Be aware that your septic system is actually “alive”. The bacteria in your septic tank “eat” the raw sewage and turn it into clear water. The use of too many detergents, cleaners, and chemicals, and the overuse of water, will kill the bacteria, reducing the quality of the effluent and/or causing system failure. Quite often guests in your home may not realize that your septic system has limitations. Do not be afraid to tell your guests (particularly extended ones) “the rules”.
In the Laundry Room:
If you must do several loads in one day, spread them out as much as possible. Always use liquid detergents. Many powders use clay as a filler, which will settle in the bottom of the tank and also reduce the efficiency of the septic system filter (if present). Use less detergent per wash load. Most washing machines can clean clothes just as effectively using one-half to three-fourths the recommended amount. Limit the use of fabric softener. Use bleach as little as possible.
In the Bathroom:
Many items are made of non-organic materials that will NEVER decompose and should NEVER be flushed or put down into your system. These include cigarette filters, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, wet-strength napkins or towels, condoms, baby wipes, personal hygiene wipes, disinfecting and cleaning wipes, disposable toilet bowl scouring sponges, etc. Just because an item may be marketed as flushable does not mean it will quickly biodegrade. These items can accumulate in your tank, resulting in the added expense of pumping out the tank. NEVER use automatic toilet bowl cleaners. Limit the use of bubble baths.
In the Kitchen:
If you use a garbage disposal, do not put raw vegetable peelings or fruit rinds down the disposal. Use only liquid detergents. Never put coffee grounds, grease, or oil down the drain.
Around the House:
The discharge from your water softener should not be allowed to drain into your septic system. Do not use excessive amounts of household cleaners that will be disposed of down your drains.