Is Your Septic System Costing You Money? 9 Rules I Wish Someone Had Told Me

We live on acreage and have a septic system.   A year after it was installed, it clogged, backed up, and made a mess.  The guys who came to fix it asked me some simple questions that I wish they would have told me when it was installed.

Here are some tips to keep your system working efficiently.

1.  Never use powdered detergent.  It can cake and clog.  Use liquid or make you own.

2.  Never do more that two loads of laundry a day and not at the same time.  With a household of six, I was doing lots of laundry and all at one time.  Too much water at one time disrupts your system and flushes out good bacteria.

3.  Get rid of the garbage disposal.  We used ours all the time.  However, that is just extra waste entering your system. 

As a rule of thumb, don’t put anything down the drain that you can throw in the trash.  Better yet, compost!

 4.  Nothing should be put in the toilet except waste and toilet paper.  No floss, cigarettes, tampons, chemicals, etc.

 5.  Never use drain cleaners.  They are extremely harsh, toxic, and can kill the good bacteria in your system that is needed to break down the solids.  Use baking soda and vinegar instead.

6.  Use cleaners, bleach, and disinfectants in moderation.  They also mess with the good bacteria in your system. I use this homemade cleaner.

7.  Paint, thinners, varnish and other chemicals should not go down the drain if at all possible.  Clean as much off the rollers and brushes as you can before rinsing.

8.  Anything that drains a large amount of water at one time can disrupt your system.  Hot tubs, water softeners, and multiple loads of laundry can cause problems.

9.  Have it pumped out very two to three years.

These all seem so simple, and yet I had no idea.  I had laundry day and washed all the laundry, used our garbage disposal, and had all kinds of cleaners before coming almost chemical free.  It makes sense now that I know better.

PinExt Is Your Septic System Costing You Money?  9 Rules I Wish Someone Had Told Me


  1. We keep our bacterial levels up by adding yeast from time to time as well as a store bought additive. We do not drain our laundry water into the septic system. Such a waste of water. We water the side area of our yard with it instead. I buy septic safe toilet paper. We were using wet wipes for our personal cleanliness and found to our horror that it does not dissolve. $1000.+ later a lesson well learned. Made it a point of understanding how a septic works. We do not need to pump every 3 years now, maybe every 7 or so as ours is kept “healthy”. We had leach lines cleaned twice since that awful lesson was learned……..

    • Thanks for sharing. Yes, I learned the hard way too.

  2. you can also add a head of cabbage to the tank to readmit the good bacteria

    • I’ve never heard that, thanks!

  3. have the tank pumped every two years.

  4. Cabbage is true….

  5. Never put toilet paper in my system. Not good for the septic tank Bury it.



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