How To Properly Maintain Your Septic System

Last Updated on November 3, 2021 by Kravelv

One of the most overlooked parts of a residential property but plays a very crucial role in the overall functioning of toilets is the septic system. When you come to think of it, do you even know where your septic tank is located? Or how long it has been since you last had your system checked and maintained?

how to properly maintain septic system

Most notably so, perhaps it’s also safe to say that there are still many homeowners who aren’t aware of the necessary steps to take to keep the entire septic system in check. With proper care and maintenance by yourself and experts like those from or other reputable service professionals in your area, you can avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future. Plus, hygienic-wise, you can make sure your dump and toilet waste go to the proper place.

With that in mind, here are some tips on how you can properly maintain your septic system:

1. Check Your Septic System Regularly

One of the best ways to keep the lifespan of your septic system in order (or even to lengthen it) is to check it regularly. Here’s a cheat list of how often “regularly” means, when it comes to the maintenance of your home’s septic system:

  • Sand Filter Systems: Once A Year
  • Gravity Systems: Once Every Three Years
  • Aerobic Treatment Unit And Drip irrigation: Depending On Manufacturer’s Instructions
  • Pressure Distribution System: Once A Year

2. Use Less Sink Water

All the wastewater in your household leads to one place: your septic system. So, it’s important to be able to manage your excess water, so as to keep your septic system in good working condition for longer. This begins with using less sink water.

The best way to do this is to apply the following steps:

  • Don’t leave the faucet running when you’re washing your face or brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t keep the water running the whole time when you’re washing dishes by hand.
  • When you’re washing your hands and lather it with soap, keep the faucet off until it’s time to rinse the soap off your hands.

3. Have It Inspected Regularly

Depending on your household size, you may need to have your septic system checked more frequently. But on average, it should be around once every three years. And don’t just leave this job to anyone, you must call the experts or professionals in septic service.

Your septic system needs to be pumped and cleaned at least once every three years. But depending on the following factors, you may need professional services at varying frequencies:

4. Keep The Lids Closed And Sealed

Do make sure as well that your septic tank lids are always closed and sealed. Leaving the lid open can possibly destroy the pipes due to heat exposure. Moreover, this is also a big safety hazard. People can fall into tanks that aren’t secured properly.

As you have your septic tank inspected by the professionals, make sure that the lids aren’t cracked or in danger of breaking. If this is the case, then you can ask them to have it replaced.

5. Take Faster Showers

Long showers are nice but it’s not good for the environment, your water bill, and also your pumps, drainage, and entire septic system.

Keep in mind the main purpose of a shower: it’s to clean your body. So, this shouldn’t take you any more than half an hour. If you wish to relax and have a longer time in your bathroom, then opt for a hot tub bath than a shower instead.

6. Check The Efficiency Of Your Toilet

If your house is old and your bathroom hasn’t been renovated or remodeled in a while, you may also want to check the efficiency of your toilets. The older your toilet is, the less efficient it may be. So, it can also be a good idea to invest in longer-lasting, more efficient toilets.

A high-efficiency toilet is one that uses only 1.6 gallons or less per flush. This is around half of the usual amount for low-efficiency toilets, which is at 3.5 to 5 gallons per flush.

When you reduce the amount of water per flush, you’re also reducing the amount of household water waste that enters your septic system.

7. Cover Your Septic Tank With Grass

The best way to cover your septic tank is through a landscaping project. But you’ve got to be very strategic about this. It’s not enough to just put plants at random. Typically, you’ll want to stick with grass, but you can also go for other plants that have shallow roots.

To guide you, here are some dos and don’ts when preparing your garden for landscaping:

  • Don’t plant a vegetable garden near your septic tank’s drain field or reserve area.
  • Don’t put any gravel or fill near the reserve area.
  • Don’t reshape the ground surface over your septic tank’s reserve area, as this may be too heavy for your septic tank to handle.
  • Avoid water-loving plants and trees.

Here are some of the best plants that can be placed around your septic tank’s reserve area:

  • Ornamental Grass
  • Ground Ivy
  • Periwinkle
  • Ferns
  • Mosses
how to maintain septic system

8. Apply Nozzles To Your Faucets

One of the sneakiest and best ways to preserve water is to limit the amount of water that goes out of your faucets. You can do this by attaching an aerator to your faucets—especially on the bathroom and kitchen sink. Another thing you can add is a flow reducer if there isn’t any in place already.

When your faucets have these attachments, the water pressure is adjusted and the volume of water that flows through them is also significantly reduced.


With these tips, you can avoid a big mess or disaster that may be caused by a dysfunctional septic system. As you can see, it’s not at all that difficult to keep your septic system in shape. Apart from calling for experts to help you out, a bulk of the work begins at home with you becoming a responsible homeowner. It’s easy to forget about your septic tank but now that you’re aware of what to do, then you can properly maintain it.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook