How can I keep my septic system working?
• Avoid excessive use of chemicals and detergents, which can kill the bacteria present in your septic tank that actually break down the waste.
• Avoid flushing non-biodegradable products such as plastics.
• Avoid putting cooking grease down the sink. This coats the walls of your pipes and builds up in your system and drain field, often causing backups.
• Avoid flushing baby wipes and similar products down the toilet. These products simply do not break down well in your system.
• Proper maintenance such as having your system pumped at least every three years as is recommended.
What are some of the problem signs I might encounter if my system isn't functioning properly?
• There might be a strong sewage odor in the house.
• Your toilets may be flushing slowly or clogging frequently.
• There might be wet spots in your drain field that are constantly muddy or soggy.
• You may have seepage at your 4" inspection pipe or at your manhole lid.
Why do I need to have my septic system pumped?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Proper maintenance of your septic system is the best way to prevent major problems with your system that could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
A scheduled cleaning every three years could save you a lot of hassle as well as money in the long run. In addition, many townships mandate that you have your system cleaned regularly and failure to do so could result in a fine. Usually your township will notify you if this is the case, but if you aren't sure it is a good idea to call your local borough to find out.
Can I have my system pumped through the 4" or 6" inspection pipe rather than locating and digging up the manhole lid?
Any township that has an ordinance requiring you to clean your system will generally not allow you to pump your system this way. The main reason being that you cannot see into the system to check that everything is intact and functioning correctly. In particular this method does not allow you to check whether or not your baffles are intact.