FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Why keep up regular maintenance?

A failing septic tank costs money to repair and replace. Keeping up regular maintenance can help you avoid complete system failure. It costs upwards of $5000 to replace a septic tank than it is for maintenance. Maintaining your septic tank also helps protect your family’s and your environment’s health by keeping pollution and chemicals from entering the ground.


Why does a septic system fail?

A septic system failure can be caused by a number of factors. Improper siting, construction, or design contributes to failed systems. However, by hiring professionals to design, construct, and install your system eliminates failures. Fortunately, learning how to maintain and operate your septic system is easy. Proper maintenance increases the longevity and health of your system.

How can I tell if my septic system is failing?

To know if your system is failing, look out for warning signs that include:

• Sinks & Toilets Drain Slowly

• Gurgling Sounds from Plumbing

• Backups

• Sewage Odors

• Ground Wet & Mushy Underfoot

• Grass Grows Faster/Greener in One Area of the Yard

• Bacteria in Well Water

How do I care for my septic system?

Taking care of your septic system is simple. Just follow these tips:

• Conserve Water

• Know What Not to Flush

• Don’t Dispose of Hazardous Chemicals

• Pump Tank Regularly

• Inspect System Annually

• Protect System from Potential Danger

What are some simple dos and don’ts of septic systems?


• Learn septic tank and drainfield location

• Inspect system yearly

• Have the system pumped out regularly by a professional

• Keep a detailed record of repairs, pumpings, inspections, permits issued, and other maintenance

• Conserve water to avoid overloading the system

• Divert other sources of water away from septic system



• Go down into a septic tank

• Drive or park over any part of the system

• Plant anything but grass over it

• Dig or build over it

• Allow repairs to system without obtaining required health permit

• Use septic tank additives

• Use toilet as a trash can or poison the system with harmful chemicals

What are septic tanks made of?

Fibreglass, plastic or concrete, usually.


Are septic tanks bad for the environment?

When your septic system is working correctly, the treated effluent goes into the ground, where it is purified by the soil. Regular central sewers place large amounts of treated effluent into a single body of water.


Why did my septic system fail?

If the soil in your leach field becomes clogged, the ground cannot accept effluent.


What is backflushing?

Backflushing occurs after we’ve removed the top layer of scum in your tank and the liquid in the middle. We pump clean water into your tank to help break up the heavy sludge at the bottom so we can pump it out.


How often should I have my septic tank cleaned?

Depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using it, every one or two years is usually adequate.

When is it a good time to pump my system?

Knowing when to pump your system depends on the tank’s size, the number of people living in your home, and habits of the household. Garbage disposals, hot tubs, and whirlpools affect the pumping frequency. Make sure you hire a licensed contractor to pump out your tank. To estimate how often you should pump your septic tank, please refer to the table above.

What should I expect from pumping and inspecting my septic system?

An inspection by a professional includes the following:

• Finding your system’s location

• Uncovering the manhole for inspection

• Flushing toilets

• Measuring scum and sludge in the septic tank

• Examining tank and drainfield

How does my septic system work?

Your septic system is made up of two basic parts: the septic tank and the drainfield. The septic tank is where wastewater is sent. It can consist of sludge and scum where naturally occurring bacteria breakdown the waste. The tank should be pumped periodically. Separated wastewater in the middle of the sludge and scum is eventually pushed out into the drainfield. A drainfield consists of a series of perforated pipes where the water trickle through to layers of soil and gravel. If waste water leaves the tank too soon, solids can be carried with it to the drainfield. Solids from the septic tank can clog the drainfield’s pipes.