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  • Writer's picturePatti Plumb

Septic Tank | Best Care Practices, Common Problems, What can and can't go in

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

As a homeowner, maintaining your septic tank is vital for the proper functioning of your plumbing system. Septic tanks hold and treat wastewater from your household, which is then dispersed into the surrounding soil. In this blog post, we will walk you through some best practices for taking care of your septic tank, some common problems, and what can and can't go into it.

Best Care Practices:

One of the best ways to take care of your septic tank is to ensure that you don't overload it with wastewater. Spread out your water use throughout the day and week and don't let water run constantly. This can cause unnecessary strain on the system. Regularly pumping your septic tank is another great practice. It ensures that solids don't build up in the tank, which can block the system. It's recommended that you get your septic tank pumped every three to five years to maintain healthy plumbing.

Common Problems:

Several things can cause problems with your septic tank. One of the biggest culprits is flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet. Anything that doesn't break down can cause blockages in your system, which can lead to significant damages. Clogs can also be caused by excess water, overgrown tree roots, faulty systems, or excessive use of harmful chemicals. If you notice that your sinks and bathtubs are draining slowly, or you can smell an unusual odor, it's a good sign there's a problem with your system.

What can and can't go in:

Knowing what can and can't go into your septic system can prevent most problems. Here are some things that you might be tempted to throw into your system but should never do it. Don't flush non-biodegradable items like wipes, paper towels, plastic, or feminine hygiene products. These items take much longer to break down and can cause plumbing issues. Grease, oils, and fat should also be avoided. They can harden in the septic tank and block the system. Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the system.


Taking care of your septic system is crucial if you want to avoid costly repairs and replacements. Keep in mind that your septic system is an essential part of your plumbing system and should be treated as such. Follow these best maintenance tips, avoid flushing hazardous items down the drain, and call a professional if you notice any problems. With a little care and attention, your septic system should last for several years.

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