08/05/2016 10:39 am ET Updated Aug 06, 2017

Taking Care Of Your Septic System: Do's and Don't's You Should Live By

If you happen to live or have a property in a rural area, for sure you have an idea about how septic tanks and the septic systems work. One way you'll know if it's maintained properly is if you don't smell anything unpleasant coming from it. Now, there are a number of crucial do's and don'ts to live by to ensure that your septic tank will last for as long as possible and that your septic system works the way it should. Here they are.

DO use high-quality toilet tissue only.

When shopping for toiletries, pick a toilet tissue that's been proven to break up easily when wet. This way, it won't cause any trouble when it's already in your septic tank.

DO keep trees away from the septic system.

There are trees which have roots that grow and extend aggressively. They should be kept far from the septic system to avoid any damage. You can plant grass instead in the drainfield area to prevent and minimize the instances of soil erosion.

DO divert rainwater away from the drainfield.

When the drainfield is soggy, it would have challenges in absorbing liquid wastes. To prevent this, landscaping and foundation drains should be planned and executed accurately. Consult a professional regarding this matter.

DO perform regular maintenance.

Make sure your septic tank is maintained every one to three years by a professional. Now, the frequency of having your septic tank pumped will depend on its size, the amount of solids that go into it, and the volume of wastewater. It's best to consult a professional again to know how often you should have your septic tank maintenance done.

DON'T allow an excessive amount of water to be discharged into the septic system.

It will cause the system to back up and will also affect the biological balance within the septic tank.

DON'T dump grease down the drain.

Grease can build up in the septic tank and plug the sewer pipes. So be sure it doesn't find its way on the drain by having a separate container for it.

DON'T deposit materials which won't decompose into the house sewer.

This includes cooking fats, paper towels that don't dissolve fast, facial tissues, disposable napkins, and diapers. These will fill your septic tank and once they do, the system will be plugged.

DON'T use household chemicals excessively.

There's nothing wrong with using bleaches, drain cleaners, and household detergents as long as you don't utilize them in excessive amounts.

DON'T drive over the drainfield.

It's a must to build some kind of a structure over the drainfield so that no one can drive on the land over it as doing so will cause damage over time.

A septic system that is not adequately maintained can fail and cause a threat to you, your family, and your neighborhood. It can also cause you a lot of money for repairs. On top of that, groundwater and lakes will be contaminated. Avoid these at all costs by being careful and watchful of what you and your family allow to go in your septic system.