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Counties: Boone, Northern Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Northern Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Winnebago 

Areas We Cover in Northern Illinois

Cities Include: Addison, Antioch, Barrington, Batavia, Belvidere, Bloomingdale, Caledonia, Capron, Crystal Lake, Deer Park, Dundee, Elburn, Elgin, Garden Prairie, Genoa, Glen Ellyn, Hampshire, Hawthorn Woods, Huntley, Inverness, Kildeer, Kingston, Lake Holiday, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Lombard, Long Grove, Machesney Park, McHenry, Medinah, Naperville, Oswego, Palatine, Plainfield, Rockford, Roscoe, Roselle, St. Charles, Sandwich, Schaumburg, Sleepy Hollow, Somonauk, Spring Grove, Sycamore, Wadsworth, Wauconda, Wayne, West Chicago, Yorkville

Northern Illinois Septic Service

46W350 Lenschow Road, Hampshire, IL 60140
(815) 981-8954 .

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Keep Your Septic System Working Properly

Do’s & Don’ts of your Aerobic Septic System

Many operational problems with onsite septic systems exist because owners are unaware of the results their daily practices have on these systems. It is the owner’s responsibility to operate the wastewater treatment system to the best of their ability; to keep maintenance to a minimum and insure high effluent quality. Please use the lists below as reference.​


  • Conserve water; your system treats 20-60 gallons of water per hour. A 500 gallon per day system treats 20 gallons per hour. A 1,500 gallon per day system treats 60 gallons per hour.

  • Divert roof drains and keep sump pumps away from the septic system.

  • Try and do laundry over a week’s time and not all in one day; recommended detergents are liquid, low-sudsing, low phosphates, and biodegradable. Do not use powdered laundry detergents, pods or additives of any kind.  

  • Minimize the amount of solid wastes; your system is designed to treat human waste and toilet paper. The more solids that go in (i.e. garbage disposal) the more often they have to come out, by having your system pumped.

  • Have a maintenance contract. This will insure that all mechanical parts receive proper maintenance.

  • Have your septic system pumped regularly.

  • Keep records of pumping, repairs, inspections, and maintenance.

  • Find your septic tanks and field. Keep a drawing of it with records.

Don’t / Items to Avoid…
  • Do not discharge backwash from any type of water softener and/or iron filtration systems.

  • Inert materials; plastics, dental floss, cigarette filters, bandages, hair, or lint should not be flushed.

  • Paper products; disposable diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins, cotton swabs, cotton balls, facial tissue, baby wipes, or quilted toilet tissue should not be flushed.


  • Do not install garbage disposals. They can cause premature septic system failures and require annual pumping of your septic tank.

  • Food wastes; animal fats and bones, grease, coffee grounds, citrus fruit rinds, corn cobs, or eggshells should not be put into the garbage disposal.

  • Cleaning products / commercial additives; some disinfecting cleaners may kill the organisms needed to keep the good bacteria level proper in your tanks for treatment to occur correctly. Do not use any laundry pod products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others have found no evidence that additives support a normally functioning onsite treatment system.

  • Chemicals / toxins; the following materials will kill the organisms needed to keep the good bacteria level proper in your tanks for treatment to occur correctly; paint, paint thinner, solvents, drain cleaners, automotive fluids, fuels, pods, and pesticides. 

  • Do not use Charmin or Northern, look for NSF approved toilet paper.

  • Do not plant bushes or trees on or near septic field - their roots can damage or clog your septic field.  Do not drive on or near your septic system - you can damage the field, pipes, or tanks.

  • Do not build over the septic field. This includes decks, driveways and above ground swimming pools.

Do’s & Don’ts of Your Conventional Septic System

Learn these simple steps to protect your home, health, environment, and property value.


  • Protect it and inspect it! Have your system inspected (in general) every three years by a licensed contractor and have the tank pumped, when necessary, generally every one to five years.

  • Eliminate or limit the use of a garbage disposal. 

  • Properly dispose of coffee grounds and food.

  • Put grease in a container to harden before discarding in the trash.

  • Dispose of non-biodegradable products or chemicals, such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, cat litter, paper towels, and pharmaceuticals properly. Do not flush these items!

  • Consults a septic service professional to advise you of the proper distance for planting trees and shrubs, depending on your septic tank location. 

  • Stagger the use of water-generating appliances. This can be helpful especially if your system has not been pumped in a long time. 

  • Become more water efficient by fixing plumbing leaks and consider installing bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators and water-efficient products.

Don’t / Items to Avoid…
  • Pour cooking greases or oil down the sink or toilet. 

  • Rinse coffee grounds into the sink.

  • Pour household chemicals down the sink or flush them.

  • Flush non-degradable products or chemicals, such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, cat litter, paper towels, or pharmaceuticals.

  • Park or drive on your drainfield. The weight can damage the drain lines. Plant trees or shrubs too close to your drainfield, roots can grow into your system and clog it.

  • Concentrate your water use by using your dishwasher, shower, washing machine, and toilet at the same time. All that extra water can really strain your septic system.