Was it full?In a properly functioning septic system the liquid level of the septic tank should be at the bottom of the outlet pipe that leads to the next component of the septic system such as the drain field, pump system, distribution box, ATU, etc,. The septic tank is supposed to be full to the bottom of the outlet pipe. This volume of liquid is where the bacterial action occurs that breaks down the incoming waste. If the liquid level is above the bottom of the outlet pipe, it could be an indication of a problem in the next component of the system.
I just had my tank pumped/cleaned recently, why am I having problems again? Pumping/cleaning a septic tank is routine maintenance needed to prolong the life of the septic system. If you wait too long between pumping, excess accumulation occurs which in turn gets pushed out of the tank causing premature failure of the next component of the system. On occasion the bacteria in the tank can become too weak to efficiently break down the waste. When this happens it can cause backups. This is usually the result of anti-bacterial products being put down the drains which end up killing the necessary bacteria required for the septic tank to function properly. Most of the time if you experience problems shortly after having your septic tank pumped/cleaned, it is the result of a failure of the next component of the system such as the drain field, pump system, etc,.
Why do I have sewage water surfacing on the ground near my septic tank or drain field? Septic systems are designed to treat a certain amount of water per day. If a home exceeds the amount of water per day in which the system was designed to handle it can cause effluent to surface on the ground at the septic tank or drain field. In rare cases, ground water can rise underneath the septic system causing overloading of the drain field and effluent to surface on the ground.
Does my septic tank have a effluent filter? Most septic systems constructed after January 1, 2000 have effluent filters. Septic systems constructed prior to this date could possibly have a effluent filter if the system has been repaired or updated. A good indication that your septic system may have a effluent filter is if your septic tank has access risers.
Do I need a effluent filter installed in my septic tank? Effluent filters are a great way of preventing the waste in your septic tank from being carried into the drain field and causing problems. The disadvantage is that the effluent filter must be kept clean to avoid slow drains and backups. It is recommended to have effluent filters cleaned at least annually. Access risers should be installed if there is a effluent filter in your septic tank, to allow quick and easy access for cleaning the effluent filter.
I didn't have any problems before I had my septic tank pumped/cleaned, why do I have a problem now? Pumping/cleaning a septic tank is routine maintenance needed to prolong the life of the septic system. The pumping/cleaning of a septic tank does not cause a problem. Quite often it will reveal a problem that has been hidden and progressively getting worse. Issues such as slow or gurgling drains, odors, backups, or effluent surfacing on the ground near the septic tank or drain field are all signs of pending problems. Most septic tanks do not get pumped/cleaned often enough or worst case, not serviced at all until there is a problem.
How can I locate my septic system? Contacting your local health department is the best source for finding information about your septic system. If the septic system was permitted, its a good chance the local health department has records of the type, size and location of the system. Bellew Contracting Services has been installing and servicing septic systems since 1995. Give us a call. There is a chance your septic system may be one of the thousands we have serviced or installed. We keep records of all the septic systems that we install and service. We would be glad to help any way we can.
What should I not put down the drain to my septic tank? Septic tanks are not trash cans. Bacteria that is naturally present in the waste help to break down the contents inside of the septic tank. Items such as wipes, condoms, medications, feminine hygiene products, fats, oils, grease, anti-bacterial products, coffee grinds, disposable diapers, sanitary pads, cigarette butts, paints, thinners, photographic solutions, dental floss, kitty litter, tampons, paper towels, varnishes, waste oils or pesticides should not be put down the drain. They can harm if not stop the biological process that takes place inside of the tank causing problems with your septic system.
Is bacteria additives for my septic tank necessary? Bacteria additives are not normally necessary. Usually there is a underlying cause if the bacteria in your septic tank becomes to weak to function properly. Have a trained septic system professional evaluate the cause as to why the bacteria in your septic tank might be too weak. Most of the time the cause is related to improper items being put down the drain to the septic tank. Bacteria additives are in no way a substitution for regular pumping/cleanings. Pumping/cleaning of your septic tank is the only way to remove the accumulated waste from your tank.
How often should I have my septic tank pumped/cleaned? It is recommended to have a average septic tank pumped/cleaned every 3-5 years depending on the size of the tank and number of occupants in the home. A chart is provided in the pumping section of our website to help establish a schedule of when to pump/clean your septic tank. If in doubt give us a call. We will be glad to help with setting a schedule for your particular septic tank.
Can I build over my septic system?Absolutely not. Covering any part of your septic system at minimum prevents access to components needing to be serviced in the future. Covering, driving or parking over areas of your septic system can cause damage to the underlying components. Its a great idea for homeowners to know where their septic systems are located so as to avoid the problems associated with covering, driving or parking over it.