Exploring Septic System Myths and Realities
From Stuart to Port St Lucie to Vero Beach, if you live on the Treasure Coast, most likely you have
There are a wide range of myths out there about septic tanks and systems. Here are some of
those myths, followed by the facts.
Myth: Additives eliminate the need for having the septic tank pumped.
Reality: Cooke’s Septic Bacteria Additive is a great product designed to be used monthly. It
contains billions of bacteria and enzymes that can help keep your system healthy. Still, you need to
have your tank pumped every two to four years.
Signs of a Septic System That Needs to be Pumped:
• Bad odor
• Pooling water
• Sewage backup
• Slow drains
Myth: A septic system can handle anything flushed down the toilet.
Reality: Never flush anything that is not biodegradable. Items that will not break down can clump
and cause problems for the system. You should never flush feminine products, diapers and baby wipes, cotton balls and Q-tips, paper towels and dental floss. Garbage disposals can also cause problems for your septic, perhaps creating a need for more frequent pumping.
Myth: Chemicals cannot harm my septic system.
Reality: Small amounts of household cleaning materials won’t harm your system. However, the
system needs healthy bacteria to work properly. Paint thinners, medications and other harmful substances can harm the organisms needed for a properly working system.
Myth: I can build atop a septic system.
Reality: You should never build over the top of a septic tank or leach field. Anything built over the top would need to be removed for pumping, inspection and maintenance. Also, the weight of a building could damage the system. You should also not plant bushes or trees over a septic tank or leach field. The roots can cause damage, and they also restrict the access needed for maintenance.
Myth: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Reality: Clichés like this one are trite and often wrong. In this case, it could also lead to a costly decision. Routine and regular maintenance is key to keeping your system working properly, whether it appears to “broken” or not. It could save you thousands of dollars.
Myth: Pumping is all that is needed to maintain the health of my system
Reality: Pumping your system won’t help a drain field failure nor will it solve a problem with
damaged or broken pipes. Regular inspection along with pumping is required.
Myth: Having a system repaired or replaced is cheaper than regular servicing.
Reality: It may seem expensive to have your system pumped and inspected periodically, until it
needs replacing. Then you will realize the folly of having not done so. Replacement and repair is
Looking for that ‘mythical hero’ to help save you from your septic system woes? Cooke’s Plumbing
and Septic Service has served residents of Florida’s Treasure Coast since 1958. Adept at a wide
range of wastewater solutions, Cooke’s is a go-to solution for homeowners and business owners
alike. Cooke’s Plumbing and Septic Service guarantees the installation of its septic systems and is
available on call 24/7; and THAT’S a fact!