Septic Do's and Don'ts


There are many things you should and shouldn't do if you have a septic system. Keeping these dos and don'ts in mind will help make sure your system continues to work properly!

You Should:

  • Have your system inspected regularly
  • Have your system pumped when recommended
  • Have risers installed for easy access to your lids
  • Make sure your tank lids are secure
  • Learn where your system is located
  • Walk your drainfield often to spot signs of failure
  • Check your system for cracks, leaks, and damage
  • Direct sprinklers and drains away from your drainfield
  • Conserve water when possible
  • Fix any leaky fixtures
  • Only put water, human waste, toilet paper, and soap down the drain
  • Use concentrated detergents
  • Use dryer sheets instead of liquid fabric softeners
  • Spread out loads of laundry and dishes
  • Use sink strainers to prevent food from going down the drain

You Should not:

  • Ignore sewage surfacing outside
  • Ignore sewage backing up into your house
  • Do all of your laundry and dishes in one day
  • Use a garbage disposal
  • Use excess amounts of harsh chemicals or detergents
  • Flush medications, paint, or hazardous materials
  • Flush diapers, paper towels, wipes, and feminine hygiene products
  • Flush pet waste or litter
  • Use septic system additives
  • Use excessive amounts of toilet paper or soap
  • Plant trees or vegetable gardens on or near your drainfield
  • Park cars or heavy equipment over your drainfield
  • Allow cattle to roam over the drainfield
  • Build structures on top of your drainfield 
  • Dig or rototill in your drainfield
  • Put a fire pit on top of your drainfield

View a printable list of Septic System Dos and Don'ts


Keep yourself and your family safe by maintaining your septic system. Every year, injuries occur when people fall through crumbled tanks or unsecured lids. Most tanks are deep enough that they can even cause drowning. Drainfield failures and surfacing sewage can also make you sick. Regular maintenance and safety measures help keep septic systems safe and environmentally friendly. Follow these simple guidelines to keep your system running safely and properly:

Know where your septic system is located

Look up as-built records to locate your system. Knowing this information helps avoid:

  • Children and pets from playing around septic tank lids
  • Construction of structures over the drainfield
  • Cars and heavy equipment damaging your drainfield

Cover your tank openings

Check for damages and cracks in the lids or tank. Lids should be durable and securely screwed into the risers.

Don't let kids play near septic tank lids 

Kids are naturally curious and love to explore outdoors. But playing around the septic tank or trying to open the lid can be dangerous. Kids or pets can be seriously injured from falls into or around the tank. Exposure to bacteria can also cause health risks.