The septic tank, whether it operates alone or in connection with a treatment system, requires an inspection at least every two years and pumping every 3 – 4 years. Visual inspections will indicate when the sludge in the tank is approaching the 1/3 full level in the first compartment.

This indicator identifies the need for the sludge to be removed in order to prevent suspended solids from leaving the tank, potentially causing problems further in the process.

Never enter a septic tank for any reason! Noxious gases are present, which are heavier than oxygen, and may cause death to anyone in contact with these fumes. A qualified and licensed professional only should perform inspection or entry into the tank.

Keep water use reasonable. Only use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines that incorporate water conservation measures into their design. Use full loads only, to reduce quantity of water usage. lce machines that use a continual flow of water should be identified at the time of system design, as they will increase the required size of the septic system. Ensure that all showerheads, toilets, sinks and ‘low-flow’ devices are not leaky!

Minimize the use of spas and hot tubs, as they contain large volumes of water that may flush solids out of a septic tank. Food waste disposals are not recommended for septic tanks as larger solids are deposited into the septic tank and do not deteriorate into sludge.

A septic tank is not a garbage disposal! Keep the following items out of the septic tank:

Water softener backwash

Solvents, volatile organics

Coffee Grounds

Cooking fats and oils

Disposable diapers

Facial tissue


Bleach pucks

Detergent with dry bleach crystals

Herbicides or pesticides

Eaves trough run-off

Cosmetic products

Developing chemicals

Palm oil

Excessive use of hair gels, conditioners, etc.

Dead pets

Expired or unused medications

Bandages, cotton swabs

Paints – all kinds

Grease – commercial and industrial


Cigarette butts

Paper towels

Sanitary pads and tampons

Disposable gloves

Antibacterial products – hand soap, dishwashing liquid

Peppermint oils

Sump pump discharge

Foundation drainage

Industrial cleaners, ex. Lye, Vim Film (with or without bleach)

Floor drains – residential or industrial

Large volumes of olive oil

Anti-dandruff or medicated shampoo

Carpet or upholstery cleaners

Disinfectants, germicides

Toilet cleaners should say safe for septic and be used conservatively

Please note all persons undergoing any form of medical radiation treatments, or possessing any form of irregular immune system response, will affect the health of the septic tank.

Any further questions or concerns regarding the health of your septic tank can be directed to your local sewage system installer or hauler.