Newly Installed Septic System

Septic System Cleaning

Many of our clients call us wanting their septic tank pumped. Unfortunately, pumping out a septic tank is commonly only a short term solution. We strive to provide our clients the best possible services, so we often recommend septic system cleaning.

How do Septic Systems Work?

Most septic systems are “conventional systems”. In this type of septic system, a septic tank receives all waste (including water and solids), and passes liquid waste into a leach field.

These leach fields slowly leak the liquids out into the ground through small holes in the pipes. This is beneficial for plants because it adds nutrients to the soil, and beneficial to the septic system, because most waste is removed from the system over time.

The solid waste in the septic tank is kept within the tank. Some of these solids, such as septic safe toilet paper, are broken down by bacteria into a liquid that can then be released into the leach field.

Septic System Diagram

Why Isn’t Pumping Always Best?

Although pumping a septic tank removes the solids from the tank, many of our clients have problems with the liquids either not going into the leach field, or the liquids not draining from the leach field into the yard. With these types of issues, pumping out a septic tank only provides temporary relief, as once the tank fills back up, the problems return.

These issues have the same symptoms as a septic tank that needs a pump, so it’s understandable that people default to the idea that they need a pump. Normally people call us because of drains not draining, sewer smells, or moist ground, which indicates that an issue of some kind exists (not necessarily a cleaning being required).

What About Septic Tank Maintenance?

When most people talk about septic tank cleaning, they’re usually referring to Hydro-Jetting. This is the process of feeding a specialized pressure washer down the leach field pipes, and breaking up any debris and bio-mat that is blocking the holes in the pipe. By unblocking the holes in the leach field, we’re able to fix issues where the liquid waste from the tank will not drain out.

Most of our clients who come to us with the symptom that their septic tank requires regular pumping have other issues they didn’t realize. These clients benefit from septic tank cleaning because we can restore the leach field, and allow liquids in the tank to drain into the yard.

A Common Misconception

We hear from customers that they need their septic system pumped regularly because it’s “standard maintenance”. Although it’s normal for any septic system to periodically need a pump, the normal time period is three to five years, and the EPA reccommends only an inspection at least every three years (reference EPA: How to Care for Your Septic System).

If you have a septic system that is needing a pump more often than every 3 years, we’d love to come out and make sure it’s running in tip-top shape with an inspection!

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Further Reading

If you want to learn more about septic systems, check out these other articles by us:

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Posted on September 09, 2021