DIY Septic System Maintenance: What You Can Do to Keep It Running Smoothly

Do All Houses Have Septic Tanks? - National Storage Tank

When it comes to maintaining your septic system, a little bit of DIY effort can go a long way. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your septic system running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs down the line. In this article, we will discuss some simple steps you can take to keep your septic system in top condition.

Understanding Your Septic System

Before we dive into DIY maintenance tips, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your septic system works. A septic system consists of a septic tank, a distribution box, and a drain field. Waste water from your home flows into the septic tank, where solids settle to the bottom and liquids flow out into the drain field. The solids are broken down by bacteria in the tank, while the liquids are absorbed into the soil in the drain field.

Regular Pumping

One of the most important maintenance tasks for your septic system is regular pumping. Over time, solids can build up in the septic tank and cause blockages in the drain field. To prevent this from happening, it’s recommended to have your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years. This will help ensure that your septic system continues to function properly and prevent the need for costly repairs.

Watch What You Flush

Another important aspect of septic system maintenance is being mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Flushing items like grease, oil, feminine hygiene products, and non-biodegradable materials can clog your septic system and cause damage. To prevent this from happening, be sure to only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet.

Use Water Efficiently

Conserving water is not only good for the environment, but it can also help prolong the life of your septic system. Excessive water use can overload your septic system and cause it to malfunction. To avoid this, be mindful of how much water you use and try to spread out your laundry and dishwasher loads throughout the week.

Add Bacteria Additives

Adding bacteria additives to your septic system can help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the tank. These additives can help break down solids more efficiently and prevent clogs in the drain field. Be sure to choose a bacteria additive that is specifically designed for septic systems  and follow the instructions for application.

Inspect Your Drain Field

Regularly inspecting your drain field can help you catch any issues before they become costly repairs. Look for signs of standing water, foul odors, or soggy soil, as these can indicate a problem with your septic system. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to contact a professional septic system inspector to assess the situation.


In conclusion, maintaining your septic system doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little bit of effort and vigilance, you can keep your septic system running smoothly for years to come. By following the DIY maintenance tips outlined in this article, you can help prevent costly repairs and ensure that your septic system continues to function properly. Remember, regular pumping, watching what you flush, using water efficiently, adding bacteria additives, and inspecting your drain field are all key components of septic system maintenance. By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your septic system is in good working order.


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