Tips for a Healthy Septic System

Tips for a Healthy Septic System

Homeowners with both wells and septic systems must take care to 
maintain these systems to ensure a properly functioning septic system and
the safety of their well water. Septic systems require regularly scheduled
maintenance just like wells. See our tips below.

Proper maintenance of a septic system includes:

  • Regular inspection every 1 to 2 years
  • Have the system pumped every 3 to 5 years, depending on demand
  • Conserving water to reduce the amount of demand placed on the system and prolong its useful life

Protecting Your Septic System All Year

Everyone in the household must consider what is flushed into the septic
system as they can reduce or damage the natural function of the septic
system. Avoid flushing items that can clog the system or chemicals that
can contaminate ground and surface water, and potentially damage the
biological components of the system.

DO NOT flush grease, fats, oils, bandages, feminine hygiene products,
disposable diapers, wipes – even ones that say ‘flushable’, pharmaceuticals
or medicines, paper towels, kitty litter, cigarette butts, coffee grounds,
dental floss, hair, paint, pesticides, varnish, thinners, waste oil, or other
chemicals. Ideally ONLY water and household detergents are flushed into
the system.

The septic system’s drain field must also be protected. The following
strategies are recommended to protect the field and prolong its functional
life:

  • Do not drive over the drain field with cars, trucks or heavy
    equipment.
  • Do not plant trees or shrubbery in the drain field area as roots can
    plug or damage the wastewater distribution lines.
  • Do not cover the drain field with hard surfaces such as concrete or
    asphalt. Grass is the best cover because it will help prevent erosion
    and help remove excess water.
  • Divert surface runoff water from roofs, patios, driveways and other
    areas away from the drain field.

A properly maintained septic system poses no threat to the groundwater
that supplies a household well. However, wastewater from a failing septic
system can carry contaminants such as nitrates, harmful bacteria and
viruses into groundwater and potentially the well.

For more information download our free wellcare® information sheet
on Your Septic System.