To ensure that your septic system continues to function properly, keep an annual checklist. Each year, check to make sure that:
The septic system is being protected from damage (drain field no-no’s: vehicle traffic, parking, concrete, asphalt, buildings and other structures).
Both system and pump were inspected this year for damage and effectiveness.
The tank was last pumped in ________, it should be pumped again in ________. (Aim for every 2–3 years. If you have a garbage disposal unit in the kitchen sink, have the tank pumped at least once a year.)
Water is being kept away from the drain field. (The grade of your yard, roof gutters and basement drains must lead water away from the system.)
Woody, deep-rooted trees are well away from the system.
Water within the cabin is being used efficiently so the septic system tank and drain field are not overloaded: Faucets and toilets are not leaking or dripping, laundry is done in full loads and multiple loads are spread throughout the week, and efforts are made to reduce water use (e.g., faucets have aerators, appliances are low-flow when possible).