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Prolong Your Septic System’s Lifespan by Following These Recommendations

Posted by Roger Bryan on

Prolong Your Septic System’s Lifespan by Following These Recommendations

Within the home, there are many high-value items and systems, but none of them are quite as important as the septic system. 

For households that aren’t connected to a municipal sewer system, the septic system is responsible for the treatment and processing of the home’s wastewater in a much smaller and more compact manner than most are used to. Whether your home has an aerobic or an anaerobic system, the overall necessity is the same. 

The best way to ensure proper function and longevity for your septic system is to follow a few simple safety tips, some of which are listed below. 

Septic Tank Safety Starts Outside of the Septic System

Since it is a closed, contained system, the septic system will only have to process the items that are introduced into it by the people that live in the home. This means that being mindful of the things that are put into toilets and sinks can go a long way to keeping a septic system and its components healthy. 

Some people find it simple to just dump things like solids, grease, medication or even “biodegradable” products down the drain or via flushing, but this isn’t always the best option. There will be things that slip through the cracks and end up in the system, but the more vigilant you are about exactly what goes down the drain, the better. 

A septic system will be able to handle these small amounts of “bad” items more easily than they will larger quantities. 

Another thing to be careful of on the outside is the way that you treat the system when it comes to where this system is located. The majority of a septic system will be buried and unseen, but that doesn’t mean that you can (or should) just forget that it exists. Though sturdy, this type of system can also be impacted by doing things like building structures on top of or parking vehicles on top of the area where the tanks are located. 

Added weight can put stress on the system, which may lead to cracks or breaks. Parts impacted by this include the tank or pipes. While it’s common for people to walk on the area where these tanks are located beneath the ground, avoid prolonged periods of added weight.

Finally, even though the septic tank system is contained, you should never use an open flame near it, since methane gasses are produced by the breakdown of the contents - and these are highly flammable. Even when there aren’t any issues or leaks, an open flame around the area where the tank is vented can be very dangerous, so that means:

  • No bonfires 
  • No grills
  • No tiki torches 

Septic Tank Maintenance is Essential for Septic Tank Safety 

The way that the tank itself functions is important to consider, too. For proper septic tank aeration, regular inspections and service calls are necessary - but how will you know when it’s time? 

For many homeowners, this information can be learned by previous records. In some cases, there will be a visible log of service calls and appointments that has been kept, but in other cases, it will be up to you to determine the right schedule of septic tank services

When you purchase a home and have an inspection done, the septic service professional will be able to give you their expert opinion about the status of your tank, and they may be able to tell you things like: 

  • When it was last serviced based on the amount of contents
  • Whether or not parts like the jet aerator, fans, lids or septic tank risers are in good condition
  • Whether or not it needs a septic tank treatment or to be drained
  • The exact layout of the system - how large it is, where the different parts are located, where the access points are

All of this information is very valuable to homeowners. The more complete a picture of their septic system a person has, the more prepared they will be to properly maintain it. 

Even though most septic tanks will have a recommended maintenance schedule, this doesn’t always have to be followed to the letter. There are contributing factors that can delay (or speed up) the need for septic tank services. 

For example: 

  • smaller household will likely not fill up the tank as quickly as a larger one
  • A newer system will be more efficient than an older one, simply because the pieces and parts used to build it will be updated. 

Designed to last for many decades, this is a system that can be utilized to its full extent when carefully maintained and monitored. This includes a septic tank aerator, the motor, the pipes and even the walls of the holding tank itself. 

Septic Service Professionals Should be the Only Ones to Work on the Septic System 

Even though the way that a septic system functions is simple to understand, that doesn’t mean that just anyone is qualified to take care of it. 

Sure, you’ll be able to do things like add in a recommended septic treatment product as long as you follow the instructions given to you during your septic inspection or other home appointment by your septic service provider. However, you - or your neighbor, or your good friend - should never try to make larger repairs or do more extensive work on the tank. 


There is a larger chance of making a mistake when someone without knowledge of your exact system tries to work on it. This may seem like a good way to save money, but there are many things that can happen during a botched repair, like: 

  • A septic tank lid cracks
  • The draining goes wrong and the contents spill
  • The fumes get out/are vented incorrectly
  • Something happening to the septic tank itself (crack, poor seal, broken pipe)

Any of these accidents can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix larger systems and issues. 

To avoid this type of thing from happening, only trust septic service providers that are reputable, experienced and capable of giving your septic