Sewage Treatment Systems are designed to provide long-term, effective treatment of household waste when operated and maintained properly. Most systems that fail prematurely are due to improper maintenance. Like an automobile, your Sewage Treatment System needs to have routine maintenance.
Pump Tank Regularly
The most important step to maintaining your septic tank is to remove sludge and scum build-up before it washes into the drainfield. How often your tank needs pumping depends on the size of the tank, the number of people in your household, the volume of water used, and amount of solids (from humans, garbage disposals, and any other wastes) entering the system. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency suggests that septic tanks be evaluated and pumped out by a licensed professional at least every 3 years. The University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program has the following resources available:
Clean Effluent Filter (if applicable)
If your sewage treatment system has an effluent filter, the filter should be checked and cleaned every six (6) months. DO NOT ENTER the septic tank for any reason! Noxious gasses exist in septic tanks and can result in serious injury or death. You do not need to enter the tank in order to clean the filter. The University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program has a valuable fact sheet on operation and maintenance of your effluent screen.