Geöffneter Abwasser-Kanal-Deckel mit eingelassenen Druck-und-Saugschläuchen eines Hochdruck-Kanalreinigungs-Fahrzeugs (HDSR).

Out of sight, out of mind.

Yes, this may hold true for many things, but your septic tank should not be one of them.

Septic tank maintenance should form an essential part of your overall home maintenance. However, when managed correctly it need not be a headache.

Follow these simple tips on septic tank maintenance for a trouble-free tank.

How to Maintain a Septic Tank

There are no complex moving parts in a septic tank. Wastewater from the house flows in, the solids sink to the bottom and the lighter waste rises to the top. The bacteria within the tank works to break down the solid matter, and as the water level rises it flows out to perforated pipes that release it into the ground.

Septic tanks are designed to be a low-maintenance solution to waterborne household waste. For the most part, they offer years of quietly efficient service. When things go wrong, though, it’s a messy and often costly affair that we want to avoid.

Regular Checkups

An annual check of the septic tank by a professional should be on your to-do list. They know what to look out for and can prevent expensive problems by intervening early. Take a look at some common issues at

There are clear indicators of problems, though, that we can keep an eye out for ourselves. For instance, if the ground above or immediately around the septic tank is wet or you notice extra growth of vegetation in this area, then you may have a problem looming.

Depending on use, the septic tank will likely need emptying every three years or so. The solid matter builds up over time, and when it reaches around 25 percent of the capacity of the tank, it’s time for a pump.

Careful Cleaning

A septic tank requires a specific environment to operate optimally. The bacteria present is absolutely necessary to break down the waste entering the tank, and, like your gut flora, needs to be maintained.

If you have a septic tank then you should be using bathroom and kitchen cleaning products that won’t destroy these bacteria. Pouring bleaches or other powerful anti-bacterial fluids down the drain will impact the efficacy of the septic tank.

Good Practice

It’s a good idea to train your family to think carefully before flushing something down the toilet or pouring it down the sink. Grease and oil, sanitary towels, cigarette butts, and abrasive chemicals will cause an imbalance in the tank or cause blockages.

Try to spread the load of water entering the tank at any given time. For example, it may be practical for you to have a designated laundry day, but that means a lot of water flowing into the tank in a short time. This can overload the tank’s capacity and dilute the bacteria within the system.

Never pour solvents or any chemicals down the drain. Rather, dispose of these in an environmentally responsible way.

Prevent Issues With Good Septic Tank Maintenance

The humble septic tank will silently work for many years to manage your household waste in an efficient way. All we need to do is be gentle and keep a regular eye on this hole in the ground.

We hope that these few septic tank maintenance tips result in many trouble-free years of eco-friendly waste-water management.

For more simple home tips, be sure to visit our Home Improvement page.