Living with a septic tank system in your home requires a little bit of work and some vigilance. But if you stick to a proper maintenance schedule and keep your eyes (and nose) out for signs of trouble - you should be able to keep your septic tank for many years to come.

How Do I Keep My Septic System Healthy?

We recommend that if your household is 4 people or less, then have your septic tank inspected every 4 years. If your household is 5 people or more then you should have your tank inspected every 2 years. This schedule will ensure that you avoid any major sewage backups.

Generally speaking, sewer lines should be cleaned out every 18 - 22 months.

When it comes to actually pumping out your septic tank, the schedule should be every 3 to 5 years. Again, it depends on how much it's used which of course depends on the number of people in the household.

What Is Good For Septic Tanks?

The best cleaning products to use for your home which are safe for septic tanks are home made. Using ingredients like White Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Baking Soda - you can clean your house from top to bottom.

However, there are commercial products that you can use - here's a short list...

  • CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover
  • Seventh Generation Dish Liquid
  • Bissell advanced professional spot and stain
  • Seventh Generation All Purpose Natural Cleaner

Some products will say that they are septic safe - so look for that but note that not many products take the effort to put that information on their labels.

What Are The Signs That Your Septic Tank Is Full?

There are 5 signs to look out for that indicate that your septic tank is full.

1) Sewage backup - It's very easy to identify when a sewage backup occurs. You will see (and smell) black water in your bathtub, sinks, toilets and/or showers. There's no denying what it is and it's a very clear (and usually the most common) sign that your septic tank is full.

2) Patches of very green grass in your yard - It's not true that the grass over your septic tank should be greener than the rest of the lawn.

3) Slow drains and slow flushing toilets - Another telltale sign of a filled septic tank is that your drains are emptying very slowly. Of course, this could also just be a clog somewhere in the sewer line.

4) Sewer odors - Your nose may tell you that your septic tank has reached it's limit. The odor isn't completely sewage because the septic system in your home doesn't just collect human waste, it also collects water from your shower, washing machine and dishwasher. But the odor is very strong .

5) Signs of standing water - If you notice any standing water on your property in the area of the septic tank - that's another telltale sign that something has gone awry and it's strongly recommended that you call in a plumber to get the septic system inspected and probably emptied.

What Toilet Paper Is Best For Septic Tanks?

The 3 characteristics you should look for in septic safe toilet paper is biodegradable, recycled and/or septic safe. Any one of these traits are indications that the toilet paper product is safe to use in septic systems.

The reason these 3 types of toilet paper are better for septic systems is because they tend to dissolve faster and with less water.

If you have any questions about septic tanks, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.