How to Care for Your Septic Tank


Have you just purchased a new home, or are you considering a move, but the home’s septic tank has you wary? Fear not! Although a septic tank may seem very different from more traditional sewer lines, a septic tank functions much the same way, by treating your home’s wastewater. Septic tanks can save you money by saving on city sewage costs; however, you must keep other guidelines in mind when you have a septic system. With proper care, your home’s sewage system will last longer, keep your water clean, and filter your waste effectively. Here are some considerations for septic tank care and maintenance to keep your system in the best possible shape.

Know what you shouldn’t put down your drain

As is the case with any sewer system, you shouldn’t ever put certain things down your drain. This is especially true with a septic tank because it relies on naturally occurring bacteria and decomposition to successfully treat wastewater. Food is one category of items that it’s very important for you not to get down your drain, which also means that if you have a garbage disposal, it’s important for you to get your septic tank cleaned more often. Fats, cooking grease, egg shells, and coffee grounds all can wreak havoc on your septic system, as can inorganic materials such as cleaning solutions and motor oil. All of these items can disturb the ecosystem of your septic system, decreasing the naturally occurring bacteria in your tank and reducing its effectiveness.

When should you get your septic tank pumped?

Because your septic tank is a container buried under the ground, it will eventually need to be emptied out before it fills up completely. When to go about getting your septic tank pumped depends on its size, but a general rule of thumb is to get your tank serviced every three to five years. You’ll need to hire septic tank cleaners to inspect an empty waste from your septic system because your septic tank cannot be accessed and cleaned without proper training and knowledge. Cleaning out the sludge and solids that accumulate through normal use is imperative if you want to make sure that your soil treatment area doesn’t accidentally flow into the part of the tank that holds your water. Avoiding this kind of maintenance can pose serious health risks, as well as expensive damages to your septic system.

How do you know when something’s wrong with your septic tank?

Although you should be getting your septic tank inspected regularly, you should be on the lookout for things that signal a problem with your septic system. One easy way for you to check on your septic tank is to monitor the drain field area where your tank is housed. If you notice damp spots, sewage reaching the surface of your yard, or strange smells around your drain field, it’s a good idea to reach out to a trusted septic tank professional to investigate the issue. Inside your home, backups and slow-draining fixtures may also be signs of problems with your septic tank. It’s also worthwhile to keep an eye on your septic tank when the temperature drops for an extended period of time because the ground freezing can harm your system.


Septic tanks may give you pause as a new homeowner. However, with the right information and a knowledgeable professional to offer guidance and maintenance, they are easy to care for. Simply be sure to get your system inspected and drained regularly and stay vigilant in its care, and you’ll reap the benefits of a naturally occurring system to treat your wastewater. Avoiding monthly sewer bills is well worth the switch!