Maintaining Your Septic System

Have your septic system pumped and inspected on a regular basis. Most problems can be prevented through simple maintenance by a licensed septic pumper. It is recommended that most septic tanks be pumped every 3-5 years. This time line will depend on the tank size and amount of solids entering the tank. Routine pumping can help prevent failures such as clogging of the drainfield or sewage back up into the home.


  1. Educate your family on the proper use of your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank every 3-5 years. Routine pumping can prevent costly repairs.
  3. Keep records of pumping/cleanings, inspections and maintenance.
  4. It is recommended that you use liquid laundry soap and dishwasher soap.
  5. Run washing machines and dishwashers only when full. Avoid long showers or doing several loads of laundry in one day.
  6. Repair leaking toilets and dripping faucets.
  7. Divert roof drains and surface water from your system.


  1. Do not flush cigarette butts, matches, sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, baby wipes, paper towels, dental floss, Q-Tips, coffee grounds, kitty litter, fats, grease, oils, paints, chemicals, medications, etc.
  2. Do not use septic tank additives. These products do not help and some contain chemicals that can hurt your system or pollute the environment. Human sewage has plenty of microorganisms to do the job breaking down the sludge.
  3. Do not use a garbage disposal. Using a garbage disposal will increase the amount of solids entering the septic tank, thus requiring more frequent pumping.
  4. Do not allow vehicles, heavy equipment, or live stock over the septic tank or drainfield. The pressure can compact the soil or damage the tank and/or drainfield.
  5. Do not construct a building, pour cement, install a swimming pool or hot tub over the septic tank or drain-field.
  6. Do not plant trees or shrubs near the septic tank or drainfield. Deep roots can infiltrate your septic tank and drain-field.
  7. Do not use large amounts of laundry soap, bleaches or toilet bowl cleaners. Recommend quantity should not adversely affect your septic system.

Do I need to use additives in my septic system to keep it working?

Putting additive in a bowl - Stangland septic service in Aberdeen, WA
A homeowner does not need to add an additive or an enhancer to a septic tank that is designed, operated and maintained properly; naturally occurring bacteria are already present within human fecal matter. Contrary to popular belief, yeast, dead chickens, possums, or raw hamburger do not need to be added to the septic tank.

Manufacturers of biological additives market their use to restore the bacterial balance in a septic tank on a monthly basis as part of a routine maintenance program. This is not necessary because these bacteria already reside in human feces.

Claims made on the effectiveness of additives to either eliminate pumping of a septic tank or restore permeability of the soil absorption system are unsubstantiated. No product will allow a homeowner to escape a regular septic tank pumping and maintenance schedule.
To schedule your septic system cleaning, contact our office today at 360-533-2292.