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Septic System Dos and Don’ts in New Jersey

Septic system technician at workIf you live in a home with a septic system, it’s important to pay attention to how well the system is functioning. There are several components and all of them need to be in good working order for the health and safety of the household and the local ecology. Keeping up with septic system maintenance can help avoid expensive problems. Atlantic Sitton Services offers septic services for both residential and commercial customers in New Jersey. Our list of dos and don’ts can help prevent problems and septic system failures.

Understanding Your Septic System

A septic system is a wastewater treatment system. Wastewater from the sinks, tubs, and toilets of your residence or place of business is collected, treated, and then dispersed. Basic septic systems include two components, the septic tank and a soil absorption system, which may be a leach or drainfield. The tank is buried in the ground and may be constructed of concrete or polyethylene. Pipes run underground to connect plumbing systems to the tank. Solids in the wastewater sink to the bottom of the tank, forming a layer of sludge. Fats, oils, and grease float to the top and form a layer of scum.

While in the septic tank, both solids and fats are broken down by anaerobic bacteria. Eventually, liquids flow through a distribution system that equalizes the saturation levels in the drainage field. Beneficial soil microorganisms further process the wastewater and kill pathogens. Depending on the location of the home and the condition of the area soils, further treatment steps may be incorporated into this basic system. Atlantic Sitton Services does inspections and offers preventive maintenance plans for all types of septic systems throughout New Jersey.

Dos for Septic System Maintenance

Here is a list of recommendations to care for septic systems at your home or business.

Regular Inspection and Pumping

Hire qualified professionals to regularly inspect the septic system, make needed septic repairs, and pump out the septic tank.

Proper Disposal of Waste

Use water-efficient appliances to limit water use and avoid flushing non-biodegradable items.

Maintain Drainfield Health

Divert surface water away from the drainfield and plant appropriate vegetation nearby. Keep heavy machinery and structures away from the site.

Be Mindful of Household Chemicals

Always use septic-safe cleaning products and be sure to properly dispose of hazardous materials.

Proper Maintenance of Plumbing Fixtures

Ensure leaks are repaired, and screens or filters placed on drains are replaced regularly, as well as other plumbing system maintenance tasks.

Don’ts for Septic System Maintenance

Care for septic systems at your home or business, by avoiding the following:

Don’t Use Excessive Amounts of water

Don’t take long showers, or run multiple water-using appliances simultaneously, such as dishwashers and washing machines.

Don’t Flush Harmful Substances

Don’t pour oil or grease down the drain, or any other substance that is not septic-safe. The septic system is not appropriate for the disposal of hazardous materials. Do not use corrosive drain openers for clogged drains. Do not flush household chemicals down the drains, including paint, paint thinner, medicines, and bleach.

Don’t Use the Wrong Chemical Additives

Consult with a qualified professional about chemical additives and ask about natural alternatives that promote septic system health.

Don’t Overload the System

Teach household members to space out laundry and dishwasher loads, so the septic system isn’t processing too much water in a short amount of time. This can strain the system and cause damage.

Signs of Septic System Problems

When the plumbing system is slow to drain or you can smell bad odors, it is time for an inspection of the septic system. Atlantic Sitton Services can inspect the plumbing and septic tank to determine whether there are any problems to be addressed. If areas of vegetation or grass on the drainfield are particularly lush, or if you see standing water on your property, maintenance is likely required.

Maintenance Tips for Different Seasons

As your household or business progresses through the seasons of the year, there are tasks to perform related to the septic system.


Arrange inspection, pumping, and cleaning of the septic tank. Make sure the drainfield is functional. Water usage may increase during the spring and summer, so make sure everything works well.


Water use may be at its peak, so conserve when possible. Exercise caution with landscaping projects near the drainfield and be mindful of water use related to gardening activities.


Rake leaves and vegetation trimmings away from the drainfield. Consult with a qualified professional about preparing the septic tank for colder temperatures.


Protect pipes from exposure to freezing temperatures and limit water use during the coldest temperatures.

Schedule Septic System Service With Atlantic Sitton Services

Residential and commercial customers with septic systems in New Jersey can depend on the knowledge and experience of Atlantic Sitton Services. We use modern equipment and certified technicians to help extend the usefulness and convenience of your septic system. If you need septic system installation, service, or repair, contact us today.

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