How to Maintain Your Septic System

Most Kinnelon residents have a septic system.  It is very important to keep this system functioning properly.  The Kinnelon Health Department recommends the following good management practices to avoid problems and increase the life of your septic system. 

  • The recommended interval to pump out you septic tank is once every three years. If your system has a pump tank after the first tank, every other interval of pump out you should also pump out your pump tank.  As your system gets older or your volume increases by occupancy or teenage children the recommended interval should be reduced to once every two years. 
  • Do not use excessive amounts of water if you want your septic system to continue to operate properly. 
  • Try to do one load of wash each day instead of all of your wash loads on a single day. 
  • A series of long showers will cause a hydraulic overloading of the septic tank and disposal field.
  • If you have leaking faucets or toilets, have them fixed.
  • Do not pour cooking oils, fats or grease into the kitchen sink.  When these items cool, they will congeal in either the internal home plumbing or the septic tank, which will require premature maintenance of these items.
  • Do not flush insert or nonbiodegradable items down the sinks or toilets.  Items such as disposable diapers, cat litter material, cigarette filter, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, condoms or other similar material may cause clogging of the plumbing and will cause premature pumping of the septic tank. 
  • Do not pour paints, varnishes, paint thinner, oil or any other toxic or hazardous chemicals into your home drain.  These chemicals have a high potential for causing ground water contamination in very low concentrations.  
  • Don’t add a garbage grinder to an existing septic system. 
  • Finally, keep a permanent record of all inspections, pumping, alterations or repairs to your septic system.  The Health Department recommends that you pump out the solid tank of your septic system once every three years.