Be thankful for your septic system | Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Have you ever heard of Brown Friday? Many plumbers have.

  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:30am
  • Life
Leigh McIntire can be contacted at 253-798-6144 at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Submitted photo

Leigh McIntire can be contacted at 253-798-6144 at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Submitted photo

The following is written by Leigh McIntire, a program manager for onsite sewage environmental health, for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department blog, “Your Reliable Source”:

While you put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving feast, you’ll want to make sure your septic system maintenance is up to date. Why? Your food preparations and guests can strain your system and cause backups. If that happens, add an unexpected and expensive guest to your list—a plumber.

Most of us know the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday. For plumbers, the day is known as Brown Friday because of the huge increase in service calls. According to Business Insider, calls increase by up to 50% compared to a normal Friday. Clogged sinks are the most common problem. Another problem could arise when all the guests in your home use the bathroom, which causes your septic system to work harder.

How can you avoid the Brown Friday blues? In our Show Your Septic System Some Love This Spring blog post from March, we gave you six tips to keep your septic system running smoothly:

  1. Keep records of your septic system location, type, repairs and pumpings. If you don’t have this information, contact us at
  2. Check the drainfield and down slope areas for signs of wet ground or surfacing sewage.
  3. Hire a certified septic service company to get regular system inspections. Find a list of certified companies at
  4. Follow your service provider’s maintenance recommendations, such as pumping your septic tank or repairing broken or worn out parts.
  5. Don’t put food scraps or trash down your drain.
  6. Fix water leaks and use water saving fixtures to reduce the amount of wastewater going to your system.

Preventative maintenance will help your septic system operate properly for years to come and keep your holiday gatherings cheery, not dreary. It’s also good for the environment. Learn more about your septic system and ways to keep it running at

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