Septic Tank System Do’s & Don’ts

4 October 2011
4 October 2011, Comments 1


Septic System Do’s

1. Inspect your septic tank annually – Septic Tanks should be pumped every three. An inspection by A-1 Environmental Septic Service expert Technician may show that you need to pump more or less often. Regular pumping ensures that solids will not flow from the septic tank into the drainfield. Solids  destroy the drainfield, and once a drainfield has failed, pumping will not bring it back to life.

2. Use less water – Reducing the amount of wastewater entering your Septic System may increase its life span, as excessive water is a major cause of system failure. Too much water from laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough time for sludge and scum to separate, causing solids to pass out of the tank and into the drainfield, ultimately clogging the pipes. To reduce household water use:

  • Limit the use of large water guzzling appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Use water-saving bathroom and kitchen fixtures (such as faucets, showerheads, and toilets).
  • Spread laundry over the entire week and avoid all loads on one day.
  • Fix all faucet and toilet leaks promptly.

3. Direct water from downspouts and roofs away from the drainfield – Additional water from these sources may prevent your drainfield from working properly.

4. Keep cars and trucks off the septic tank and drainfield areas – This prevents pipes from breaking and soil from becoming compacted. Compacted soils can’t absorb water from the drainfield.

5. Use phosphate-free detergent – Phosphorus is harmful to the environment, as it can deplete oxygen which is vital to fish and other aquatic organisms. The use of phosphate-free detergents, also helps prevent algae problems in nearby lakes and streams.

6. Use non clay based Liquid Laundry/Dishwasher Detergent – Liquid Detergents do not crystalize like powders do and create blockages in the baffles.  Clay based detergents tend to create excess sludge in a Septic Tank.  We suggest not using Tide or Kirkland brand laundry detergent as it is clay based and causes fast build up in the septic tank

7. Install risers for easier access. Risers from the tank lids to the soil surface to make maintenance easier and avoid digging charges when you pump your Septic Tank.

For more information about your Septic System and to schedule service contact us at: 425-861-6978 or

Septic System Don’ts

1. Limit garbage disposal use – A garbage disposal adds solids and grease to your system, which could lead to drainfield failure.

2. Don’t use septic tank additives or “miracle” system cleaners – Some of these chemicals can actually harm your on-site sewage system by allowing solids to flow into and clog the drainfield. Some of these additives claim you never have to pump your Tank if you use them.  The reality is that you may not have to pump your Tank regularly but you’ll have to replace you Drainfield instead.  The chemicals can also contaminate ground and surface water.

3. Don’t dispose of water from hot tubs into the on-site sewage system – Large volumes of water are harmful to the system, and the chlorine can destroy important bacteria in the system. Drain hot tubs onto the ground, away from the drainfield and not into a storm drain.

4. Don’t flush solid wastes into the septic system – These include diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, tampons, condoms and grease.

5. Don’t put strong chemicals, such as cleaning products, down the drain – Household chemicals, such as drain cleaners, paint thinners and floor cleaners, can destroy important bacteria in your septic tank and contaminate ground and surface water.  DO NOT use clay based detergents such as Tide or Kirkland brand laundry soap.

6. Don’t construct patios, carports or use landscaping plastic over the drainfield – Grass is the best cover for your septic tank and drainfield. Soil compaction and paving prevents oxygen from getting into the soil. This oxygen is needed by bacteria to break down and treat sewage.



A-1 Environmental Septic Tank Service

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