Septic systems manage the waste exiting your home through plumbing pipes. Solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank and forms a sludge, while oil and grease float to the top and create scum. Wastewater flows out through perforated pipes and filters naturally through the soil. If you’re new to septic maintenance, use these tips to keep the efficient yet delicate system functional.


Conserve water.

Watch how much water you use weekly, and avoid using several major water-using appliances at the same time. For example, try not to run the dishwasher while you’re doing a load of laundry.

Too much water in the septic tank can cause it to overflow, resulting in plumbing backups or solids in the drain field. If possible, switch to low-flow appliances to conserve water and protect the system.

Identify tank and drain field locations.

Note the location of the septic tank and drain field so that you, family members, and guests don’t accidentally park over them. Vehicles and other heavy objects can crack the tank and compact the soil in the drain field, preventing proper filtration.

Identifying the tank and drain field also avoids planting trees with extensive root systems near the septic system. Roots look for the nearest water source, and they can clog the pipes and damage the tank.


Flush anything except waste and toilet paper.

septic systemNever flush feminine products, tissues, coffee grounds, condoms, cigarette butts, paper towels, or anything else other than toilet paper and waste. Foreign objects and materials clog septic tanks and can upset the bacterial enzymes that break down solids.

Don’t use a garbage disposal either since food waste can cause septic clogs and backups. Consider switching to a septic-safe toilet paper to keep the system in good condition.

Use tank additives.

Avoid flushing tank additive products that promise to break down solid waste at an expedited rate. These substances kill the microorganisms in the tank that break down solids and consume wastewater nutrients.

Never allow household chemicals down the drains for the same reasons. Bleach and other substances can disturb the balance of the tank and wear down the various plumbing components.


Schedule septic system pumping with Atteberry Portable Toilets & Septic in Show Low, AZ. The NAWT-certified inspectors offer a full suite of septic maintenance services, including inspections, cleanings, pumping, and repairs. Call (928) 242-2802 for a free estimate, or learn more about the company online.