The U.S. Government Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Public Health Service says, "A septic tank system will serve a home satisfactorily only if it is properly designed, installed and adequately maintained. Even a good system which does not have proper care and attention may become a nuisance, and a burdensome expense."
Septic system maintenance means two simple things. First, sludge that accumulates in the bottom of the tank must be pumped out periodically. How frequently depends on the size of the tank, the use it gets, and the condition of the system. There is no additive that you can put in the tank that will deal with the sludge. IT MUST BE PUMPED OUT! If not pumped out, it will eventually overflow into the soil absorption area. This will clog the system, and it will need to be replaced, at enormous expense and inconvenience.
The second part of septic system maintenance involves the bacteria necessary for solids digestion. Bacteria must be present in the septic tank to digest the organic solids. Normal household waste provides enough bacteria to digest the solids UNLESS any harm is done to the bacteria. Bacteria are very sensitive to environmental changes. Many home-care products used in homes every day will destroy bacteria. Check the labels of products you normally use. Labels carrying any of the following warnings will kill bacteria:
People do not think of the effect of these products on the septic system when the products go down the drain. What kind of effect do you think anti-septic or anti-bacterial products have on your septic tank?
A national survey shows that if you have your septic tank pumped out regularly and use a product (such as ccls) to replenish the bacteria on a regular basis, you will save 68% over a ten-year period. At the end of the ten years your system will be in like-new condition and ready to give you years and years more service. If you neglect your system, at the end of the same ten-year period, you will have a dead, failed system. You will need to get a contractor to dig up your yard, remove the contaminated material and replace the system at a huge expense and inconvenience.
Septic System Maintenance involves both having your tank pumped periodically and managing the bacteria in your tank.