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Septic Checklist for Second Homes or Vacation Properties

Owning a second home or vacation property comes with many benefits. In addition to having a fun getaway, it’s also a rewarding experience to make additions and properly maintain these properties. 

While it’s not as exciting as caring for your pool or adding a hot tub, keeping your septic system healthy is more important. A functioning septic system is the difference between a successful summer vacation and a costly, time-consuming mess.

Septic System Tips and Checklist for Second Homes

Follow this checklist and these septic system tips for better septic system maintenance.

Formal and Informal Inspection

As the homeowner, you know how things should operate. Inspect and test any sinks, tubs, toilets, and washing machines to see if they’re draining properly. This is the perfect place to start your checklist. If you notice any slow draining or backup, schedule a drain cleaning.

Next, check for water pooling around your leach field, bad odors, or bright green grass in the yard. This is potentially a sign of septic system failure, so contact your septic service provider if you notice any of these. Also, your septic provider should also provide you with the visual cues they are able to see during a pumping service, and also the technician should update you on any necessary next steps.

A more formal or documented inspection is necessary if you need to meet regulatory or transactional requirements. If you’re buying or selling a home or filing an insurance claim, this professional assessment provides much more detail and usually requires a specific form or document. The better services will also include components like pictures or diagrams of your system, submission of the paperwork to the regulatory organization and normally a copy for your records as well.

If you need assistance or want a professional assessment, schedule a septic inspection with your next pumping. Septic experts diagnose any issues, complete and submit the appropriate paperwork, and help you find the right solutions for you. 

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance planning is one of the first steps towards creating a healthy septic system. For the sake of keeping things simple, focus on three key services; septic tank pumping, bacterial additives, and septic tank filter cleaning. Most homeowners on septic are familiar with septic tank pumping. Work with your local septic service provider to create a schedule that fits your home’s needs.

The latter two services are sometimes overlooked, but they provide a major positive impact on how effective your system operates. Bacterial additives improve the natural breakdown of solids in your septic tank. Over time, antibacterial soaps take a toll on your tank’s naturally occurring bacteria and slow down the septic tank’s effectiveness. These additives replenish the helpful bacteria and maximize efficiency. 

Your septic system’s filter helps protect your leach field from solids that haven’t been broken down. Keeping the filter clean is important to make sure that one of the last steps in the septic process is done correctly. If you haven’t had your filter cleaned in a while, ask about having it cleaned during your next scheduled service. 


Once comfortable with any current problems, it’s time to work on preventing future issues. Pipelining protects and reinforces your current pipes, while also fixing any breaks or leaks in the existing structure. Pipelining is perfect for vacation homes because it requires no digging. Pipelining is an unobtrusive procedure that has minimal downtime, meaning you won’t waste any additional days of your vacation property with workers preparing, digging, refilling and remediating for the repair of your pipes. 

Schedule a Service with Wind River Environmental

By providing septic services for over 16 states, Wind River Environmental is here to assist in maintenance, repairs, or any other residential septic services for your second home or vacation property. The expert technicians are here to keep your septic system running as efficiently as possible. 

Sign up on our website to schedule any services – or call us at (877) 560-9007. If you have any questions about keeping your seasonal property’s septic system healthy, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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