Septic systems depend on a balance of living organisms that digest and treat waste. If your home has a septic system, be sure to keep it maintained and working properly. Poorly functioning septic tanks can cost thousands of dollars to repair and allow water that contains harmful bacteria and high levels of nutrients to leak into the ground and that eventually pollute our rivers, lakes and streams.
Household Tips for Septic System Owners
• Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet!
• Never flush diapers, feminine hygiene products, condoms, cigarette butts or cat litter down your toilet—these items will not break down in the septic tank and may end up clogging the system.
• Don’t pour household chemicals, yeast, sugars, oil-based paints and solvents down the drain. All of these items can harm helpful bacteria in your septic system.
• Minimize the use of a garbage disposal by disposing of food wastes in the trash, and avoid pouring fats and grease down the drain. Doing so will extend the life of your septic system.
• Reduce the amount of wastewater going to your septic system by taking shorter showers, running full loads of laundry and repairing leaks. You will conserve water while at the same time preventing the flooding of your drainfield.
Septic System Maintenance
• Septic systems should be inspected at least every three years by a licensed contractor.
• When sludge in the tank reaches a certain point, the tank will need to be pumped out as recommended by your inspector.
• Never plant trees or other vegetation other than turf grass over your drainfield.
• Avoid overwatering the grass over the drainfield—doing so will saturate the ground and reduce the ability for the wastewater to be able to percolate into the soil.
• Similarly, direct downspouts or other drainage away from the drainfield area to avoid creating overly damp soil conditions.
Not sure you have a septic system? Contact the Fulton County Health Department to check if you have a septic system and/or to help identify its location on your property.
For information regarding connecting your residence to the sanitary sewer system in Sandy Springs, please contact Abdul Akbar of the Water Services Division at Fulton County at 404-612-7518 or email him at Abdul.Akbar@fultoncountyga.gov.
*This information was found on the Clean Water Campaign’s website. For more information, please visit http://www.cleanwatercampaign.com/Residents/septic-systems.