When it comes to your septic system, it takes more than a little TLC.
It takes a lot of “TLMC” – tender Lewis MacLean care – to keep it up and running and able to handle the workload from a full family.
We’ve assembled this top-notch list of dos and don’ts to follow:
Do obtain necessary permits before doing any construction or repairs.
Do use professional certified installers when needed.
Do keep your septic tank and distribution box accessible for pumping and adjustment. Install risers if necessary. The covers should be locked or of sufficient weight to prevent a child from lifting them.
Do have it inspected each year and the tank pumped out by a professional contractor.
Do keep a detailed record of repairs, pump-outs, inspections, permits issued and other maintenance activities.
Do conserve water to avoid overloading the system. Repair dripping faucets and leaking toilets, avoid long showers and run washing machines and dishwashers only when full. Use water-saving features in faucets, shower heads and toilets.
Do divert other sources of water, such as roof drains, house footing drains, sump pump outlets, and driveway and hillside runoff away from the septic system. Use curtain drains, surface diversions, downspout extensions, retaining walls, etc. to divert water.
Do take leftover hazardous household chemicals to an approved hazardous waste collection center for disposal. Use bleach, disinfectants and drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in accordance with product labels.
Don’t go down into a septic tank for any reason. Toxic gases in the tank can be explosive and can cause asphyxiation. Leave this to one of our Plumbing Specialists.
Don’t allow anyone to drive or park over any part of the system.
Don’t cover the absorption field with a hard surface, such as concrete or asphalt. Grass is the best cover for promoting proper functioning of the field. The grass will not only prevent erosion but will help remove excess water.
Don’t plant a garden, trees or shrubbery over or near the absorption field area. Tillage may cut absorption trenches. The roots can clog and damage the drain lines.
Don’t make or allow repairs to your septic system without obtaining the necessary permits.
Don’t pour into drains any grease, cooking fats, chemical drain openers, paint, varnishes, solvents, fuels, waste oil, photographic solutions, pesticides or other organic chemicals. They can upset the bacterial action in the tank and pollute groundwater.
Don’t use your toilet as a trash can. Keep out coffee grounds, bones, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, facial tissues and other materials that decompose very slowly.
Don’t add enzyme or yeast additives to the septic tank in hopes of improving bacterial action. None have been proven beneficial and some actually cause damage to soil and vegetation and may pollute groundwater.
Instead use our monthly Lewis MacLean BioSmart, which puts beneficial bacteria back into your septic system, to ensure it continues to run perfectly!