Commercial Septic Systems: Dos and Don'ts

Commercial Septic Systems: Dos and Don’ts

A commercial septic system is a special type of beast. Compared its residential counterpart, it’s designed to handle significantly more wastewater. Commercial systems, after all, are used for establishments like restaurants, shopping centers, and hospitals.

With such a large capacity, these systems require extra care and maintenance to continue working properly.

Let’s look at the unique do’s and don’ts of commercial septic systems.


Generally, commercial septic systems operate like residential ones. 

After waste enters a septic tank, bacteria “digests” biodegradable and organic solids. Next, wastewater moves into the drainfield, where bacteria continue to remove impurities. The purified water is then absorbed by the surrounding soil or gravel.  

But here’s the catch. Because commercial buildings produce so much waste, the system might need an extra treatment to help the waste degrade. This decreases the need for unnecessary draining, pumping, and maintenance.

Plus, in many cases, the treatment needs to meet high standards. With so much liquid entering the soil, the wastewater from a commercial system can easily impact local water quality. Therefore, optimal purification is critical.


Commercial septic maintenance revolves around the sheer capacity of the system. It also takes into consideration the foot traffic and constant use of a commercial building.

Here’s how to keep your commercial septic system in good shape.


  • Save a diagram of your septic system. If your system needs to be serviced, this will help your septic provider find the necessary parts.
  • Determine how often you should get pumpings. This depends on your establishment and volume of expected wastewater. At the very least, find out how often you should get septic system inspections
  • Repair leaking fixtures. Leaking fixtures can waste gallons (and gallons) of water each day. It’s wise to fix them as soon as possible. 
  • Take care of grease traps. Proper grease trap maintenance prevents clogs, odors, and expensive issues.
  • Avoid flushing garbage. Make sure your customers flush nothing but human waste and toilet paper. Garbage like feminine hygiene products, wipes, and diapers should never be flushed down the toilet. You can post a sign in the bathroom with a friendly reminder.
  • Keep vehicles off your drainfield. Vehicles, tractors, and other heavy equipment can damage your drainfield. To prevent customers or guests from parking on the area, block it off with a fence or “no parking” sign.


  • Pour FOG down the drain. FOG — or fats, oils, and grease — can cause plumbing and septic problems. If you operate a restaurant, make sure all your employees know how to properly dispose of cooking oil.
  • Build a deck or patio over your system. Avoid building new structures over your drainfield, too. If you want to add a deck or patio, work with an architect and septic provider to determine the best location.
  • Plant trees near your drainfield. Similarly, don’t plant new shrubs or trees less than 10 feet from the drainfield. The roots can damage the pipes in the area. If you’d like to add more greenery, consult a tree planting service.
  • Combine runoff with wastewater. Pay attention to your gutters. If runoff water merges with wastewater or flows over your drainfield, your septic system can become overwhelmed.
  • Use more water than necessary. Even commercial septic systems can benefit from water conservation.


When you own a commercial building, it’s crucial to know the dos and don’ts of commercial septic systems. By understanding these important aspects, you’ll help your system do its job. It’s the best way to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently.

Paradise Valley Septic is here to lend a hand. Since 1958, our experienced team has served the Phoenix Valley and surrounding areas. We proudly offer inspections, maintenance, and pumping for residential and commercial septic systems.

Have questions? Give us a call 480-351-1725 or send us a message online.


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