Environmental Division

Septic System Maintenance and Management


On-Site Sewage Facilities Maintenance and Management Practices

  1. An OSSF should not be treated as if it were a normal city sewer system.
  2. The excessive use of in-sink garbage grinders and grease discarding should be avoided. In-sink garbage grinders can cause a rapid buildup of sludge or scum resulting in a requirement for more frequent cleaning and possible system failure.
  3. Do not use the toilet to dispose of cleaning tissues, cigarette butts, or other trash. This disposal practice will waste water and also impose an undesired solids load on the treatment system.
  4. Septic tanks shall be cleaned before sludge accumulates to a point where it approaches the bottom of the outlet device. If sludge or scum accumulates to this point, solid will leave tank with the liquid and possibly cause clogging of the perforations in the dainfield line resulting in sewage surfacing or backing up into the house through the plumbing fixtures.
  5. Since it is not practical for the average homeowner to inspect his tank and determine the need for cleaning, a regular schedule of cleaning the tank at two-to-three year intervals should be established. Commercial cleaners are equipped to readily perform the cleaning operation. Owners of septic tank systems shall engage only persons registered with the TCEQ to transport the septic tank cleanings.
  6. Do not build driveways, storage buildings. or other structures over the treatment works or its disposal field.
  7. Chemical additives or the so-called enzymes are not necessary for the operation of septic tank. Some of these additives may even be harmful to the tank's operation.
  8. Soaps, detergents, bleaches, drain cleaners, and other household cleaning materials will very seldom affect the operation of the system. However, moderation should be exercised in the use of such materials.
  9. It is not advisable to allow water softener back flush to enter into any portion of the OSSF.
  10. The liquid from the OSSF is still heavily laden with bacteria. The surfacing of this liquid constitutes a hazard to the health of those that might come into contact with it.