts Septic Tank Alerts

How to keep drain lines and septic tanks working well

Q:I just relocated from a house that was connected to the municipal sewer system to a rural retirement home that is connected to a septic tank. What information can you provide me on septic tanks? At my previous residence, I experienced clogging difficulties in my main drain pipe. What are some best practices to follow when it comes to drain lines in a home, and how can one ensure that they are always in good working order? A: Your drain lines should generally be free of obstructions as they transport water and solid waste to the sewer or septic tank, presuming they have been constructed correctly and with the appropriate degree of slope.

  1. Even though some people believe that having more slope is preferable, if you have too much slope, the liquids can outpace the particles as they go down the drain lines.
  2. Grease is the most difficult problem that municipal sewage workers and septic-tank pumpers have to deal with, and they would probably agree.
  3. You’ll be doing them — and yourself — a favor in the long run.
  4. This will aid in reducing the amount of grease that enters your plumbing drains and pipes.
  5. In certain cases, items containing active bacteria may be purchased, which will begin to consume the grease that may be covering the insides of your pipes.
  6. When it comes to keeping my own drain lines running, I do a couple different things.
  7. Upon entering the pipes, this water causes a violent flash flood — particularly in the horizontal drain pipe beneath my basement floor — and will carry almost everything out of the pipes.

Hot water performs a very decent job of dissolving grease, and this activity might serve as an alternative to buying the bacteria product that eats fat.

In an ideal world, the only things that would enter a septic tank would be waste from our bodies and any little food scraps that managed to get past the strainer in our kitchen sink.

Natural bacteria begin to devour the waste at this point.

In the majority of situations, a leach field is a network of pipelines through which wastewater is transferred to an area of well-drained soil that is particularly sandy.

Other bacteria and oxygen work together to detoxify the wastewater in this area.

As a result of its potent nature, bleach may kill the microorganisms that consume trash.

Pumping the septic tank every two or three years is essential for the health of the system.

You’ll need to be aware of the position of the opening that allows the technician access to the tank during the inspection. More than three decades have elapsed since Tim Carter began his career as a home-improvement specialist. Visit to ask a query or to find out more information.

Keep Your Septic System in Working Order – Oklahoma State University

Published in April 2017|Id: PSS-2914BySergio M. Abit Jr.Household maintenance chores such as termite proofing, de-clogging gutters, fence maintenance, weed management, and changing air filters are generally kept up to date by the average householder. The question is:Have you taken the time to schedule the next septic system inspection? When homeowners are asked the last time they had their septic tank tested, the replies include:only when I purchased my property 10 years ago; sometimes; never!

Even worse, I’m not sure whether my house has a septic tank at all.An on-site septic system is a critical component of a property, however it’s weird that homeowners don’t care about keeping it up to date.

On-site septic system maintenance begins with an awareness of the type of system you have and the treatment capacity of your system.

This Fact Sheet provides straightforward system maintenance guidelines that may be applied to any type of system, as well as suggestions for specific system maintenance requirements.

Maintenance Tips for All Systems

  1. Know who will be installing the system. Make an appointment with the installer and ask to be guided through the system’s operation and upkeep. Make sure you understand what warranty is being offered on the septic system installation. If you are purchasing a pre-owned home, check to see if the warranty may be transferred. It is likely that the installation will be familiar with the system, and you will know who to contact for future maintenance and repairs
  2. Work within the limits of your system’s everyday therapeutic capability. There should be no reason for a household of four to use more than the treatment capacity of a system that is intended to process 400 gallons of wastewater per day. However, it is possible that you will get visitors, leading your daily water use to increase by as much as twofold. It is necessary for a homeowner to make modifications during these periods. For example, you may postpone washing the laundry until after your guests have left, or you could use disposable dishes and cutlery while they are here. Another option would be to spread out the usage of large amounts of water over time. When it comes to using the bathtub, clothes washer, and dishwasher at the same time, it is not a good idea
  3. Learn everything you can about your system. In contrast to conventional systems, which consist only of a septic tank and subsurface lateral lines in a soil treatment area, other systems consist of multiple chambers controlled by complicated electronic systems that regulate the aeration of each chamber as well as the rate and timing of wastewater flow in each chamber. Knowing how the system operates will give you a better understanding of the degree of care and skill required to keep your system in good working order. When using an aerobic treatment system with a spray application, for example, you must treat your wastewater with bleach on a continuous basis prior to applying it to your landscaping. As a result, harmful bacteria are kept out of the yard, where they may infect dogs and children. It would also be beneficial to preserve a schematic of your tank, as well as the locations of the access ports and check wells, as well as the locations of your drain field and repair area. It would be much better if you could place marks in the field to indicate their exact places. Knowing the position of various components makes it easier to put in place safeguards to prevent them from being disturbed or destroyed, as well as to find them for maintenance and monitoring. Keep in mind what you should and should not flush down the toilet. There are certain things that, if flushed down the toilet or down the drain, might cause your system to malfunction or shorten its lifespan. Kitchen sink drains should not be clogged with grease or cooking oils that have been utilized. Sterilization napkins, non-biodegradable wipes, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, and plastic wrappers are examples of solid things that should not be flushed down the toilet. The usage of home chemicals such as bleach and other cleaning products, as well as their disposal, should be strictly monitored. It is never recommended to dispose of pharmaceuticals down the toilet, especially unopened antibiotics. Other hazardous materials to avoid include insecticides, paint thinners, and solvents. They have the potential to negatively impact the microorganisms that aid in the treatment of sewage. Even though your kitchen sink is equipped with a trash disposal, it is recommended that you avoid disposing of kitchen waste down the drain as much as possible. Keep the sprayfield/drainfield in good condition. The first step in properly managing your drainfield is to understand where the lines or nozzles are located in your drain field. In order to guarantee that the soil in your drainfield functions properly, perform these steps:
  1. Continue to maintain a sufficient amount of grass cover over the drainfield. There should be no room for shrubs and trees with deep root systems to develop within the drainfield. Surface waters (such as runoff and water from gutters) should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield. Please stay away from the drainfield if you have significant traffic, such as vehicles or heavy equipment.
  1. Have your septic tanks inspected on a regular basis. Keeping an eye on the quantity of material accumulated in the septic tank at least once every six months is the most effective strategy to avoid overloading it. This may be accomplished by simply dipping a long stick into the tank and measuring the thickness of the collected particles in the area around the output baffle. Pumping of the tank is recommended when the accumulation of sludge layer has reached between 25 and 33 percent of its liquid capacity, depending on the tank size. Alternatively, if the tank is not easily accessible, you may wish to examine and pump it on a more frequent basis than the instructions in Table 1.
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Table 1 shows the estimated frequency of septic tank inspection and pumping in years. (This is an adaptation of Mancl, 1984.)

Tank Size (gallons) Number of PeopleUsing the System
1 2 4 6 8
900 11 5 2 1 1
1000 12 6 3 2 1
1250 16 8 3 2 1
1500 19 9 4 3 2

Other System-specific Tips

  • Make sure to get the pump system tested at least once a year. Examine the drainfield for places that appear to be substantially greener than the rest of the drainfield (even during a drought). This might be a symptom of clogged pipes or a malfunctioning system.

Evapotranspiration/Absorption (ET/A)System:

  • Make certain that the green growth on top of the trenches is kept in good condition. Surface runoff should be diverted away from the vicinity of the trenches.

Aerobic Treatment Unit/System (ATU):

  • It is important to keep up with the green vegetation that grows on the top of the trenches. Surface runoff must be diverted away from the trenches’ position.

Treatment Lagoon:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of leaks in the liner (for example, if the lagoon empties more quickly than expected)
  • Make certain that the fence completely encircles the lagoon. Examine the earthen berm on a regular basis for signs of structural damage.


K. Mancl’s Estimated Septic Tank Pumping Frequency was published in 1984. Environmental Engineering, vol. 110, no. 1, pp. 283-285. Environmental Quality Division, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, 2011. On-site system maintenance is available. The month of June 2014 R.W. Seabloom, T.R. Bounds, and T.L. Loudon published a paper in 2005 titled Septic Tanks – Septic Tanks (M.A. Gross and N.E. Deal, eds.) Development of a Decentralized Wastewater Management Curriculum at the university level.

The University of Arkansas is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Abit Jr.

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Pumping Frequency for Septic Tanks Estimated by Mancl (1984). 283–285 in Journal of Environmental Engineering. Environmental Quality Division, Oklahoma Department of Environment Quality, 2011. Service and maintenance of the system on-site It is the month of June. In 2005, R.W. Seabloom and colleagues (T.R. Bounds and T.L. Loudon) published their findings. – Septic Tanks (M.A. Gross and N.E. Deal, eds.) Development of a Decentralized Wastewater Management Curriculum at the university level Development of Capacity for Decentralized Water Resources in the United States In Fayetteville, Arkansas, there is a university named Arkansas University.

Abit Jr.

How a Septic Tank Works

A septic tank is a huge, underground tank having an input for the drain pipe that runs from your house and an outlet that connects to the field lines that are buried in your yard. Solid waste is allowed to settle out of the tank, and the breakdown process is initiated by the natural action of anaerobic bacteria in the tank.

Solid material is retained in the tank by baffles, while liquid is allowed to flow into perforated field lines buried in the yard by the baffles. As the water soaks into the soil, the work of aerobic bacteria completes the process of decomposition of any leftover waste matter.

How to Find the Location of Your Septic Tank

First and foremost, you must discover the position of your septic tank in your yard so that it may be examined and maintained as necessary. It is typical for septic tanks to be positioned at least five feet away from the home, with the top of the tank sunk several feet below earth. Some pointers on where to look for your septic tank are as follows: Finding a septic tank with the use of a webcam.

  • If you have a plat of your land (available from your county environmental office), it should indicate the position of the septic tank in your yard. The overall position of the tank and field lines may sometimes be determined by the presence of better grass or more lush plants in the yard. To determine the position of your septic tank, it is possible to install a video camera down a drain and trace the distance to the tank
  • However, this method is not foolproof. The top of a buried septic tank may be located with the use of a probing equipment, such as a thin metal rod, once you have determined where it is located in general. When probing, exercise caution to avoid harming drain pipes, field lines, sprinkler systems, or underground utility wires.

Probing a septic tank’s top in order to determine its location.

When to Pump Out a Septic Tank

It is recommended that a septic tank be pumped out every three to five years in most cases, depending on its size and the number of people in the house. If you are experiencing drainage issues, such as slow-draining bathtubs or toilets that tend to back up after flushing, contact a qualified sewage contractor as soon as you see a problem and reduce your water use until the problem has been identified and remedied. Excavating a septic tank in order to pump and clean it out.

Septic Tank Dos and Don’ts

Use the following guidelines to maintain your septic tank system and ensure that it continues to function properly:

  • As soon as you’ve located your septic tank, make a note of its exact position for future reference
  • Maintain frequent inspections of your septic tank
  • Every three to five years, you should pump out your septic tank. Make use of toilet paper that is biodegradable and breaks down quickly. removing sewage from a septic tank
  • Conserve water in order to keep the amount of water that goes into the tank to a minimum. Never flush grease or harsh chemicals down the toilet or down the drain, including solvents, bleach, drain cleaners, insecticides, gasoline, and paint, among other things. Do not flush nonbiodegradable things down the toilet or down the drain, including dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, condoms, feminine hygiene products, face tissue, and cigarettes. It is not permissible to construct or pave on or near a septic tank or field lines. Planting trees or plants on or near a sewage tank or field lines is not recommended. It is not recommended to plant a vegetable or herb garden on or near a septic tank or irrigation lines. If your drains are clogging or emptying slowly, contact a reliable septic tank provider right once.

If you do regular septic tank maintenance and take steps to maintain your system operating correctly, your system will offer you with many years of trouble-free operation. Dee Massey is employed by Hulsey EnvironmentalPlumbing Services, Inc., a company based in Gainesville, Georgia, and specializes in environmental plumbing. More information may be found on their website, which can be found at.

Winter Care Tips for Septic Tanks

The septic tank is a critical component of the septic system’s overall design. Its purpose is to collect all waste water and store it in the tank for an extended period of time to allow solids and liquids to separate. The residual layers of sludge and scum that are unable to be broken down linger in the tank until they are ultimately drained away by gravity. The septic system, in conjunction with its other components, serves as a cleanser and sanitizer by preventing hazardous wastewater from escaping into your living environment.

  1. Some of these conditions are as follows: 1.
  2. The use of an insulating cover or blanket is required for every septic system in order to trap heat inside the system and prevent it from freezing inside, especially when snow falls on top of it.
  3. Snow compaction is a problem.
  4. 3.
  5. Waste water that does not enter the septic tank on a regular basis may cause the system to freeze over a period of time.
  6. There is insufficient plant cover.
  7. 5.

Small quantities of water entering the septic system might cause it to get clogged and finally freeze.

Inadequate drainage in the pipes.


Frozen water inhibits the treatment of the following batch of waste water from starting.

Cold air that has been trapped.

During the winter, a septic tank is at danger of freezing, which can result in a variety of difficulties, including incorrect treatment of waste water.

Pump your septic system on a regular basis.


Roots of trees and woody plants can infiltrate the system and interfere with the treatment of wastewater.

Adhere to correct garbage disposal procedures.

Insulated pipes should be used.


Harsh chemicals used for toilet cleaning may influence the waste waster treatment process.


Licensed plumbers with extensive knowledge in septic tank maintenance and repair can identify the root cause of any problem and implement preventative steps to keep your septic tank operating during the winter months.

Plumbing Authority Inc. offers a team of experienced plumbers that are capable of addressing septic tank difficulties in Ontario and ensuring that your septic system is operational throughout the year. For assistance, please contact us at (647) 992-7473.

How to Care for a Septic System

Download Article Article in PDF format Your septic system must be properly maintained in order for your home’s plumbing system to continue to operate at peak performance. Fortunately, it’s quite straightforward to accomplish. By flowing water through your septic tank, you can locate it, check it, and ensure that it is in proper working order. Keep an eye on your sludge and scum levels to make sure they don’t get to dangerous levels. Every few years, you should have your system pumped out by a qualified technician.

  1. 1 Locate your septic tank by following the path of your sewage pipe. Sewer pipes might be found in the basement or crawlspace of your home. In order to locate your septic system’s general position, follow the route of the sewage line. Take a walk around the neighborhood to find your septic tank, then return to the outside.
  • Determine the location of a pipe that you are certain is a drain, such as a pipe that comes from the toilet or a sink, then follow that it until it joins to a bigger pipe. Your sewage pipe is the largest of the two pipes. Having found the position of your septic tank, you should make a map of its location so that you can easily locate it in the future. Septic tanks are typically located at least 15 feet (4.6 meters) away from your home.

2 Remove the dirt that has accumulated on the top of your tank. If your tank is buried underground, you’ll need to dig a hole through the top of it in order to check and get access to the tank. Remove enough dirt from the tank’s top and the manhole with a shovel so that you can see the top of the tank.

  • When digging, take care not to damage the septic system by driving the shovel blade into it. Allowing only enough space to check the tank so that it may be buried again after you’re through so that it isn’t visible

Advertisement number three Check the septic tank for cracks or other signs of deterioration. When you open the top of the tank, make sure to glance over the top of it. Check the tank for evidence of deterioration such as rust, dents, fractures, or any other visible symptoms of wear and tear. An assessment and, if necessary, repairs from a septic tank professional will be required for serious damage.

  • The presence of significant corrosion and rust may indicate that it is time to replace your tank.

4 Flush a toilet to ensure that the tank is functioning correctly. 5. By simply flowing water through the connections in your plumbing system, you can determine whether or not your plumbing is functioning properly and reaching the septic tank. Place yourself next to the tank, have someone flush a toilet, and listen for the sound of water moving to the tank from the toilet.

  • Water bubbling through the ground or a fracture in the system indicate that your tank needs to be repaired by a septic tank professional.

If you see water rising up through the ground or a fracture in the system, your tank is in need of repair from a septic tank professional.

  1. 1 Remove 6 inches (15 cm) of PVC pipe from a 10 ft (3.0 m) length. In order to test the quantity of scum in your septic system, you will need to construct a measuring stick out of PVC pipe first. Remove a tiny part of the bigger pipe with a saw or a pipe cutter to make it more manageable.
  • It is quite inexpensive and can be obtained at home improvement stores and on the internet
  • PVC pipe If required, use sandpaper to smooth the edges of the pipe that has been cut
  • The pipe should be cut equally in order to generate a straight edge that can be inserted into an elbow joint.

With an elbow junction, attach the smaller segment to the larger pipe with hot glue. Insert the smaller part into a PVC elbow joint once it has been cut to size. On seal the pipe and joint together, apply adhesive to both surfaces. After that, put the bigger pipe into the connection and use glue to secure the two pieces together.

  • It is possible to obtain elbow joints that will suit your PVC pipes at your local hardware or home improvement store. Superglue should be used, and there should be enough to form a tight seal.
See also:  How Can I Disguise My Septic Tank Lid?

3 Plastic caps should be placed on both ends of the pipe. Using plastic caps that are meant to fit over PVC pipes, seal both ends of the “L” shaped pipe to prevent leakage. They should be able to snap securely into place in order to form a seal.

  • Plastic caps for PVC pipes may be found at hardware and home improvement stores, as well as on the internet.

4 Insert the pipe until it comes into touch with the scum in the septic system. In order to determine the depth of the scum in your tank, you must measure two levels. Fill your tank with liquid and insert the short end of the “L” shaped pipe into the manhole until the short end makes contact with the top of the liquid. Make sure the long side of the pipe is sticking straight up. This is the uppermost layer of the scum layer.

  • Allow the pipe to float on the top surface for an accurate measurement

Tip: Place the pipe against the opening of the manhole to ensure that it does not move during digging. 5 Mark the pipe at the top of the manhole using a marker to serve as a reference point for your first measurement.

To take your first measurement, mark the pipe where it is even with the top of the manhole to serve as a reference point. The pipe should be floating on the surface of the scum layer when it is properly installed.

  • Take care to ensure that the line you draw is straight and even. In order to make it more visible against the white PVC tubing, use a black marker.

6 Then push the pipe through the scum and label it once again. After you’ve taken your measurements of the scum on the top layer, push the pipe down into the scum until it meets the bottom of the dense layer of scum and reaches the wastewater layer, then repeat the process. After that, mark the pipe so that it is parallel to the top of the manhole.

  • 6 Push the pipe through the scum and mark it once again on the other side. After you’ve made your measurements of the scum on the top layer, push the pipe down into the scum until it meets the bottom of the dense layer of scum and reaches the wastewater layer, then remove the pipe. After that, mark the pipe so that it is parallel to the top of the manhole opening.

7 The scum depth may be determined by measuring the distance between the markings. Remove the pipe from the septic tank and place it somewhere safe. To determine the distance between the two markings, use a ruler or tape measure to measure the distance. In your tank, this represents the depth of the scum. Unless the scum layer is within 6 inches (15 cm) of the bottom of the outflow baffle (or the pipe visible through the entrance of the manhole), your tank will need to be pumped out.

  • Keep track of your measurements so you can refer back to them later and share them with a professional sewer-system contractor if necessary.
  1. 1 Make use of a 10-foot (3-meter) length of PVC pipe with caps on both ends. A clean PVC pipe may be used to construct a pipe that will be used to measure the amount of sludge present in your tank. Place plastic covers on both ends of the pipe to ensure that it is completely airtight.
  • PVC pipes and plastic caps may be purchased at hardware stores and on the internet. Make certain that the plastic tops are properly snapped into place.

2 Tie a white cloth around one end of the pipe to secure it. You’ll need a white cloth or towel to use to measure your sludge level so that you can readily see the stain markings that the sludge will leave behind on the cloth or towel. Tighten the pipe by wrapping a towel over one end and then wrapping tape around the towel to make it tight and secure.

  • The tape may be any sort you choose to use, but make sure you use enough to hold the fabric to the pipe.

3 Push the pipe all the way down into the septic tank. 4 If you have recently measured the scum layer, just insert the pipe through the hole in the scum layer to confirm the measurement. Make sure the pipe is all the way to the bottom of the tank and that it is securely fastened in place.

  • For an accurate measurement, it is critical that you keep the pipe completely steady.

4Allow the pipe to rest for 3 minutes before using it. Maintain constant pressure on the pipe until the sludge layer resettles and colors the cloth at the end of the pipe. Wait at least 3 minutes to enable the sludge to stain the material in a noticeable way on the cloth. Set a timer to allow you to concentrate solely on keeping the pipe motionless. 5 Remove the pipe and use a measuring tape to record the stain’s measurement. After 3 minutes, carefully remove the pipe and place it on the ground.

It is necessary to pump your tank if the sludge layer has grown to within 12 inches (30 cm) of the exit baffle.

  • Record your measurements so that you can keep track of them later on.
  1. 1 Have your septic system pumped every three years. The normal household’s septic system should be pumped out once every few years to ensure that it is in proper working order at all times. If the quantities of sludge or scum in your tank become excessive, you may need to have your tank pumped sooner.
  • When using an alternate method that includes electrical float switches or mechanical components, get your tank examined at least once each year. It is important to have your system cleaned as soon as possible if your sludge or scum levels are too high.

2 Make contact with a septic tank professional to have your tank pumped out. Septic tank pumping should be performed by a professional septic tank specialist who is equipped with the necessary equipment and training to do the job correctly. Look for qualified septic tank specialists in your area by searching online.

  • Arrange an appointment for a time when you’ll be available to see them pump your tank to ensure that everything is done correctly

Tip: Before hiring a firm, read internet reviews about them to ensure that you are hiring specialists that are of high caliber and integrity. 3 Provide the professional with any measurements that you’ve taken yourself. You should submit any measurements you took yourself to the septic tank specialist who will use them to determine the level of sludge and scum in your system. They might lend a hand when it comes time to pump the septic system.

  • If you want to make sure they’re being honest, you might compare your measurements to theirs as well.

4 Keep detailed records of any work done on your septic system, including cleaning and repairs.

Keep records of any professional work done on or pumping your septic system in a safe location at all times. They can be useful in the future if you need to verify the work that has been done or if your septic tank has been damaged.

  • Make sure to put your documents in a file cabinet so that you know where they are
  1. 1 Reduce water use by installing high-efficiency toilets. Up to 30% of your household’s water use might be attributed to toilet flushing. Older toilets use far more water to operate, and this additional water eventually makes its way into your septic system, causing damage and wear. Replace your old toilets with high-efficiency toilets in order to extend the life of your septic tank.
  • Hire a licensed plumber to install your toilet to ensure that it is done correctly.

2 Use water-saving showerheads to save water. Showerheads with high water efficiency and flow restrictors will assist you in reducing the quantity of water you use in the shower. The reduction in the volume of water entering the tank will help to keep your septic system in better condition for a longer period of time.

  • Showerheads with minimal water consumption are available for free in some areas. Check with your local government or go online to see if there is a program available in your area.

3) On your washing machine, select the appropriate load size for your needs. Water and energy are wasted when many little loads of laundry are washed in your washing machine at the same time. Setting your machine to the optimum load size will help you save money on your water bill. Tip: If your washing machine does not enable you to select the load size, be sure you wash complete loads of clothing every time you wash. 4 Grease should be disposed of in a container in the rubbish. Grease may cause major blockages in your pipes and increase the amount of scum in your septic system.

As an alternative, pour it into a separate container and dispose of it in the garbage.

  • Make use of a container that can be closed tightly to prevent grease from leaking out
  • If at all possible, substitute vegetable-based soaps with animal-fat-based soaps in your home.

Create a new question

  • Question What might cause a septic system to fail? David Balkan is a writer who lives in New York City. A professional plumber and the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main David Balkan is a licensed professional plumber who also serves as the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service and the President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning, among other positions. With over 40 years of experience as an active owner of these businesses, David is well-versed in the challenges that arise with water service lines, sewers, and drain lines. David has served on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for more than 30 years and is now the Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council’s Committee on Plumbing. As a result of his expertise and solution-oriented approach, Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service has grown to become the biggest and most trusted sewer and water main service in New York City, and the recipient of the 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Plumber with over 20 years of experienceCEO of Balkan SewerWater MainExpert Answer Grease will undoubtedly cause damage to your septic system. It will cover both the outside of your pipes and the inside of your septic tank, making it impossible for your tank to effectively drain water into the earth
  • Question What kind of soap is safe to use in septic tanks? David Balkan is a writer who lives in New York City. A professional plumber and the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main David Balkan is a licensed professional plumber who also serves as the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service and the President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning, among other positions. With over 40 years of experience as an active owner of these businesses, David is well-versed in the challenges that arise with water service lines, sewers, and drain lines. David has served on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for more than 30 years and is now the Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council’s Committee on Plumbing. As a result of his expertise and solution-oriented approach, Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service has grown to become the biggest and most trusted service provider in New York City, earning the 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award.Professional PlumberCEO of Balkan SewerWater MainExpert Answer The greatest choice for maintaining your septic system in good operating order is to use soap made from vegetables. If at all possible, use vegetable-based soaps over animal-based soaps. Question Is it possible that using vinegar to wash clothing can cause an issue for septic tanks? No, vinegar will not cause damage to your septic tank. Question What is causing the water to stop flowing out of my septic tank? One of three things is wrong: either there isn’t enough water going into the tank to raise the water level high enough for it to exit through the outlet pipe
  • There is a crack in the bottom or side of the tank and wastewater is seeping out, preventing the water level from rising
  • Or the outlet pipe is completely clogged. The best course of action is to have a qualified plumber evaluate the system and ensure that everything is operating securely. Question What is the best way to clean the toilet bowl when using a septic system? Choose between pre-packaged items from the store that have the septic safe label on them and a natural mixture of bicarbonate powder and vinegar to clean your toilet. Maintain as much of a natural appearance as possible to avoid killing the beneficial bacteria in the tank
  • Question When I get out of the shower, there is an unpleasant septic stench. Is this normal? There is a dip in the drain that should constantly be filled with water in order to form a seal between the shower and your septic tank, preventing gas from leaking back into your home. It is possible that the gas may leak or that the system will not function correctly, allowing the gas to enter the house and cause the stench. Question What is the location of the septic tank lid? Locate the front of the tank – the front of the tank is where the intake from the house enters the tank. Using a probe, locate the front edge of the tank as well as both sides of the tank. When looking at the tank from the front, the lid should be around 12-16″ (boot length) in. Question Was there anything in particular that caused the stink to emanate from the toilet, and how can I get rid of it? Observe the smell surrounding the toilet’s base. If it is originating from that location and a wax ring was used, it is possible that the ring has degraded. Also, make certain that there is enough water in the bowl to prevent the trap from closing. Question A three-bedroom house with a new septic system will cost about how much to install? $6000
  • Question What is the best way to remove scum from a septic system? Remove the manhole cover and dispose of it after using a shovel to scoop out the scum (or a brush to scrape it off).

More information can be found in the following answers: Inquire about something There are 200 characters remaining. Include your email address so that you may be notified when this question has been resolved. SubmitAdvertisement

Things You’ll Need

  • the following link. Inquire about a problem a total of 200 characters are still available Fill up the blanks with your email address to be notified when your query is answered. SubmitAdvertisement
  • A PVC pipe measuring 10 feet (3.0 m)
  • Tape
  • A white towel or a white cloth a ruler or a measuring tape

About This Article

Summary of the ArticleXWhen caring for a septic system, it is best to spread out your laundry across two or more days to allow your septic tank time to recuperate between washings. If you have a garbage disposal, use it only when absolutely necessary to avoid clogging the drain fields. Pour 1 liter of sour buttermilk down the toilet every few months to provide beneficial bacteria to the tank and help it to break up waste. It is also recommended that you have your tank pumped by specialists every 2 to 3 years for a family of 4, and every 4 to 5 years for a family of 2, to avoid the accumulation of sludge in the tank.

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