Aerobic Septic System Tips

Aerobic systems must be serviced every 6 months! The word aerobic simply means “air.” Aerobic systems work by saturating the wastewater with oxygen. This allows aerobic bacteria to form. This aerobic bacteria then feed on the micro-organisms and organic matter in the wastewater. This process is what eliminates the odor.

Aerobic systems must be serviced every 6 months to assure that the system is getting the proper airflow and that the bacteria are present to properly treat the wastewater.

Lateral Line Tips

Pay close attention to your lateral field after a heavy rain. If there is water standing or significant drainage running over the lateral field, consider having the yard graded to divert water away from the lateral field. Also fill any holes caused by animals or possibly even the dirt settling from when your system was installed, as these can act as a direct drain right into your lateral lines.

General Tips

(Applies to Lateral Line and Aerobic Systems)

    1. Pump your septic tank regularly- before a problem shows up!
      Lateral Line systems: Pump every 4-6 years. This will slow the build-up of biological growth, referred to as Bio-Mat, which builds up in lateral lines, causing them to fail.Aerobic Systems: Pump every 2-5 years.
    2. Garbage disposals should be used sparingly. Scrape as much food debris off into the trash as possible. Heavy garbage disposal usage will require having the tank pumped twice as often.
      Tip: Continue running water for 30 seconds after turning off the disposal. This reduces the likelihood of sink odor.
    3. Space out laundry loads over the course of the week. A load or two per day, rather than back-to-back loads on Saturday allows your system to better process the incoming wastewater and reduces the chance of overloading the system.
      Tip: High-Efficiency front-loading washing machines use about half the water that top-loading machines use.
    4. Use only liquid laundry and dishwasher detergents. Powdered detergents use a type of clay base as a “carrier.” This clay base solidifies on the walls of your pipes.
    5. Water conservation is important. Low volume showerheads, faucets and toilets and being “water-conscious” can easily reduce the load on your septic system by 50-60 gallons a day- that’s about 20,000 gallons per year!
    6. Fix leaky faucets or running toilets immediately. If you have a two-way sewer cleanout in your yard (usually a white pipe sticking up a few inches, just a foot or two away from the house) you can easily check for leaks by looking down into the two-way cleanout pipe.
    7. No mop water, harsh cleaners, baby wipes, diapers, medicines, paper towels, feminine products, condoms, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, grease, automatic toilet bowls cleaners, paints, stains, thinners, pesticides, kitty litter or anything else that might harm the good bacteria in your septic system.

The average life of a septic system is 20 to 30 years. Following the above tips will help extend the life of your septic system.