Septic Tank care

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    • #278489
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        am totally confused…….in a new house for two months with my first septic tank… My husbands tells me
        not to wash everyday, not to use bleach, not to put toilet paper in toilet but waste paper basket..etc.,etc. I
        brought with me a monthly treatment for putting in the septic tank but my neighbors tell me they use nothing….
        Would someone please tell me how to use and care for my septic on a daily and normal basis without causing problems in
        the future. We have a 1000 gallon Canadian Septic tank and live in the mts.of north Georgia, with well water and
        there is just the two of us until the kids come to visit which is only twice or three times a year……..any
        knowledge would help me GREATLY. I do have a garbage disposal I brought and want to hook up but now I am not
        sure………thanks, jud

      • #298602
        Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

          Judi, the first thing that you should do is to go to the health department, or other agency that issues permits for on-site sewage treatment systems in your area, and obtain all of the information used in the design, and permitting of your septic system. Hopefully, this information will reveal the capacity of the system to treat the intended sewage flow. Obtain copies of the percolation test report, or soil analysis report, copies of the system design report, copies of the as-built plan if it exists, and a copy of the sewage system permit. Start preparing an operation manual which will contain all of this documentation, in addition to the defined maintenance procedures, and schedules. Include a maintenance log to record any maintenance performed on your system. The manual will become a very important sales tool when the time comes to sell this home.

          In regard to what is appropriate to flush into the system, go the the National Small Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC) web site, and do a study of the various documents they have available about this issue. One specific brochure that is available is titled, “So Now You Own a Septic Tank”. The NSFC website address is

          Ignore the advice of people whose only knowledge of the subject was gained through use (usually ABuse)of their own septic system. Applying yeast cakes, and whole dead chickens to the septic tank will not “git them bugs goin'”. There will be plenty of microbial activity occurring in the tank naturally. Provide food for them, and they will come. The food for septic tank microbes is the normal domestic sewage generated by you and your husband. If you follow the “Directions For Use” labels on all of the household cleaners, including bleach, that you use, the system will have the capacity to assimilate, and adequately treat these products.

          Good luck in your quest for trouble free flushing. JWA

        • #298603
          Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

            Judi, I usually recommend to my clients that they compost the vegetable material generated rather than use a garbage grinder in the kitchen sink. An exception to this advice is when the use of a compost pile will attract bears, and other potentially dangerous critters to the home. If this potential exists in the mountains of northern Georgia, install, and use your garbage grinder, and let the septic tank microbes consume garbage. Commercial septic tank additives, in my opinion, are without value. JWA

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