Septic System Do's and Dont's

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Caring for Your Septic System: What are the Do’s and Don’ts


A well-maintained, reliable septic system in Shelton, Bremerton, and Port Orchard provides years of low-cost services to your household. Taking good care of it is often an investment. But, without proper inspections, tank pumping, repairs, and maintenance, the septic systems can fail. Even the State of Washington encourages homeowners to get their on-site septic systems inspected periodically. 


If you plan on installing a septic system or already have one at your property and are looking for maintenance tips, continue reading. This blog post explores a septic system’s various DOs and DONTs so your decisions are always informed!


How often should I pump out my septic system?

The Health Department recommends that the septic systems in Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Shelton need to be cleaned every three to five years to remove the sludge buildup at the bottom, wastewater settles in the middle, and grease floats on top of the tank. We’ve listed the average septic tank pumping the tankers require according to their sizes.


  • 1,000-gallon tank: every two to three years
  • 1,500-gallon tank: every four years
  • 2,000-gallon tank: every five years


Also, when is the ideal time for septic inspection and tank pumping in Shelton, Bremerton, and Port Orchard? Generally, in either of the two situations.              

  • There is less than 3″ between the bottom of the floating solids and the bottom of the outlet baffle.
  • There is less than 12″ between the top of the settled solids and the bottom of the outlet baffle.


In both the above cases, septic pumping is crucial to maintain the effective operation of your septic tank. Regular maintenance ensures the system functions properly and prevents any potential problems.


The Do’s of Septic System.

  1. Ensure you have all the necessary licenses and permits before installing your septic system. Before installing your septic system, ensure you’ve completed all the crucial obligations. You can contact the Local Health Department and EPA of Washington state for brochures and certifications. Once finalized, you need to submit all the relevant documentation and the complete layout of your septic system in Shelton, Bremerton, and Port Orchard to indicate compliance with the regulatory bodies. 


  1. Respond quickly to any signs of septic system problems. Some common symptoms that can indicate issues with your tank/system are visible wetness and puddles, moist soil, consistent sewage odor/smell, backed-up drains, and gurgling from the toilet when flushing.​


  1. Perform regular inspections, pumping, and cleaning by licensed professionals. Regular septic inspection, tank pumping, and cleaning in Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Shelton are required to help minimize malfunctions and remove all accumulated sludges on the bottom of the tank. Septic system maintenance varies by state and local laws, the size and type of the system and household conditions, but generally, it should be done within three to five years.


  1. Keep the septic tank and drain field area noticeable and accessible. If you have a car on your property and the area near and around the septic system is open enough to be driven on, you need to take specific precautions. Make sure the septic area in Bremerton is properly fenced off, covered, or labeled.


Some other quick DOs are:

  • DO conserve water to avoid overloading/ overexploiting the system.
  • DO cover the drain/leach field with a hard surface like concrete.
  • DO use alternates for household hazardous waste.
  • DO cover the drain field with shrubs or grass to avoid erosion and remove excess water.
  • DO keep your septic tank covers easily noticeable and accessible for inspections and pumping. Install risers if need be.
  • DO only call an expert professional whenever you face any problems with your system.
  • DO keep a record of septic inspections, tank pumping, and repairs in Shelton, Bremerton, and Port Orchard.
  • DO divert other sources of water away from the septic tank/system.


The Don’ts of Septic System.

  • Don’t allow trash, rubbish, chemicals, solvents, or solid materials into the septic tank. This pointer is a strict no-no for anyone with a septic system in Port Orchard, Shelton, Bremerton, and nearby areas. Everything from cigarette butts, paint, baby wipes, and petroleum to plastic pieces and any kind of alkaline or acid shouldn’t enter a septic system at any cost. It throws off both the aerobic and anaerobic processes through which the wastewater is treated. 

  • Don’t let any living being consume the treated effluent from the domestic wastewater. Don’t allow any humans or animals to drink the treated wastewater. Additionally, never let your livestock graze from the irrigation field, as it could lead to contamination and multiple illnesses and infections. Using treated water to rinse or irrigate edible produce is also very unsafe. 

  • Don’t drive vehicles near the access lids or the septic system area. Since your septic system in Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Shelton are buried inches deep within the ground, you must avoid straining it by driving your cars, tractors, bikes, or trucks near or around the system area. It can cause cracking, large-scale leaks, and some breakage, which is especially frustrating if you rely on your land for business. So it’s best to practice at a safe distance.

  •  Don’t turn off the power. This point especially stands true during the holiday/vacation season. Remember that septic tank systems in Port Orchard need continuous power to operate, and turning them off could cause the whole process to collapse. You can consider installing a backup generator to ensure your system is never without enough power. 


Some other quick DOs are,

  • DON’T enter the tank.
  • DON’T dump materials in the tank that won’t decompose easily, such as hair, diapers, feminine hygiene products, condoms, eggshells, coffee grounds, nutshells, paper towels, or rags.
  • DON’T wash, rinse, or flush medicines or harmful chemicals like paint thinner, motor oils, and bleach into the septic tank/system. They kill off the necessary bacteria required to decompose wastes in the septic system/tank and drain field.
  • DON’T plant anything over or near the drain field except shrubs or grass. 
  • DON’T dig into your drain/leach field or build anything over it, as the required bacteria need oxygen to break down the sewage.
  • DON’T allow anyone unauthorized to tamper with your septic tank/system in Shelton.


What happens if the septic tank fails?

Discovering that your septic tank has failed is a terrible experience. But, before addressing the main issue:


How do we detect if our septic tank/system has failed? Some common signs of a failing septic system in Port Orchard are

  • Slow draining in bathtubs, showers, and sinks.
  • Water and sewage from toilets, sinks, and drains are backing into the property.
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing/drainage system
  • Foul sewage odors/smell
  • The presence of nitrates or bacteria in your drinking water
  • Bright green, healthy grass near and around the drain field, even during the dry season.
  • Damp spots near the drain field or the septic system.


Now that you have a clear image of a failing septic system, let’s explore some of the dire consequences.


A failing septic tank/system in Bremerton, Port Orchard, Shelton, and other Washington states can cause:

  • Unnecessary expenses/costs of failure
  • Potential for serious diseases like dysentery and hepatitis from the leaking and improperly treated waste.
  • Reduction of value of your home/property
  • Mosquitoes, insects, and flies that spread some illnesses can breed in those areas where liquid waste reaches the surface. 
  • Degradation of your environment(especially water bodies like streams, lakes, and groundwater and the health of your plants)
  • Chemical or nutrient poisoning.
  • Thousands of water supply users are exposed to risks, infections, and illnesses.


Contact us for the Right septic solution

Whether you’re installing residential septic systems or commercial ones, we assure you we can handle it all from stem to stern. At Dano’s Septic, you receive a certified professional inspection that can help keep your septic system out of sight and mind and perform its best!


Our highly experienced, licensed, bonded, and insured professionals will inspect your septic system in Washington State and provide you with a complete report indicating the health of your septic tank/system and drain field, including suggested maintenance.


Final Thoughts

Failing septic tanks or weared-down systems may seem frustrating and bothersome initially, but with Dano’s Septic, we get it right the first time and every time! With over 30 years of experience and expertise in the industry, our family-owned brand is committed to providing solutions for all your septic needs 24/7. Providing service in all of Kitsap, Jefferson, Mason, Thurston & Pierce County, we’re focused on giving you customer-focused and friendly services.

If you have trouble with septic tank pumping, inspection, and repairs in Shelton, Port Orchard, and nearby Washington State areas, immediately contact Dano’s Septic for a complete solution.

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