New to Septic Systems?

Living in a residence with a septic system is totally different than living in a house that is on city sewage. You will have to take precautions and commit to being attentive to the care of your septic system. Different types of septic systems may require different care.  It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the septic system type that you have.  Please visit our     "Septic Systems"    page to learn how a basic septic system works and our "Types Of Systems"  page to learn about your particular type of septic system and the recommend maintenance.

Your Septic System requires regular maintenance. If neglected it can lead to failure that can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars to repair.  In addition to performing the regular maintenance at the recommended intervals, the following list of Dos & Don'ts are items that you can do on your\ part to help keep your septic system running effectively and efficiently.

Foothill Sanitary Septic Foothill Portable Toilets Septic Service Septic inspections Septic Maintenance Septic Repair


  Use water efficiently to avoid overloading the system. Use High-Efficiency fixtures

√ Do laundry over several days or wait a few hours between loads.Avoid doing laundry with back to back loads which may overload the system. You may introduce so much water before the normal septic system cycles that it may flood the 2 tanks introducing solids into your drain field. The drain field also needs time to absorb the water before more  is introduced.

√ Use mild commercial bathroom cleaners and laundry detergents in moderation. Many people prefer to clean toilets, sinks, showers and tubs with mild detergent or baking soda.

√ Check with your local regulatory agency or septic contractor before allowing water softener backwash to enter your septic tank

√ Check with your local regulatory agency or septic contractor if you have a garbage disposal unit to make sure your septic system can handle the waste. Garbage disposal grind the food waste into fine particles that are then suspended and can bypass filters, eventually clogging your drain field soil causing premature failure.

√  Be sure to fix leaky faucets or toilets. We can supply you with test dye packs to test for leaky toilets. "CLICK HERE"   to request dye packs.

√  Divert Downspout and other surface water from your tank and drain field

√  Plant only grass over and near your septic system drain field. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs might clog and damage the drain field. If you do have trees near the drain field, treat your system with  copper sulfate crystals.  "CLICK HERE" to request more information on root treatment with copper sulfate

√  Have your septic tank inspected and pumped regularly by a licensed septic contractor

√  Call your septic contractor at the first sign of troubles. Visit our "Septic Troubleshooting"  page for common symptoms

√  Keep your septic tank covers accessible for inspectors and pumpings, install risers with lids if necessary

√  Learn the location of your system and keep records of maintenances, pumpings and repairs.

Septic Dos & Don'ts

Copperopolis    (209)  785-6160
Murphys            (209)  728-3558
Arnold                (209)  795-5177

Amador County (209)  223-4411

Sonora  (209)  588-8511

(209) 768-5087

Just A Toilet

Foothill Portable Toilets


X   Don't put unnecessary trash in the sink or toilets. Items such as: dental floss, feminine products, plastic, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, cat litter, towels, latex paint, pesticides or other hazardous chemicals

X  Don't put grease or oils down the drain

X  Don't use caustic drain openers for a clogged drain. Instead, use boiling water or drain snake

X Don't drive or park vehicles on any part of your septic system. Doing so can compact the soil and damage the drain field, break pipes or other components

X  Don't waste water or allow water leaks to go unrepaired

X Don't dig around the tank or drain field. Don't build anything over your drain field and don't cover the field with concrete or asphalt.

X  Don't plant trees or shrubs near drain field as roots may clog and damage the drain lines and drain field.

X  Garbage Disposals should not be used. The finely chopped waste clogs filters and passes to the absorption / leach field. *It is not the food that hurts the tank/system, it is the food being so finely chopped and being suspended within the 4 feet of liquid level. The suspended waste passes through the system before being broken down.  We would not put sand in our car's engine oil just because it has a filter, would we?

X  Don't allow backwash from water softeners to enter septic system. Check with your local regulatory agency or septic contractor first

X  Don't allow surface water to drain into the tank area or drain field. Install risers with lids if necessary and create drainage ditches around the drain field to divert the surface water elsewhere

X Don't ignore warning signs or symptoms. At the first sign of trouble, call your septic contractor. Hopefully it will not be too late.  Some symptoms/signs can indicate serious damage has already occurred.

X DO NOT EVER enter a septic tank. Toxic gases and oxygen deprived atmospheres in the tank can be fatal without any warning signs allowing you enough time to escape

X  Don't neglect your routine service which includes, inspection, repairs and pumping at the appropriate intervals.  Septic Systems are "Out of Sight" - "Out of Mind" but they are a vital system. If maintained properly they will provide many years of service. If Neglected, they can fail with the repairs being very costly

Copperopolis    (209)  785-6163
Valley Springs  (209)  786-6160
Arnold                (209)  795-5177


Calaveras, Tuolumne, Amador , San Joaquin & Stanislaus Counties

Foothill Sanitary Septic

Locations in Copperopolis, Valley Springs and Arnold, CA

Semper                                Fidelis

As a convenience for our customers, click on the icon  to the right to download a  "Septic System Home Owners Guide" published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Note: Adobe Reader Required