Information provided by Foothills Health District Ė

Serving Ashfield, Goshen, Whately and Williamsburg, Massachusetts


Do conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed.

Do only discharge biodegradable wastes into system.

Do keep your septic tank cover accessible for tank inspections and pumping. Many persons install a concrete riser (or manhole) over the tank, if it is buried six inches or deeper, to provide easy access for inspection and pumping.

Do be sure that water from the roof, gutters and foundation drains do not flow over, or into, the system.

Do call a septic professional when you have problems

Do compost your garbage or put it in the trash, rather than into the septic system.

Do keep deep rooted trees and bushes away from the leaching system.

Do have your septic tank pumped regularly and checked for leaks and cracks.

Do keep a record of past pumping and inspections

Donít flush cigarette butts, cotton swabs, cat box litter, sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, condoms and other non-biodegradable products into your system.

Donít poison your system by dumping solvents, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides or poisons down the drain which can kill bacteria that help purify sewage and can contaminate groundwater.

Donít dig into your drainfield or build anything over it

Donít plant anything over your drainfield except grass.

Donít drive over your drainfield or compact the soil in any way.

Donít empty large quantities of water from items such as hot tubs or whirlpools, particularly if they are chlorinated.

Donít put in a separate pipe to carry wash waters to a side ditch or the woods. Greywater contains germs that can spread disease.

Donít cover the septic tank or drainfield with asphalt or concrete.

Donít wait for signs of failure

Donít attempt to repair a failing system yourself. Hire an experienced septic system contractor. A repair permit will be needed from your local health department.

Garbage grinders/disposals Ė generally not allowed. Waste from garbage grinders will fill your septic tank more rapidly, requiring more frequent pumping, but will also float and increase the scum blanket thickness.


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