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Lashbrook's Excavating & Septic Service LLC
Home/Septic Systems & Pumps/Advantex Systems & Maintenance /Excavating /Portable Toilets

4895 Curdy Road
Howell, MI  48855
(517) 546-2268


There are a number of dos and don'ts that will help ensure a long life and minimal maintenance for onsite systems. As a general rule, nothing should be disposed into any wastewater system that hasn't first been ingested, other than toilet tissue, mild detergents and wash water. Here are some additional guidelines:


Inside the House


Don't flush dangerous and damaging substances into the septic tank. (Please refer to "Substitutes for Household Hazardous Waste," below) Specifically, do not flush . . .

• Flammable or toxic products

• Household cleaners, especially floor wax and rug cleaners

• Chlorine, chlorides, and pool or spa products


Don't flush substances that cause maintenance problems and/or increase the need for septage pumping. Dispose of the following with your trash:

• Kitty litter, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, cigarette butts

• Paper towels, newspapers, sanitary napkins, diapers

• Cooking grease, bath or body oils

• Rags, large amounts of hair

• Water softener backwash


Don't use garbage disposals excessively. They increase the amount of solids entering your tank. Compost scraps or dispose with your trash. Collect grease in a container and dispose with your trash. (These food byproducts or cooking products accelerate the need for septage pumping and increase maintenance.)


Don't use special additives that are touted to enhance the performance of your tank or system. Additives can cause major damage to your drain field and other areas in the collection system. The natural microorganisms that grow in your system generate their own enzymes that are sufficient for breaking down and digesting nutrients in the wastewater.


Don't use excessive amounts of water (50 gallons per person per day is typical).


Don't leave interior faucets on to protect water lines during cold spells. A running faucet can easily increase your wastewater flow by 1,000 to 3,000 gallons per day and hydraulically overload your drain field. Instead, properly insulate or heat your faucets and plumbing.


Do repair leaky plumbing fixtures. (A leaky toilet can waste up to 2,000 gallons of water in a single day - that's 10-20 times more water than a household's typical daily usage)


Do conserve water:

• Take shorter showers or baths with a partially filled tub.

• Don't let water run unnecessarily while washing hands, food, teeth, dishes, etc.

• Wash dishes and clothes when you have a full load.

• When possible avoid doing several loads in one day.

• Use water saving devices on faucets and showerheads.

• When replacing old toilets, buy a low-flush model.


Do keep lint out of your septic system by cleaning the lint filters on your washing machine and dryer before every load.


Do use substitutes for household hazardous waste. Replace the following hazardous products with one that is less environmentally harmful. The hazardous cleaners are italicized, followed by the suggested substitute.

  • Ammonia-based cleaners: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge. For windows, use a solution of 2 Tbs. white vinegar to 1 qt. water. Place the mixture into the spray bottle.
  • Disinfectants: Use borax: 1/2 cup in a gallon of water; deodorizes also.
  • Drain decloggers: Use a plunger or metal snake, or remove and clean trap.
  • Scouring cleaners & powers: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge or add 4 Tbs. baking soda to 1 qt. warm water or use Bon Ami. It's cheaper and won't scratch.
  • Carpet/upholstery cleaners: Sprinkle dry cornstarch or baking soda on, then vacuum. For tougher stains, blot with white vinegar in soapy water.
  • Toilet cleaners: Sprinkle on baking soda or Bon Ami, and then scrub with a toilet brush.
  • Furniture/floor polishes: To clean, use oil soap and warm water. Dry with soft cloth. Polish with 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts oil (any kind), or use natural products with lemon oil or beeswax in mineral oil.
  • Metal cleaners: Brass and copper: scrub with a used half of lemon dipped in salt. Stainless steel: use scouring pad and soapy water. Silver: rub gently with toothpaste and soft wet cloth.
  • Oven cleaners: Quickly sprinkle salt on drips, then scrub. Use baking soda and scouring pads on older spills.
  • Laundry Detergents: Choose one with a zero phosphate content or use soap flakes with 1/3 cup of washing soda. (Before switching, wash clothes in pure washing soda to remove residues.)


Outside the House


Do familiarize yourself with the location of your septic system and electrical control panel.


Do keep the tank access lid secure to the riser at all times.


Do make arrangements with a reliable service person to provide regular monitoring and maintenance. Keep our name and number handy

Lashbrook’s Excavating & Septic Service LLC


Do keep accurate records of maintenance and service calls. Make sure whoever services your tank keeps a complete record, and ask for a copy for your records.

Do locate your electrical control panel where it will be protected from potential vandalism.


Do keep an "as built" system diagram in a safe place for reference.


Don't dig without knowing the location of your septic system. As much as possible, plan landscaping and permanent outdoor structures before installation. But easily removable items, such as birdbaths and picnic tables, are OK to place on top of your system.


Don't drive over your tank or any buried components in your system, unless it's been equipped with a special traffic lid. If the system is subject to possible traffic, put up a barricade or a row of shrubs.


Don't dump RV waste into your septic tank. It will increase the frequency of required septage pumping. 

Don't enter your tank. Any work to the tank should be done from the outside. Gases that can be generated in the tank and/or oxygen depletion can be fatal.


Don't ever connect rain gutters or storm drains to the sewer or allow surface water to drain into it. The additional water will increase costs, reduce the capacity of the collection and treatment systems, and flood the drain field.


Don't hook up to a pressure mainline without the proper tools and supervision, if your septic system is connected to a pressure sewer. The sewer mainlines may be under high pressure.

Do's and Don'ts

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