Q: I’ve read the long list of items to avoid flushing into a septic tank, but are there any proactive steps I can take to help the condition and performance of my system?
A: Avoiding certain chemicals and materials is important for proper septic tank care, but there are a few extra steps you can take as well. Since septic tanks use bacteria to break down solid matter, many service professionals recommend flushing a quart of spoiled buttermilk down the toilet every few months as a natural method to add healthy bacteria to your tank. Store-bought additives such as Rid-X help maintain a healthy balance of septic bacteria throughout the year to prevent expensive backups. It’s also important to have the tank pumped periodically, based on usage and the number of people in your house. The average schedule is everyone to five years.