How to Maintain a Septic System
How to Maintain a Septic System


Maintaining your home's septic system may seem like an overwhelming (and stinky) task, but it doesn't have to be! If you learn the dos and don'ts of septic maintenance inside your home and use a quality monthly septic tank treatment product like Simple Green Septic Guardian, you can keep your system healthy and flowing.

The first step in any maintenance plan is to understand how your septic system works and to know where it's located. Here's a basic overview to get you started.

How Septic Systems Work

A typical septic system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield (or soil absorption field). Your septic tank digests organic matter (such as grease and oil) along with solids from the wastewater.

It's important to understand that all water runs from your house into a single main drainpipe that leads to your septic system. This means anything you put into your toilet, sink, shower, washing machine, etc. all winds up in your tank!

Once bacteria and other microorganisms eat away at any organic matter, liquid wastewater exits the septic tank into the drain or leach field which consists of a series of perforated pipes.

These pipes allow wastewater to either evaporate, or filter through the soil. This process naturally removes harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.

It's important to note that if your drainfield becomes overloaded with too much liquid it can flood, causing sewage to float up into your yard or create stinky backups in toilets and sinks. Overflows and backups are costly to fix (and pretty disgusting) which is why monthly septic tank maintenance is critical.

Septic Tank Maintenance Do's and Don'ts

Here are some important septic tank dos and don'ts to keep your system flowing and avoid backups.


  1. Use a garbage disposal if you can help it. Garbage disposals add solids and grease that can build-up quickly and clog your drainfield.
  2. Flush anything except toilet paper into your system. This means no baby wipes, facial tissue, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, etc.
  3. Put bleach or other household chemicals down your drain. Also don't dispose of any unwanted medications, such as antibiotics, in your toilet. Both can destroy important bacteria in your septic tank.
  4. Drain your hot tub into your septic system, this can overflow your drainfield. Plus, the chlorine can upset the bacterial balance of your tank.
  5. Put anything on top of your drainfield as it can pack down soil (thereby inhibiting the drainage process) or break pipes. Be sure you don't park vehicles on your field, or set up a patio, plant trees, etc.


  1. Keep your septic tank lids closed. A lid that's open and not properly secured is a huge safety hazard! People or animals can fall into a tank that isn't sealed off.
  2. Monitor your water usage. Using less water can increase the life of your septic system. Spread your washing machine and dishwasher usage across the week and try to cut back on water use where you can.
  3. Direct any water from land or roof drains away from your drain or leach field. The addition runoff can flood your system.
  4. Landscape properly. Grass is the best cover for a drainfield, or other plants with shallow root systems. You want to be sure wastewater filters properly through the soil.
  5. Regularly inspect your septic system to make sure everything is working properly.
  6. Use a monthly bacteria and enzymatic septic treatment product such as Simple Green Septic Guardian to maintain a healthy bio-balance in your tank.
  7. Routinely pump your septic system. The average household system should be pumped to have solids removed every 3-5 years. Have this done by a professional septic service provider.

Directions for Monthly Septic Tank Maintenance:

  1. Drop one Simple Green Septic Guardian treatment pod into any toilet in your home and flush.
  2. Text SEPTIC to 888-858-0923 to get a text reminder each month to drop another septic pod into your toilet to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your tank.
  3. Follow all the Dos and Don'ts of septic maintenance listed above to keep your septic system healthy and flowing.
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