Be Nice to Your Septic Tank, and Your Septic Tank Will Be Nice to You

Septic tankSeptic tanks are relatively low-maintenance. There is not the constant worry of changing or updating the system or the need for continual cleaning, though a yearly inspection is a good idea. However low-maintenance septic systems may be, it is a good idea to monitor what goes into your system, and to be aware how your daily practices can influence the efficiency of your septic system. Here are 4 tips for treating your septic tank nicely.

  • Tip #1. Don’t allow any non-biodegradable items to enter your tank – A septic system works based on the principle that bacteria can break down anything that enters the tank. Non-biodegradable things are not able to be broken down by the bacteria, causing blockages and possible overflows. The list is extensive, but some things to avoid are dental floss, Kleenex, cigarette butts, diapers or feminine products, cotton balls or q-tips, coffee grounds and kitty litter. A good mantra to remember is “if you haven’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t eat it, don’t throw it into your tank.”
  • Tip #2. Be water conservative – There is only so much water that a septic tank can handle all at once. Limit the amount of water you use in a day, allowing the bacteria time to break down the matter and the tank time to empty after it’s been filled. Avoid doing multiple loads of laundry in a day or running the dishwasher and washing machine consecutively. Also make sure to check for leaks in and pipes or faucets and fix them immediately.
  • Tip #3. Avoid garbage disposals – Garbage disposals are not wise if you have a septic tank. Chances are, they are not grinding up the waste finitely enough and it is entering your tank too large to be broken down. The occasional use may be okay, but limit what you put down your garbage disposal—stringy foods (like pasta or potato peels), egg shells, and certain chemicals, greases and soaps can cause blockage in septic tanks.
  • Tip #4. Don’t put too much weight on the tank – It is not wise to park large farm vehicles or build anything heavy above ground where your tank is buried. Septic tanks are not designed to withstand too much weight, and serious damage can be done. Also avoid planting things directly above the tank, as deep root systems can also cause extensive problems.

Remember that, although septic tanks are low-maintenance, they do deserve consideration and monitoring of some of your daily habits in water use and waste disposal. Being nice to your septic tank all but guarantees your septic system will be nice to you in return!


For quality service on septic tanks in Orlando FL, contact us at Mathis & Sons Septic. Our septic professionals have over 30 years of experience serving residents of Orlando, FL and surrounding areas. Call us today for a free quote.