What is proper maintenance of my septic system?                 

(The following is reprinted from "The Voice", July/August 1995)
Septic system maintenance means two simple things.
First, the sludge (inorganic matter) that accumulates in the bottom of the
tank must be pumped out periodically.  There is no additive that can be
introduced into a septic tank to rid the tank of inorganic sludge that
settles to the bottom of the tank.  It must be pumped out!  If not pumped
out, it will eventually overflow into the drainfield, causing it to fail.
The second part of the septic system maintenance involves the bacteria
necessary for solids digestion.  Since bacteria killing products of some sort
are used in every household (see below for a list of common agents), the
bacteria must be replenished.  If the bacteria are not replenished when
needed, the septic system will fill up with solid material and overflow into
the drainfield, again causing the system to fail.  Anytime Septic Service is
an authorized distributor of a facultative anaerobic bacteria product called
"Pro-Pump".  For more information on this product please contact the trained
professionals at Anytime Septic.

Can you name some of the types of home-care products used today that impede
the bacteria that are necessary for adequate and proper septic operation?

Some examples of the "culprit" products are:  excess acids, antiseptics,
bleach, caustic drain openers, cleaning compounds, chlorine materials,
disinfectants, lotions, medical residue, polishes, sink & tub cleaners and
toilet cleaners.

How often should I have my tank cleaned out?

Depending on the amount of people living on the system.

     1-2 people every 3 years
     2-4 people every 2 years
     5 or more people annually

The tank needs to be cleaned to remove the solids before they build to a
point where they will start flowing into the drainfield and possibly cause
damage which could lead to a costly repair.

What kind of effect can my washing machine have on my septic system?

A HUGE ONE!  Excessive washing machine use can overload your septic system
and cause a failure.  Always try and schedule your wash loads over a seven
day period to allow for maximum absorption.  Always use liquid detergents
rather than powders that can stick and clump onto the side of the pipes and
septic tank.

Information provided as a complimentary FYI