Maintaining Septic Systems: Essential Tips for a Healthy System | APT

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Posted by Brian Shoemaker

At Advanced Plumbing Technology, we understand the importance of a well-maintained septic system. A properly functioning septic system is crucial for the health of your home and the environment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with essential tips to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your septic system. Let’s delve into the details of septic system maintenance and how you can keep your system running smoothly for years to come.

Understanding Your Septic System

Before we dive into maintenance tips, let’s gain a clear understanding of how a septic system works. A septic system is an underground wastewater treatment system commonly used in areas without centralized sewer systems. It consists of a septic tank and a drainfield. Wastewater from your home flows into the septic tank, where solids settle at the bottom and liquids remain on top. The liquid portion, also known as effluent, is then released into the drainfield, where it undergoes further treatment through soil filtration.

Regular Inspection is Key

Regular inspections are the cornerstone of a healthy septic system. We recommend scheduling a professional inspection at least once a year. A trained technician will assess the levels of sludge and scum in your septic tank, ensuring they are within acceptable limits. If these levels become too high, it can lead to clogs, backups, and potential damage to your system. Regular inspections also allow early detection of any issues, preventing costly repairs down the road.

Mindful Water Usage

Conserving water is not only good for the environment but also for your septic system. Excessive water usage can overload the system and hinder its ability to treat wastewater effectively. To avoid this, consider installing water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets and faucets. Additionally, spread out water usage throughout the day instead of overwhelming the system with large amounts of water all at once.

Proper Waste Disposal

What you flush down the drains significantly impacts your septic system’s health. Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items, grease, chemicals, and excessive amounts of toilet paper. These can clog pipes, disrupt the balance of bacteria in the tank, and lead to system malfunctions. Opt for septic-safe toilet paper and educate household members about what should and shouldn’t be flushed.

Regular Pumping

Septic tank pumping is a critical maintenance task that should not be overlooked. Over time, the solid waste that accumulates in the tank needs to be pumped out. A general rule of thumb is to pump the tank every three to five years, but this can vary based on factors such as household size and water usage. Regular pumping prevents the buildup of solids that can clog pipes and hinder the system’s efficiency.

Preserve the Drainfield

The drainfield plays a vital role in the final treatment of wastewater. To ensure its effectiveness, avoid planting trees or shrubs near the drainfield. The roots can infiltrate the pipes and disrupt the drainage process. Also, avoid parking vehicles or placing heavy objects on the drainfield, as this can compact the soil and hinder proper filtration.

Be Cautious with Additives

There is a plethora of septic system additives available on the market that claim to enhance system performance. However, many of these additives do more harm than good. In fact, some can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the tank, leading to system imbalances. Instead of relying on additives, focus on proper maintenance practices such as regular inspections, pumping, and mindful water usage.

Address Issues Promptly

If you notice any signs of a septic system issue, such as slow drains, foul odors, or pooling water in the yard, it’s essential to address them promptly. Ignoring these signs can lead to more extensive damage and costly repairs. Contact a professional septic system technician to diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate course of action.


Your septic system plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy living environment. By following these essential maintenance tips, you can ensure its longevity and optimal performance. At Advanced Plumbing Technology, we’re dedicated to assisting you in keeping your septic system in top condition. Remember, regular inspections, proper water usage, responsible waste disposal, and timely pumping are all key factors in ensuring your septic system’s health. Take proactive steps today to avoid future complications and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained septic system.