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South Texas Aerobics

Information for the Homeowner

Septic System Do's and Don'ts

DO - Have your aerobic septic system inspected on a regular basis and both aerobic-type systems and conventional-type systems pumped regularly. The need for pumping can vary widely depending on the size of your household, frequency of entertaining, garbage-disposal use, tank size, schedule of water usage. Pumping your septic tank is one of the single most important things you can do to protect your system.

DO - Keep a detailed record of repairs, cleanings, inspections, and maintenance. Pass these on to the next homeowner.

DO - Learn the location of your septic system tanks, sprinkler lines and sprinklers, or drainfield.  Your local permitting agency can provide you with the layout drawing of your septic system that was filed to obtain the permit for the install. We can help you obtain this from the permitting authority. 

DO - Spread out laundry over several days.

DO - Repair any leaking faucets or toilets. To detect toilet leaks, add several drops of food dye to the toilet tank and see if the dye bleeds into the bowl.

DO - Keep your septic tank access lids accessible for inspections and cleaning.

DO - Have risers installed to bring your access ports to grade for servicing. 

DO - Participate in Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day to dispose of chemicals and solvents safely. Even household chemicals are hazardous to your septic system. 

DO - Grow grass above the drainfield to provide oxygen. Oxygenated bacteria (aerobic) accelerates waste conversion to liquid.

DON’T - Flush coffee grounds, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, cigarette butts, fats, grease or oil, paints, thinners, photographic solutions, antibiotics, dental floss, kitty litter, tampons, condoms, paper towels, varnishes, waste oils and pesticides, gasoline, antifreeze, etc.

Don't - Allow discharge from water softeners to enter the system. Heavy salt content can harm essential bacteria and corrode the concrete tanks. 

DON’T - Allow anyone to drive or park over any part of the system. The area over the drainfield should be left undisturbed with only a mowed grass cover. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs may clog and damage your drain lines and tanks.

DON’T - Use a garbage disposal, or at least limit its usage. Disposals increase the solids burden to your tank by 50%, so more frequent cleaning is suggested.

DON’T - Plant anything over or near the drainfield except grass. Roots from nearby trees and shrubs may clog and damage the drain lines.

DON’T - Use excessive amounts of commercial cleaning products. Follow manufacturer directions for safe use of all chemicals. 

DON’T -Enter your septic tank. The gas inside is toxic and can kill. Also keep your lids safely attached at all times so that small pets and children cannot open them and fall in. Most septic tanks are over seven feet deep.