Back to top

Septic Systems

Autumn leaves
Septic System Pump

Septic systems have three components:

  • The septic tank removes large solids, protecting absorption field from clogs.
  • The absorption field distributes wastewater into the soil.
  • The soil filters clean and moves wastewater from absorption field to ground or surface water.

Maintenance Requirements:

  • Pump septic tank every 3-5 years, removing all liquids and solids
  • Wastewater back up into home
  • Elevated bacteria levels downstream

Common Causes of Failure:

  • Unsuitable Soils
  • Construction Faults
  • Onsite Water Management
  • Fix Water Leaks
  • Use Low-Flow Fixtures
  • Check Water Pressure – should be 80 psi
  • Do not use the toilet or sink to dispose of household waste (medicine, cleaners, etc.)
  • Do not use the garbage disposal
  • Limit use of drain cleaners, bleach, and other strong chemicals in toilets and sinks
  • Direct downspouts and other runoff away from the absorption field

Related Resources