Understanding and Maintaining Your Septic System

Understanding and Maintaining Your Septic System

Understanding and Maintaining Your Septic System

Over 25% of Illinois households use on-site sewage treatment systems to treat wastewater. Septic systems are designed and installed by licensed professionals, but it is the homeowner's responsibility to operate and maintain the system properly. Septic systems often fail because they are not maintained after installation.


Proper operation and maintenance will prevent costly repairs in the future.

Control Your Water Use:


  • Repair leaky faucets, fixtures, and appliances immediately.
  • Install low water use fixtures.
  • Do not allow roof drains and sump pump water to enter the system.
  • Reduce length of showers.
  • Spread out large water uses such as laundry throughout the week.


Maintain The System:


  • Have your septic tank pumped by a licensed professional about every three years.
  • Divert surface water away from the system.
  • Do not drive cars or heavy equipment over the system.
  • Do not build driveways, above ground swimming pools, decks, etc over the septic system.
  • Do not plant trees close to the drain field as tree roots can damage the system.
  • Do not use your septic system like a trash can. Do not dispose of chemicals, coffee grounds, diapers, kitty litter, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, etc into the septic system.
  • Do not use more soap or detergent than you need.
  • Septic system additives are not recommended.
  • Keep a plot plan of your system and records of regular maintenance.


If you have any questions, please contact:

DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department

(217) 762-7911 or (217) 935-3427