4 Common Holiday Mistakes with Septic Systems

With the holiday season finally upon us, you’re likely gearing up to celebrate with family and friends. There are recipes to plan, gifts to buy, and rooms to decorate—just to name a few. Yet, if you own a house with a septic system, you may want to add “care for septic tank” on that list.

This is crucial even if this year’s gatherings are small due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extra hustle and bustle at home—along with loved ones and college kids visiting for the holidays—can all take a toll on your system.

Fortunately, it’s possible to do this through small yet impactful habits. Start by taking note of the common holiday mistakes with septic systems and doing your best to avoid them. This way, you can close out the year (and start off a new one) free of expensive septic issues.



The best part of the holiday season may very well be the rich and hearty food. But with this food comes a lot of fats, oils, and grease—also known as FOG.

Avoid discarding FOG in your garbage disposal or drain; it’s one of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make. Not only can the fats accumulate and block your drains, but they can disturb the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank.

(The same goes for coffee grounds, solid food waste, bleach, and other chemicals. In addition to FOG, these should not be put down the sink drains.)

If the bacteria are disrupted, the waste in our system can’t be efficiently broken down. This leads to a buildup of sludge, resulting in slow pipes and septic problems.

Of course, you and your family likely already know how to properly discard of FOG. But some guests may not be aware, so be sure to give them a heads up.



Similarly, remind your visitors to avoid flushing certain items. These objects can clog the pipes and cause serious septic issues down the line.

Ask your guests to avoid flushing:

  • Feminine hygiene products, including tampons and pads
  • Diapers
  • Paper towels
  • Personal cleaning wipes
  • Basically, anything except toilet paper!



Although spacing out water usage is always important, it’s even more crucial during the holiday season. Using too much water, after all, can cause your septic system to become overloaded.

You can spread out water usage by:

  • Doing laundry the week before
  • Avoid running the washing machine and dishwasher simultaneously
  • Staggering shower times of guests and family



Finally, if you’re expecting a significant uptick in activity in your home, it’s wise to have your system pumped first.

Not due for a pumping? It might still be a good idea to get one, even if it’s been less than 3 to 5 years (the general recommendation for routine pumping). Otherwise, if you forgo pumping and host many guests, you’ll be more likely to experience septic problems due to excess water usage and flushing. 

By avoiding these common holiday mistakes, your septic system will thrive during the festive season. But why go at it alone? Paradise Valley Septic can lend a hand by providing residential pumping services and inspecting your septic tank. To get started, call us at 480-607-7763 or contact us online


About admin