All homeowners that have septic systems are aware that although may avoid being charged a monthly sewer fee from your town, when a problem does arise with your septic system, there may be even greater costs incurred in the end. That's why practicing proactive septic system maintenance is vitally important to keep your system working properly for as long as possible.

The purpose of a septic system is to carry waste from your home into a holding tank. When you flush waste from your home, it's transfered via the sewer line to a nearby underground septic tank, where the solid waste is broken down by microorganisms. If you have liquid waste, once reaching the distribution boxes it will be dispersed into the drain field through the drainage pipes.

After the wastewater is partially treated, it leaves the tank and flows into a distribution box, which then separates this flow evenly into the drainfield trenches. The wastewater is temporarily stored in gravel trenches, where the water is then slowly drained from the holes in the drainage pipe's bottom half. The wastewater then undergoes secondary treatment in the subsurface soil, which purifies and treates the waste even further.

The septic tank portion of your septic system serves to separate the heavy solid waste from the wastewater, thereby treating it and allowing it to move onto the next stage. When you separate the wastewater from the rest, it's called primary treatment. A professional septic tank pumper later removes the now broken down solid and lighter waste, which bacteria has broken down and decomposed in the tank.

Do you know the frequency at which your septic tank should be pumped? The interval can vary depending on the number of people who use it, and how much the tank can hold. Two people with a tank capacity of a thousand gallons needs a six year interval on average for tank pumping. On the other hand, you'll need half that long if your tank is twice as big, but six people are using it.

Don't put potentially dangerous chemicals down the drain if you have a septic system, as paint thinners and other chemicals can kill the bacteria that breaks down the waste. Don't flush non-water soluble materials down the drain. You'll have to pump any dangerous chemicals out of the tank if they won't dissolve. Otherwise, a lot of issues could arise from the clogs it'll cause.

Fix your leaky faucets and toilets, as this will minimize the amount of water that gets into the septic system. Don't take overly long baths and showers, and only do laundry when you can fill the machine.

If you want to properly protect your septic system, there are products on the market that can add to the bacterial agents that break down waste. Some people deem these products redundant, and recommend against buying them as they do little good. However, it's impossible for them to hurt, and they're cheap enough to try. If you want a natural way to maintain your septic system's performance, flush several packets of yeast down the toilet on a monthly basis.