Septic & Sewer Care

How to care for your septic tank:

Have your septic tank pumped out to remove scum and solids every two to four years depending on number of people in household. A DEC licensed waste hauler should pump the tank and haul waste away to a licensed treatment facility.

Failure to periodically pump your tank can result in a carryover of solids into your leach field and clog leach lines. If solids clog leach lines and block trench walls, you may have to abandon your existing leach field and install a new one elsewhere in your yard.

Repair leaking toilets and dripping faucets.

Maintain a ground cover of grass over leach field, as grass prevents soil erosion.

Watch for trouble signs:

  • Soggy or flooded leach field area
  • Slow draining toilets or drains
  • Gurgling sounds in your drains
  • Sewage odors

Divert gutter drains and surface waters away from your septic system.

Keep children and pets away from areas of standing wastewater. Household wastes contain pathogens and toxins.

Allow anyone to park or drive over your septic system.

Dig into your leach field or build anything over the top of it.

Dump non-biodegradable items such as grease, disposable diapers, sanitary products, plastics, and cigarette butts down your toilets or drains.

Dump chemicals such as pesticides, paint products, excessive amounts of cleaners and bleach, or other hazardous liquids into your septic system or sewer.

Discharge sump pump ground water into your septic system.

Discharge laundry water into a sump pit.

Plant trees or bushes in the leach field area as their roots can disrupt and clog leach lines.

Plant trees over sewer lines, as roots may invade the sewer line and exert pressure on pipe joints.

Repair your system without first obtaining a required Health Department permit. Use a reputable contractor.

There are three reasons why septic system maintenance is important to you. The first is money.

The minimal cost and effort required to maintain your system could save you or delay future expenditures that can cost up to $3,000 to $18,000 or more depending on your property.

The second and most important reason is the health of you and your family. Inadequately treated wastewater can pose significant human health risks and can contaminate wells, groundwater, and surface water resources.

The third reason to maintain your system is to prevent the decline of your property value.