• Have your septic system inspected and pumped every 3
years. If the tank is full of excess of solids, the wastewater will not have enough time to settle in the tank. These excess solids will then pass on to the leach field, where they will clog the drain lines and soil. This
can ultimately destroy your septic system. Pumping your system usually costs between $200 and $300, but replacing a system can cost up to $40,000.
• Know the location of the septic system and drain field,
and keep a record of all inspections, pumpings, repairs,
contract or engineering work for future reference.
• Have “risers” installed to make septic tank pumping and
inspections simpler easier and less time-consuming.
• Plant grass or small plants above the septic system to
help keep the drain field in place, but be sure to keep trees with roots at least 30 feet away from the system.
• Install water-conserving devices in faucets, shower heads and toilets to reduce the volume of water running into the septic system.
• Repair dripping faucets and leaking toilets, and avoid long showers. Run washing machines and dishwashers only when full.
• Use bleach, disinfectants, and drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in accordance with product labels. Dispose of leftover hazardous chemicals at an approved hazardous waste collection center – don’t flush them down the toilet.
• Use only septic system additives that are approved for use in Massachusetts, and won’t produce any harmful effects to the septic system, its components or cause groundwater contamination. Many chemical solvents kill important microorganisms that consume
• Never dump cooking grease or oil, or other non-biodegradable
trash (such as cigarette butts, feminine products, or diapers) down the drain or into the toilet.
• Do not use garbage disposals because they add excess solids and grease that can clog your drain field.
• Only allow licensed system professionals to work on your system.
- Cape Cod Homeowners Resource Guide
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