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Do’s and Don’ts for Aerobic Systems

DON’T treat the system as city sewer. Economy in the use of water helps prevent overloading of a septic system. Overloading the system could shorten the life of the system and necessitate expensive repairs. Leaky faucets, running commodes and malfunctioning water softeners should be carefully guarded against. Avoid doing all your laundry in one day; surges of water entering the system may hydraulically overload the system and throw off the balance of bacteria.

DON’T flush anything except toilet paper and wastewater. Things that may harm your system include: excessive use of a garbage disposal, grease, too many cleaners, soaps, bleaches, detergents drain cleaners, fabric softener, cigarette butts, diapers, wipes, feminine products, condoms, q-tips, paints, paint thinners, auto grease, antifreeze, unused medicine, automatic toilet cleaners, hair combings, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, gauze bandages, paper towels, etc.

DO pump and clean your tank on a regular basis by a registered and licensed septic tank service company and dispose in a manner approved by TCEQ.

DO maintain the area where the septic tank and drainfield are located. For a period of time after installation, the soils will settle. Filling and leveling of the area should be maintained so that rain and surface water will not enter the drainfield and cause flooding. Use good soils for leveling. Grass cover is required over the area of the drainfield and around spray areas for aerobic systems. Keep the vegetation short over the drainfield and around the spray heads. If you have an automatic yard sprinkler, set it for shorter periods of time so that you don’t flood the drainfield or spray area by over watering.

DO check your chlorine once a week to once a month.

DON’T build any structure over any portion of the system. The structure will prevent access to the system for maintenance, reduce the ability of water to evaporate from the soil and restrict air movement into the soil.

DON’T plant landscaping around the system. Keep vegetation mowed or trimmed around all system components.

DON’T drive heavy equipment over the components of the system. Heavy equipment can crush the components and lead to expensive repairs.

DON’T use additives. Some additives may even harm the system’s operation by liquefying the sludge in the tank and carrying it out into the drainfield, causing system failure. Natural bacteria are present in the wastewater to decompose the waste.