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How do I take care of my septic system?

Your septic system is designed to give you many years of service. But like other systems in and around your home, your septic system can become overwhelmed with use and misuse. It is important to realize that the average septic system will need to be pumped free of solids every 3-5 years and has an overall life expectancy of about 20 years. Usually you can reach or exceed these time frames by applying the following suggestions:

1. Start by minimizing the amount of solid material that goes into your septic service. Example - avoid using your garbage disposal as much as possible; keep non-biodegradable items out of the septic, etc.

2. Reduce water usage: fix leaking faucets, take shorter showers, limit loads of laundry, etc.

3. Limit chemical usage: Draino, antibacterial soaps, etc.

4. Keep surface water away from your leach field: route drain discharges and sump-pumps away from leach field.

5. Take care when planting shrubs and trees: Grasses and perennial flowers are the best choice for direct cover of leach fields.

6. Avoid compacting your leach field: Do not park here or use heavy equipment.

If you keep these hints in mind, you should be able to keep your septic system working up to capacity.