frequently asked questions
A septic system is a sub-surface, wastewater treatment plant that processes and filters the wastewater (aka effluent) from your toilets, sinks, laundry and showers. There are usually three parts; a treatment tank (septic tank), a distribution system (d-box) and an absorption area (drain field). In general, all wastewater is mixed together as it leaves the home. Sometimes, however, the household wastewater is divided into two types, blackwater (toilet water) and greywater (soapy water), and it may discharge into separate disposal systems.
A septic tank is where primary treatment occurs (settlement and separation of sewage). After leaving your house, the wastewater enters the septic tank through the inlet baffle. The solids in the sewage settle to the bottom of your tank while the dirty water (effluent) moves on and leaves through the outlet baffle and out to the distribution box (D-box), when present. The D-box distributes the effluent into all the laterals in the absorption field (drain field), where it filters through layers of gravel and sand, safely returning to the groundwater.
Normal usage of the years will always result in accumulated solids beginning to take up too much room in the tank, effectively making your tank smaller. Your shrunken septic means that solids can now easily escape the tank and clog the drain field and eventually have sewage back-up into your house or an overflow into your yard. This can all be avoided with regular pump outs every 1-3 years, filter maintenance and periodic inspections are performed.
You should have your septic tank pumped out at least every 3 years for household of four people. If you have a Pump Tank, you may want to consider pumping it out every 6 years. This will prevent a build-up of the sludge, that damages your pump and clogs the drain field.
Inspections help extend the life of your septic system and thus will save you money. Regular inspections will confirm vital information about the health of your septic system:
- Is the wastewater from the house running properly into the tank?
- Does the tank have too much sludge build-up?
- Is too much scum and sludge floating out to the disposal field?, Are the tank’s baffles in good shape?
- Is the soil under the disposal field still absorbing all the water from the tank?
The idea is to uncover any problems while they are small, which means that are usually faster, easier and cheaper to fix.
Hiring us as your professional septic system management company to periodically evaluate individual components and your system’s over-all operation is a wise way to protect your investment in both your septic system and the overall value of your property.
NO. The alarm is for your Pump Tank and has nothing to do with your septic tank.
Call a Septic System Professional as fast as you can to diagnose and fix the problem or there’s a good chance of overflowing in the pump tank and/or septic effluent backing up into your house.
Generally speaking, the average septic tank will last for 20 – 25 years. However, this longevity depends on many factors – soil conditions and maintenance both play major roles.