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All the Septic System Tips, Do’s, and Don’ts You Need for Your Gig Harbor, WA Tank!

Helpful Hints for Your Septic Cleaning


System Do’s

Inspect Your Tank Annually

You should familiarize yourself with your septic system and its location. Generally, septic tanks should be pumped every two to five years depending on family size. Regular pumping ensures that solids will not flow from the septic tank into the drain field. Solids can damage or destroy the drain field and pumping will not bring a failed drain field back to life.

Install a Septic Tank Effluent Filter (Outlet Filter Baffle)

Filtering the septic effluent can be an effective method to help prevent solids from flowing into the drain field. Inspecting a filter annually and cleaning it when necessary is quick, easy, and helps prevent costly damage caused by solids entering into the drain field system. This is only recommended on a double compartment tank.

Use Less Water

Reducing the amount of wastewater entering your sewage system will increase its life span, as excessive water use is a primary cause of system failure.

To reduce usage:

  • Use water saving faucets and shower heads
  • Run and drain appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines one appliance at a time
  • Spread laundry over the entire week and avoid partial loads
  • Fix all faucet and toilet leaks promptly

Direct Water from Downspouts and Roofs Away from Septic Tank and Drain Field Areas

Additional water from these sources can flood your system and prevent it from working properly.

Keep Vehicles and Heavy Equipment off the Septic Tank and Drain Field Areas

This will aid in the prevention of damaged or broken pipes, and soil from being compacted. Compacted soils cannot absorb water from the drain field properly.

Use Phosphate Free Detergent

Phosphate free detergents help prevent algae problems in nearby lakes and streams. We suggest that you use liquid laundry soaps or warm/hot water with powder, as this helps break down powder soap build-up that can clog your system. Additionally, it is recommended to use laundry sheets as opposed to liquid softener.


System Don’ts

Avoid Using Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposal use can cause premature drain field failure. Disposals add minute particles of solids and grease to your systems, requiring more frequent pumping. A screened outlet baffle is strongly recommended with the use of a garbage disposal.

Don’t Use Septic Tank Additives or “Miracle” System Cleaners

Some of these chemicals can actually harm your system by allowing solids to flow into the drain field, which then clogs it. These chemicals can also contaminate ground and surface water.

Don’t Dispose Water from Hot Tubs, Water Softeners, Etc. Into the System

Large volumes of water are harmful to the system and chemicals such as chlorine can destroy the important good bacteria necessary for a healthy system. Drain hot tubs, pools, etc. onto the ground away from the septic system and not into storm drains.

Don’t Dispose of Solid Waste Into the System

You should never dispose of items such as diapers, baby wipes, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, feminine products, condoms, hypodermic needles, or grease into your system. Solids improperly deposited into a septic system can cause various problems such as clogs and back-ups, can require more frequent pumping, and potentially cause damage to the drain field system.

Don’t Put Strong Chemicals down the Drain

Household chemicals—such as drain cleaners, paint thinner, floor cleaner, and bleach—can destroy the important good bacteria in your septic system and potentially contaminate ground and surface water.

Don’t Place Patios, Carports, Landscape, Plastic, or Deep Rooted Plants over the Septic Tank or Drain Field

Structures such as decks and carports can limit or prevent necessary access to your system. Additionally, compacted soil or solid surfaces like concrete, blacktop, or plastic prevent oxygen from getting into the soil. This oxygen is needed by bacteria to help break down and treat sewage. Landscape plants and their root systems can not only limit access, but also cause serious root intrusion damage. Grass is the best groundcover for your septic and drain field areas.

This important information is provided to help you maintain the maximum usage of your system. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office nearest you.


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