A large number of homes have a septic tank on their property but, while they are very common, not many people know much about a septic tank other than it’s where waste goes.

So first we are going to start with a short definition of what a septic tank really is according to the EPA: “Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures, commonly used in rural areas without centralised sewer systems. They use a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry.”

Now you know what a septic tank is, what are the dos and don’ts that will help the waste management system run at its optimum levels?

Have a look at our septic tank tips:

Septic Tank Do’s


Do spread out water use

Working a 9-5 can make it difficult to get washing done in the week, however it isn’t ideal for your septic tank if you get your whole week’s washing done on one day over the weekend.

Too much laundry in one day can put a lot of pressure on your septic tank and the waste may not be properly treated due to the high volume, or it could end up damaging your tank.

Do have your septic tank serviced regularly

Your septic tank should be taken care of around once every year, and it needs to be emptied when the sludge reaches passed one third of the tank’s capacity. If the tank isn’t pumped regularly the solid waste will begin to clog up the system and cause hugely expensive issues.

It’s also important to keep a record of all maintenance and inspections done on your tank to ensure that you have the documentation handy if something goes wrong, or if the company needs to check what has been done previously.

Do call in the professionals

If you have a problem with your septic tank, then you must immediately get hold of professionals to come check it out. Trying to fix an issue on your own is not only dangerous but, without the necessary skills and experience, you are likely to just exacerbate the problem.

Septic Tank Don’ts


Don’t plant big trees close by

Big trees and other plants with deep or extensive root systems shouldn’t be planted anywhere near your septic tank, and if you already have some growing there, you should work to get them removed. Roots cause all kinds of structural damage to pipes and main lines.

Don’t drive over the tank or cover it with hard surfaces

Driving over the tank should be avoided at all costs. The weight and vibrations of the vehicle could cause extensive damage to the tank and its various systems. Hard surfaces will also have an adverse effect on the filtration of the system, as the soil will become compact and inefficient.

Don’t enter the septic tank

Under no circumstances should you enter the septic tank. The gases produced from the process are incredibly toxic and exposure could result in death. If you detect a problem, you should call professionals in to come and sort it out rather than trying to do it on your own.