Home 1st Priority Home Inspections, LLC
Home Inspections in Cookeville, Sparta, Baxter, Crossville, Monterey, and Surrounding Areas

Septic System Dos and Don'ts

Septic System Dos and Don’ts

(adapted from National Small Flows Clearinghouse)


  • Do ask your inspector if your septic system can handle your garbage disposal.
  • Do conserve water. Putting too much water into the system can eventually led to system failure. 
  • Do repair leaky faucets or toilets, and install high-efficiency fixtures.
  • Do avoid long showers.
  • Do clean the toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs with a mild detergent or baking soda instead of commercial-grade cleaners and laundry detergents.
  • Do ask your inspector about allowing the water softener to backflush into the septic system.
  • Do keep records of repairs, pumpings, inspections, permits issued, and other system maintenance activities.
  • Do keep a sketch of your system including measurements from two points on the house.
  • Do have your septic system inspected and pumped as part of a regular home maintenance plan.
  • Do have only grass over your septic system. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs could cause problems for the absorption area.
  • Do make sure that a concrete riser is installed over the tank if the opening is not within 12 inches of the surface, providing easy access for measuring and pumping the tank.


  • Don’t use your septic system like a trash can. Don’t put dental floss, feminine hygiene products, condoms, diapers, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, cat litter, paper towels, latex paint, pesticides, or other hazardous chemicals into your system.
  • Don’t use commercial-grade drain cleaners to clear a clogged drain. Instead, use boiling water or a drain snake to open clogs.
  • Don’t allow surface water to flow over the tank or absorption area.
  • Don’t drive heavy equipment, trucks or vehicles over any part of your septic system. Doing so can compact the soil in your drainfield or damage the pipes, tank, or other septic system components.
  • Don’t dig in the absorption area.
Admin Login