Septic System Information

Getting to Know Your Septic System

Your septic system is a small sewage treatment system.  The term “septic” refers to the type of bacteria that makes your system work when maintained and treated correctly.  These bacteria are call anaerobic bacteria meaning they live in the absence of air.  The bacteria break down the waste in the tank to the lowest point.  This aids in settling the solids which accumulate in the bottom of your tank.  When the solids settle out the remaining liquid is allowed to leave the tank through the outlet baffle into the leach field.  As the tank fills with solids it will become less efficient, making it necessary to have the tank pumped out.

Septic Tank

Septic Tank

Quick Tips to Protect Your Septic System

  • Don’t flush cigarette butts, cotton swabs, cat box litter, sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, condoms and other non-biodegradable products into your system
  • Don’t do back-to-back laundry.  Distribute washer loads throughout the week
  • Don’t poison the system by dumping solvents, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides, medications and poisons down the drain .  These may kill the bacteria that help purify sewage and can contaminate groundwater.
  • Don’t dig into you leach field or build anything over the field.
  • Don’t empty large quantities of water from hot tubs or whirlpools into the system particularly if they are chlorinated.
  • Don’t attempt to repair a failing system by yourself; hire an experienced septic system contractor.  A repair permit may be needed from your local health department.

Videos

Please check out this helpful video from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services .    Home Septage Video