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Maintaining a healthy septic system is important everywhere, but especially in the sensitive watersheds of Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Columbia counties. Regular septic tank pumping not only keeps your system running smoothly it also helps prevent untreated sewage from damaging our pristine waters.

In this article, we’ll lay out all the helpful tips and tricks you need to safeguard your septic system from harm. We’ll talk about the benefits of a regular maintenance schedule and how your family’s water usage can impact how often your septic tank needs to be serviced.

If you’re a homeowner in Oregon with a septic system, call Aloha Sanitary Service today. We specialize in septic tank pumping, and we have the tools and experience to keep your system operating in top-notch condition.

Why Septic System Maintenance Matters

A well-maintained septic tank is important for preventing sewage backups and overflows. Septic tank pumping safeguards your property’s value while also protecting the water table from contamination. If the tank is not pumped clean on a regular basis, solid waste will accumulate inside the tank and eventually find its way into the perforated lines of your drainfield. This creates an expensive feedback loop where deferred or neglected maintenance compromises the effectiveness of your septic system, leading to more frequent tank pumping in the future.

Here are some suggestions on how to take care of your septic tank. There’s no substitute for regular maintenance and inspections, but with these tips, you may be able to eliminate the need for costly repairs or replacement:

  • Regular Septic Tank Pumping: The most important part of maintaining a septic system is ensuring that your tank is pumped out regularly. This means calling in professionals like Aloha Sanitary Service for septic tank cleaning every 3 to 5 years. The timing varies based on the size of your household and the size of your tank, and your usage habits can affect it as well. With regularly scheduled septic tank cleanings, you can extend the lifespan of your drainfield and avoid expensive repairs or replacements later on.
  • Mind What You Flush: A simple rule of thumb for septic system care is to be careful about what goes down your drains. Avoid flushing anything that doesn’t break down easily, like wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, and paper towels. Similarly, kitchen drains should be kept free from coffee grounds, grease, and meat scraps. These materials can clog your system and disrupt the natural bacteria levels that are essential for breaking down waste.
  • Protect Your Drainfield: Your drainfield is where the treated water from your septic tank goes to be absorbed into the ground. It’s very important to identify this area and protect it from damage. Avoid parking or driving over your drainfield, because it can compact the soil and damage the pipes. Keep the area free from trees or shrubbery whose roots may intrude into drainage pipes. Also, plan your landscaping carefully to prevent water runoff from pooling in this area. Excessive water can saturate the lines of your drainfield and cause the septic tank to overfill.
  • Consider Water Usage and Efficiency: Another aspect of septic system care is managing your household’s water use. Excessive water going into your septic system can overload it, which causes backups and system failure. Installing water-efficient fixtures, repairing leaks promptly, and spreading out laundry days can all significantly reduce water usage and the stress on your septic system.

How Tank Inspections Can Extend the Life of Your Septic System

Septic tank pumping isn’t the only way that Aloha Sanitary Service can be of help. We can also inspect the tank for any signs of wear or damage before they cause a problem for you and your family. We can remove clogs before you may even become aware of them, and we can suggest personalized maintenance schedules based on the volume of your tank and the number of people in your household.

Oregon’s DEQ recommends that septic tanks be pumped and inspected regularly, but it doesn’t offer a specific timeline for this service. This is because the factors outlined above, such as household size and water usage, play an important role in a maintenance schedule. Instead, Oregon DEQ offers guidelines for setting your own septic pumping schedule on their website.

Homes in Oregon with up to four bedrooms must have a septic tank with a capacity of at least 1,000 gallons. For a household of four people in a four-bedroom house, it’s recommended to schedule septic tank pumping roughly every three years. However, if only two people are living in the same house, the tank might only need to be pumped every six years. It’s also important to note that septic tanks installed before 1970 may be smaller in capacity, which could require more frequent pumping to maintain the system’s health. Armed with this information, you can decide how often your tank needs to be pumped and inspected.

Expert Help from Aloha Sanitary Service

Aloha Sanitary Service assists homeowners in Oregon with professional septic tank pumping and maintenance services. Our expertise in preventative maintenance ensures that your septic system receives the care it needs to operate worry-free for as long as possible.

Taking care of your septic system is not just about avoiding clogs; it’s about maintaining the health and safety of your home as well as the environment around it. Call Aloha Sanitary Service today at (503) 648-6254 and talk with our staff about a septic pumping schedule that meets your needs. We’ve been helping Oregon residents experience the benefits of their septic systems since 1963.