Maintaining Your Septic Tank

Your septic tank may be the most overlooked and undervalued appliance on your property. Most homeowners tend to have an ‘install it and forget about it’ approach.

Failure to provide proper care and servicing of your septic tank, however, can degrade the environment, reduce the value of your property, and cause serious health problems for your family. Here’s some must-know tips on maintaining your septic tank:


Your septic tank has multiple parts which require cleaning at different times. It’s a good idea to keep a log or record book of these times to ensure that you’re always on top of everything. The filter at the rear of your septic tank, which stops floating elements from blocking up the discharge pipe, should be cleaned out annually. The tank itself should be pumped out regularly by a professional, and thoroughly washed out approximately every 4-5 years.

Household products

When it comes to maintaining your septic tank, there are a number of products that should not be disposed of down your household drainage system. These items include coffee grounds, fats, grease, oils, large volumes of beer and wine, milk, sanitary napkins, tampons, baby wipes, dental floss, medical pills, disinfectants, tissues, paints and varnishes. It’s a good idea when cleaning your home (toilet, shower, sink, etc.), to use products that are specifically made for septic tanks and won’t kill the important bacteria that breaks down the waste in your tank. It’s also recommended to avoid products that contain ammonia, chlorine, pesticides, caustic solutions, and antibacterial substances. When doing the laundry, try to use liquid cleaners as opposed to powdered cleaners, and spread your loads out evenly across the week.

Wastewater disposal area

Your septic tank’s wastewater disposal area is a single-use area only, and should not be used for other purposes like parking cars, keeping horses and livestock, play for children, or growing vegetables. The micro-organisms in your soil neutralise the pathogens in your wastewater, so it’s important to keep the soil as healthy as possible and regularly mow your lawn. At the same time, try to clear away any plants that were not recommended by your provider. Dosing your septic system with a product like actizyme once every 12 months is also a good way to improve your soil’s health.

Warning signs

It’s important to have your septic tank inspected for problems every 3-10 years, depending on the size of your tank. However, if you ever notice any sewage backups in your home, slow draining toilets and drains, sewage odours, sewage surfacing on your property or lush, green growth over the drainfield, you should contact your plumber as soon as possible. You should also never make or allow repairs on your tank without obtaining the required health permits, or attempt to fix your system on your own without the proper knowledge. Always use a professional contractor when needed.

Looking to upgrade or install a septic system on your property? Contact Global today, or give us a call on 1800 666 333.

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