Frequently Asked Questions
What is safe to flush?
As a general rule of thumb, do not dispose of anything in your system that can just as easily be put in the trash. Your system is not designed to be a garbage can. Solids can build up in the tank and they will eventually need pumped. The more solids that go in the tank, the more frequently the tank will need pumped, and the higher risk for problems to arise.
Here are some examples of things not to flush:
- Sanitary napkins
- Paper towels
- Wet wipes
- Cigarette butts
- Or anything similar
I bought some wet wipes that say “flushable.” Are these ok to flush?
The answer is NO. Manufacturers use the term “flushable” very lightly and do not realize the problems these products can cause in your system. These problems include plugged lines, backed up sewer, and, if the problem is not resolved, can even ruin your system. Use caution, and never flush wet wipes of any kind.
What maintenance can I do to try and avoid problems in my system?
Have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis. We normally recommend if you have a family of 2-4 to have your tank pumped every 2-3 years. If your family is larger, or if you have a garbage disposal that you use frequently, we would recommend a 1-2 year schedule. Garbage disposals can increase the amount of solids in your tank up to 50%!
What kind of laundry detergent should I use?
Any kind of liquid detergent is safe to use. Just make sure you are using the recommended amount of soap for your washing machine.
Never use any kind of powdered detergents! The powder never fully dissolves and can cause build up in your lines as well as your tank.
Are all toilet paper brands safe for my system?
There are definitely some brands of toilet paper that are harder on your system. As a general rule, the thicker the paper the longer it takes to dissolve, increasing the risk of clogging your lines or causing back up. One brand that we do not recommend is Charmin. Brands like Angel Soft, Scott, and Northern are safe to use.
Are anti-bacterial products safe for my system?
Good question. Your septic system needs a certain amount of bacteria in order to work properly. By using too many anti-bacterial products, you can actually kill the natural bacteria needed to break down the solids in your tank, allowing your system to work properly.
A good way to make sure your tank is getting enough bacteria is to flush a package of baker’s yeast into your system once every 3 months. This will help increase the natural bacteria in your system and keep things working properly.
If my system is doing its job, why do I need to have my tank pumped?
There are 2 main parts to every septic system: your septic tank and your drain field. The septic tank is where all of your sewage drains from your system. The solids come into your tank, bio-degrade and then settle at the bottom of your tank becoming sludge. Over time the sludge layer at the bottom of your tank will build up and can eventually flow into your drain field causing it to plug. A plugged leach field can mean having to replace your system. It is important to have your tank pumped out periodically to avoid having major issues with your system.
Can I plant anything near my septic system?
Never plant anything over or near the drain field, except for grass. Roots from nearby trees and shrubs may clog or damage your drain lines. Keep in mind that tree roots can grow wider than the foliage at the top of your tree. Use caution when planting trees and stay at least 75′ away from your septic system.
What does it mean if the alarm on my system is going off?
If your alarm is going off, it means something in your pump chamber is malfunctioning. The first thing to do would be to check your breaker and make sure it is not tripped. After that, you should contact us as soon as possible to come out and take a look. Your pump or your float may need to be repaired or replaced. If that is the case, your system is not working properly and can cause back up within days. Try and use as little water as possible until someone can come and fix the problem.