Septic Care

Importance of Septic Maintenance

Failing septic systems may release raw sewage into the environment, which can affect water quality in surrounding water bodies and impact drinking water supplies in nearby wells. Improper maintenance may result in expensive repairs. Surfacing sewage may expose your family and pets to disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Guidelines

  • Annually inspect your septic system to ensure that it is working properly and to determine when the tank should be pumped. If your septic system utilizes a dual disposal field, it is recommended that you switch leach lines when the clocks change.
  • Avoid disposal of coffee grounds, diapers, kitty litter, sanitary napkins, grease, paper towels and other household items in your septic system.
A child fishes in a pond
  • Fix leaky faucets and running toilets, and use washing machines and dishwashers only when full. This will prevent saturation of the soil in the drain field, which can affect the quality of the soil and its ability to naturally remove toxins, bacteria, viruses and other pollutants from the wastewater.
  • The frequency of pumping your tank depends on the tank size, the number of people living in your home, and the habits of your particular household. The general recommendation is from 3 to 5 years.
  • Maintain and repair your septic system if it is defective, leaking or experiencing problems. Contact the Mariposa County Health Department at 209-966-2220 or 888-777-0377 prior to beginning repair or replacement work.
  • Never dispose of paints, varnishes, thinners, waste oils, pesticides or other hazardous chemicals in your septic system.