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Causes of Increased Maintenance

Attention Homeowners:

Your Septic System Has Limitations!

septic tank pumpingLiving in Clackamas county typically means you have a Septic Tank and you should be aware of what to expect when living with a septic system and causes of increased Septic Tank Emptying and Rooter Services.

The Drain Doctor’s Rooter and Septic Service® is frequently asked for tips on handling septic systems. How you treat your system is important to a happy household and a healthy system.

Your septic system was designed and installed to serve an average size family. Overloading the septic tank or disturbance of the drain field may seriously impair the satisfactory operation and cause increased regularity of septic tank emptying.

Our top 11 points to remember:

  1. Before you landscape or build anything, know where your septic tank and drain fields are. It could become a costly project if you don’t.
  2. Have your tank checked periodically (every 3-5 years) to see if septic tank emptying is necessary.
  3. Do not channel groundwater, surface water, footing drains or downspouts into the tank or the drain field area.
  4. Do not excavate, fill, place a structure, driveway, or patio in, on, or over the drain field or septic tank.
  5. Limit toilet fixture disposal to sanitary wastes and toilet tissue only.
  6. Detergents and bleach used in normal household quantities will not harm the action of the septic tank and disposal field, but be conservative. Too much bleach or detergent can kill the needed bacteria in the system.
  7. Garbage disposals are not recommended for septic tanks. If  you have one and use it, you must service the system more often.
  8. Space water usages as much as possible (never do several loads of laundry on the same day). This can overload the absorption system and damage it.
  9. Never wash down sidewalls of the tank after septic tank emptying. (Natural bacterial are what make your system work.
  10. One or two inches of sludge can be left in the tank for bacteria.
  11. Check outlet baffle periodically and replace immediately if damaged or missing. This baffle prevents solids from entering (and eventually destroying) your drain field. Your service company can take care of this for you.

Bonus Tips

  1. Grass is the only plant life you can safely put in the drain field area.
  2. Do not allow vehicles, heavy equipment, or large animals (horses, pigs, cows) on the drain field area. Soil compaction reduces the efficiency of the soil absorption system. Broken pipes can be expensive to repair
  3. More frequent septic tank emptying may be necessary for larger families and homes using:
  • Garbage disposals
  • Mound systems
  • Sand filter systems

The above information is provided to homeowners by The Drain Doctor’s Rooter and Septic Service®, and is based on a family of four (three bedroom home).

For more information see the Clackamas County Septic and Onsite Wastewater Program page and read the Drain Doctor blog