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Most common questions about septic service and system-related issues.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Thes are the most common septic-related questions we receive from our customers. Please go over them and if you still need help, feel free to email or call us about our services and the company.

What should I do if my septic system backs up? 

If your septic system backs up, reduce water usage immediately and contact a septic service professional. They can assess the situation determine if pumping is needed or if there are other issues, like a blockage or system failure, that need to be addressed.

What are the environmental benefits of a properly maintained septic system? 

A well-maintained septic system effectively treats domestic wastewater on-site, reducing the risk of pollution to nearby water bodies and providing a sustainable option for waste management in non-sewered areas.

What is a drain field, and how does it work? 

A drain field is a component of your septic system where the liquid effluent is further treated by the soil. The effluent is distributed through perforated pipes laid in gravel-filled trenches, where it slowly filters through the soil, removing harmful bacteria and nutrients.

What size septic tank do I need? 

The size of a septic tank needed depends on the size of the house and the number of occupants. Generally, a minimum of 1000 gallons is recommended for a typical family home.

How do I locate my septic tank? 

If you're not sure where your tank is, you can check home inspection records, contact a septic professional, or look for signs in your yard like a rectangular, slightly depressed area.

Can I build over a septic tank? 

It is not recommended to build structures over a septic tank because access is needed for inspection and pumping, and the weight of the structure can damage the tank and pipes.

What's the difference between a cesspool and a septic system? 

While both systems are used to dispose of wastewater, a cesspool is a simpler pit that releases wastewater directly into the soil, whereas a septic system includes a treatment process and is designed to be more environmentally friendly.

Why does my septic system have an odor sometimes? 

Odors can occur if the tank is overly full, if there's a leak, or if the vent pipe is blocked. Routine inspections and maintenance are key to preventing and solving these issues.

Can heavy rain affect my septic system? 

Heavy rains can fully saturate the ground around the drain field, which reduces its ability to absorb water effectively. It's a good idea to conserve water during continuous heavy rain to prevent overloading the system.

What happens during a septic system inspection? 

During an inspection, a technician checks for leaks, examines the layers of sludge and scum in your tank, ensures that the tank and drain field are functioning properly, and may recommend pumping if necessary.

How can I extend the life of my septic system? 

Regular maintenance, including pumping and avoiding putting stress on the system, like parking cars over the drain field, can extend the life of your septic system. Conserving water and repairing leaks promptly will also reduce the burden on the system.

Is it normal for the area over my drain field to be wet? 

Some dampness is normal, especially after heavy rain. However, persistently soggy soil or standing water could indicate a problem, such as a clog or a breakdown in the system.

What can I plant over my septic drain field? 

Opt for grass or small plants with shallow root systems over the drain field. Avoid planting trees or large shrubs, as their roots can damage the septic lines.

How often should I get my septic tank be pumped?

  Septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your home. Routine pumping helps prevent solids from escaping into the drain field and clogging it.

What should I avoid flushing down the toilet if I have a septic system? 

Never flush wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, diapers, or paper towels. These do not decompose and can clog your system, leading to costly repairs.

Can I use normal household cleaning products with a septic system? 

While regular household cleaners can be used in moderation, it's best to choose products labeled as septic-safe. Harsh chemicals like bleach can disrupt the bacterial balance in your septic tank, impairing its ability to break down solids.

What are the signs of a failing septic system? 

Watch for signs like slow-draining toilets and sinks, unpleasant odors in your yard, unusually green grass near the drain field, or sewage backups in your home. These symptoms may indicate that your septic system is overloaded or malfunctioning.

How often should a septic system be inspected? 

It's advisable to have your septic system inspected by a professional at least once every three years. For some systems with mechanical or electrical components, annual inspections are recommended to ensure everything is functioning properly.

How do septic tanks work? 

Septic tanks work by separating solid waste from the wastewater, allowing the liquids to flow into a drain field where they can be naturally filtered by the soil. Solids get broken down by bacteria in the tank, but the system must be periodically pumped to remove the non-decomposable materials.

What are septic systems? 

Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment setups that treat and dispose of the waste from your home. They are typically used in areas where municipal sewer services are unavailable and include components like a septic tank and a drain field.