Septic systems usually last 15 to 25 years depending on how they are used and maintained. You can make your septic-tank system last longer, if you care for it properly and do general maintenance on a regular basis. Septic systems are installed in areas where the city or town does not provide a sewage system. In these areas homeowners are required to install septic-tanks, septic drainage systems and they are responsible for the septic system maintenance. septic-tank maintenance is not really thought of until a problem occurs. septic-tank problems can end up cost thousands of dollars to repair. With a little vigilance and knowledge, you can avoid costly repairs. There are some big do's and don't's involved when it comes to septic systems.

Never park cars or trucks over a septic-tank or over the septic system drain fields. The weight of the vehicle can cause collapse.

Only use cleaners for toilets, sinks and showers that are specifically made for septic-tanks.

Run rain spouts away from the septic-tank and septic drainage areas to avoid flooding the drainage area.

Do not use a garbage disposal. The larger pieces and solids will not break down enough and will cause septic pipes to clog and it will block the septic-tank from draining into the drain field.

Do not pour grease or oil down the drains. Oil and grease will coagulate and cause blockages throughout septic pipes and septic-tanks. Blockages can cause many septic-tank problems such as over flow and back ups.

Never pour gas, motor oil, paint or any other chemicals down the drains because these chemicals will drain into your drain field and cause pollution. There is also the possibility of causing dangerous chemical fumes.

Avoid using commercial septic-tank treatments, use a natural alternative septic-tank treatment. Atore bought chemical treatments are a cause of sludge buildup which will clog lines and will block the liquid flow into the drain field.

Do not over use your septic system by using too much water all at once such as showering, washing dishes and doing laundry all at the same time. Space these out throughout the day rather than have that much waste water go into your septic lines and tank.

Call a professional septic-tank cleaning service to clean the tank approximately every two years or sooner if you have foul smelling water in the drain field or if the septic system backs up into the toilets, shower drains or sink drains.

Never flush solids such as coffee grounds, tea bags, tampons, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers or paper towels down toilets or drains. These items will cause a blockage and can cause an overflow or back up.

Vigilantly check the lid on your septic-tank and make sure it secure at all times. An unsecure tank lid can be hazard, especially to children.

Always practice limiting or conserving household water usage to make your septic system last longer. Fix leaky faucets, install water saving toilets and turn water off while brushing teeth.

The better you take care of your septic-tank system, the longer you will have it. Good care will save a lot of money in the end.