29110 Evergreen Dr. Waterford, WI 53185


24/7 Emergency Service

Essential Yearly Septic System Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners

Owning a home with a septic system comes with its unique set of responsibilities. Regular preventative maintenance is crucial to ensure the efficient operation of your septic system and to avoid costly repairs. This guide provides a yearly checklist for septic system maintenance that every homeowner should follow.

Understanding Your Septic System

Before diving into the maintenance checklist, it’s important to understand the basic components of a typical septic system:

Septic Tank: Where solids settle and begin to decompose.

Drain Field: Where liquid effluent disperses into the soil.

Both components are crucial and need regular inspection and maintenance to function properly.

Yearly Maintenance Checklist

1. Inspection and Pumping

  • Frequency: Inspect your system at least once a year and pump it as recommended by a professional (typically every 3-5 years, depending on usage).
  • What to Check: Ensure that the tank is not leaking and the sludge levels are within safe limits. Check for any signs of backup or slow drainage in your household, which can indicate that the tank needs pumping.

2. Efficient Water Use

  • Adjust Fixtures: Install high-efficiency toilets and showerheads to reduce the amount of wastewater that needs to be treated.
  • Check for Leaks: A leaking toilet or faucet can lead to hundreds of gallons of extra water entering your septic system, causing potential overloads.

3. Careful Waste Disposal

  • What Not to Flush: Never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper. Avoid flushing hygiene products, household chemicals, and cooking grease, which can clog your system and poison the groundwater.
  • Garbage Disposals: Limit the use of garbage disposals because they can increase the solids in your tank, potentially leading to blockages.

4. Maintain Your Drain Field

  • Keep it Clear: Never park or drive on your drain field. Soil compaction can reduce its ability to absorb and filter wastewater.
  • Landscape Wisely: Plant grass over your drain field to prevent erosion, but avoid planting trees nearby as the roots can grow into and damage the lines.

5. Avoid Hazardous Chemicals

  • Household Chemicals: Chemicals like paint, solvents, insecticides, and antifreeze can destroy the biological treatment taking place within your septic system. Dispose of these appropriately at approved disposal facilities.

Additional Tips

  • Educate Everyone: Make sure all household members understand what should and should not go down the drains.
  • Professional Assistance: Even with diligent maintenance, it’s wise to have a professional inspect your septic system periodically. They can handle more complex tasks like checking for leaks in the tank and ensuring that the mechanical components are in good working order.


Adhering to a regular maintenance schedule for your septic system can save you a significant amount of money in the long run and prevent unpleasant backup issues and potential health hazards. Use this yearly checklist as a guide to keep your system running smoothly and to extend its lifespan.

Taking care of your septic system is not just about maintaining a functional home—it’s about preserving the health of your family and the environment.