How often should I have my septic tank pumped?
Septic tanks should be pumped on a routine maintenance to remove the solid material that builds up in the tank. Pumping frequency is determined by the size of the tank and the number of people using the system. Please see the chart located on our residential services page for more information.
What if I am unsure where my septic tank is located?
If you are unsure where your septic tank is located, your local county sanitarian should have an as-built drawing showing where your system is located and what its specifications are. In the event that there is no as-built on file or if it proves to be inaccurate, we offer electronic locating services for septic tanks. For systems that are not backed up, we can flush a small transmitter down the toilet that will make its way to the septic tank. We can then pick up its frequency from above ground and locate the septic tank. In addition, we also offer excavation services to uncover tanks that are located below grade.
Why should I have my septic tank pumped? It is working fine.
Over time solid material that will not break down builds up in your septic tank. It forms a semi-hard, thick layer at the top of the tank known as a crust and a soft, dense layer on the bottom of the tank known as sludge. Over time these layers gradually come together and the solid material can then flow into your drain field. Drain fields are not designed to take solid material and can easily plug up over time. We recommend staying on a routine pumping schedule to minimize the amount of solids that enter your drain field.
How do I know if I have a pressure-dosed system or a conventional gravity system?
Your as-built drawing, which can be obtained through your local county sanitarian, will specify what type of system you have. Pressure-Dosed systems generally require a control box that is usually located on the side of the house or in a mechanical room. The box is usually gray in color and has a red alarm light located on it. In addition, one of your lids for your septic tank will usually have a pump, floats and wiring in it. Conventional systems have no pumps and the effluent gravity feeds to the drain field.
What is an effluent filter and how often should I clean it?
An effluent filter is a filter that is usually located on the outlet of the septic tank or in the dose chamber. Its purpose is to filter out the solid material from the effluent before it heads to the drain field. This helps keep the drain field laterals clean and prolongs its life. Effluent filters should be cleaned at least every six months or more often depending on use.