Septic System and Wells

Updated on August 10, 2012
S.B. asks from Kiowa, CO
10 answers

Bought a house that has both a well and septic, any suggestions or tips anyone has about these items that they have learned or wished someone had told them? Such as what cleaning supplies to use or not use, etc.

I have never lived in a house that had either of these systems, thank you for any info.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I have always used just normal cleaning supplies. I use Comet with Bleach to clean the toilet, tub, sinks, etc...and don not have any problems. We have a garbage disposal and have NEVER EVER had any issues with it. Lots of people say you're not supposed to have one with a septic tank but...oh well. We do and we have never had any issues with the tank what so ever.

I think that you might want to research those enzymes they say should be put in once a month to help keep it cleaned out but we have had the house for over 25 years and don't put anything special in the system.

As for a well, I don't know anything about them.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Sacramento on

I'm gonna assume that since you're on a well, your neighbors are also. I would go over and ask the neighbors who they use for well issues, pump as well as water quality wise. that way, if something goes wrong, you already have a name and number to call. figure out which breaker in your box shuts the well pump off and label it so in an emergency you just flip the right breaker. as for the septic, be sure the tank top opening is marked so you can find it easily. I have a big iron wheel on top of mine. there should also be a clean out valve somewhere, mine is fairly close to the house right off the porch and in a pretty much direct imaginary line to the tank. mark that also so in case you need to flush or snake your line you can go right to the spout and not have to dig around to find it. we dont use anything in our septic, though over the years we've used cabbage and enzymes and other things, but you dont really need to use anything. i'll add more if i think of anything!

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answers from Charlotte on

Use Rid-X. You really shouldn't flush tampons down the toilet, though I know it's hard not to. :(

You also are not supposed to use Bleach to wash your clothes. (I'm sure if it's once in a while, it's okay.)

I'd get a Brita Filter pitcher for your drinking water, if I were you. If you have younger kids, talk to their dentist about fluoride supplements. They won't get enough fluoride from drinking well water or bottled water.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My septic system is a complete nightmare but I'll assume that yours is good and will spare you my saga.

The only thing that I would add is that if a storm is coming, you're now one of those houses that needs to fill the tub with water and have extra water stored because in a power outage, no power = no pump = no water = you can't even flush! So you may want to get rain barrels to collect rainwater in case you need it in a power outage and you can save your bottled water for drinking.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We love having a well, but it dried up within two months of us living here (12 years ago). We had it drilled deeper, and also paid thousands of dollars to get city water. Now we have well water for outside watering, and city water inside. It saves us a ton of money, especially in the summer when we're watering the garden and changing out animal water all the time.

We've had to replace our pump for the well twice, but the last time we went for a more expensive pump that should last awhile.

As for the septic system, we have it pumped out every couple of years. They (the company that pumps it out) say it doesn't have to be done that often, but I'm paranoid about it. Also, we never flush tampons, and we only use 1-ply toilet paper. We haven't ever had any trouble with our septic system (knock on wood!).

Congratulations on your new home!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Never flush wet wipes or disposable wipes in the toilet! It clogs the septic system. With the well, get it tested yearly, as well as make sure to keep the water softener at the right level. When it runs out, make sure you have some handy to put in the water tank. Don't use harsh chemicals like bleach down the toilet or drain. Water/vinegar works. I keep a strainer on the sinks so whatever needs to be caught does not go down the sink.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I moved into a house with both septic and well a year ago. Have someone test the water quality yearly. We have a specialist come out and make sure the ph is balanced, there isn't a large amount of minerals in the water which can damage plumbing, etc. And, you don't want strange bacteria in your water...
Also, I use very, very little bleach. Really, you only need 1/4 a cup or so for laundered whites. I use more vinegar now than anything. I never use cleaners with bleach.
I have a garbage disposal, but I keep a strainer in the sink to catch the large stuff.
No tampons or anything like that down the toilet.
I only really use Barkeeper's Friend for cleaning the sinks, toilets, and tubs. It's great with hard water stains and is safe for septic systems.
As long as you don't use a lot of bleach or harmful chemicals, there is no reason to put those enzymes in the tank. It's really just a waste of money. The bacteria that break down waste are present in fecal material naturally.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I have been on a well and septic system since 84'

All you need to do is pour a box of riddex down the toilet every 3 months and flush plus get it pumped out once a year!

No big deal!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

For the septic, when was last time it was emptied? And how big is it? Have it emptied for piece of mind if no one can answer about the last time it was emptied. It's not real expensive. We used a monthly septic packet, found at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart etc. You just drop it in the toilet and flush.
Can't help you on the well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I don't have a well, but did move into a house with a septic system about 5 years ago. With the septic system you need to keep in mind that anything you put down the drain will be going into the septic tank. If it won't break down and eventually work it's way through the leech fields then it's gonna have to be pumped out every few years. After talking to the septic pump guy as he was pumping our tank about 3 years in, he said to avoid anything fatty down the drain (think oil, grease, etc. from cooking). Scrape what you can and put it in the garbage. I save old drink bottles to put used oil in to throw it away. Same for food in the garbage disposal. Try to avoid putting as much down it as you can. Then think about feminine products. They don't biodegrade in your septic system -- so they should be thrown away and not flushed. Also, we had been using the products you buy at the store that "help" your septic tank. The septic guy said it's a waste of money. They don't really help. And if you think about it -- the 5-6 ounces of product you put down the drain would have to be really concentrated to affect the 5-600 gallons of waste in the system. Just remember to get your tank pumped every 3-4 years (light use) or 2-3 years (heavy use) so you don't clog the leach fields.

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