How to Clean a Septic Field

What You'll Need
Faucet aerators
Flow reducer show nozzles

Chances are that if you’re living in a rural area and lack a connection to a sewer, you have a septic system, which comes with the responsibility of keeping the entire system and septic field clean. This seemingly unpleasant task isn't really so difficult, especially if you follow the steps here to learn how to clean your septic field and properly maintain the whole system to avoid any equipment malfunctions.

Step 1: Open the Manhole

When you prepare to clean the septic tank you’ll need to remove the manhole cover so that you can ensure that there are no solid waste backups and that everything is getting pumped out properly. Once the tank is open, you should inspect the baffles to see if they are in need of replacing.

Step 2: Divert the Water

Empty the drainfield, as it won’t be able to absorb the liquid waste if it is constantly wet.

Step 3: Avoid System Overload

Take care not to overload the drain field or the tank itself with too much water or with waste material that is too heavy for the system to handle. When doing laundry, use less water for small loads and try to space loads out to just one load a day over a period of several days, instead of lots of loads in one day. In addition, wait until you have a full load of dishes in the dishwasher before you run it.

Step 4: Fix Leaks Promptly

Check all your toilets and faucets regularly for leaks and fix them as soon as you are aware of them.

Step 5: Use Aerators and Flow Reducer Nozzles

Use aerators on your faucets as well as flow reducer nozzles on all your showers. This will help to lower overall water consumption.

Step 6: Use a Displacer

Make use of a displacer to lessen the amount of water you need to flush the toilet.

Step 7:  Be Careful of What You Put into the Toilet

If you want to avoid clogging up your septic tank, don’t flush heavy or non-degradable items down the toilet. This includes things such as cat litter, tampons, paper towels, cigarette butts and disposable diapers.

Step 8: Be More Conscious of What Goes into the Garbage Disposal

If you’re putting items that are too large for the garbage disposal to grind up properly, you may possibly double the amount of solids that are added to the septic tank.

Step 9: Reduce the Amount of Heavy Duty Cleaners You’re Using

Using too many heavy cleaners can kill the bacteria in the tank that you need to help the system function properly. When this happens the solids will cease to break down the way that they should.

Step 10: Avoid Pouring Grease or Hazardous Chemicals Down the Drain

Septic drainfields can easily get clogged by grease, which causes major difficulties in the drainfield being able to absord liquids. As a consequence, you will have to get a new drainfield. Chemicals such as paint thinners, gasoline, car oils or varnish can cause irreparable damage to your system and they are also hazardous to groundwater.