Septic System Maintenance

One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your septic system is to perform the necessary septic system maintenance. Being that your onsite sewage system is a significant investment, I am sure that you would want to protect it. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” was never truer than it is with an onsite sewage system. With the proper maintenance, your system will function better and last longer.

Septic system maintenance consists of having a qualified professional, pump out your septic tank or cesspool as needed, as well as perform an overall assessment of your tank structure. An ideal time for pumping is when the scum and sludge layers reach one-third the liquid capacity of the tank. This can be determined by having the layers measured by the educated professionals at D.F. Clark, we also check the liquid level in relationship to the inlet and outlet pipes and check the structural integrity of your baffles/tees and tank. Pumping too frequently is not good for either your pocketbook or for the system. The bacteria never gets a chance to do its job of breaking down the solids if you are pumping to soon.

We have attached a standard chart that indicates when the appropriate time frame is for a septic pump out. This is only a guide, your system may be able to go longer or may need servicing more frequently. Everyone’s lifestyle and diets are different and you should be set up on a schedule that works best for your family.

Table I lists estimated pumping frequency according to septic tank capacity and household size. The frequencies were calculated to provide a minimum of 24 hours of wastewater retention assuming 50 percent digestion of the retained solids.

TABLE 1 Estimated septic tank pumping frequencies in years (for year-round residences)

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When your system is being pumped, feel free to ask the technician any questions you may have. An educated homeowner is a customer who asks the questions instead of always wondering. We at D.F. Clark, Inc. offer to our clients a reminder call or letter informing them of there last servicing, making it one less thing for the homeowner to remember.

Click here to view our Do’s and Don’ts list to keep you informed as to what should be going down the drain and what should not.

D.F. Clark, Inc. does not recommend additives. Most additives available today are bacteria additives which claim to increase the bacteria level in your septic tank. A healthy family does not need bacteria additives.

If you still are unsure of the proper maintenance for your system, please feel free to email us or call our office (978) 356-5638, we would be glad to speak with you.