Tips and FAQs

Tips to keep your septic system in tip top shape

A septic system is generally pretty easy to maintain as long as you keep a few rules in mind. A standard septic system works by holding wastewater in a septic tank, solid debris will settle in the sludge layer at the bottom of the tank, lighter wastes such as oil float to the top to create a scum layer. Between both of these layers is a liquid layer which flows into a pipe that drains from the septic tank into a drain or leach field. The leach field constitutes an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material, covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals and surface runoff from reaching the wastewater.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Conserve water – Septic tanks can only handle a limited amount of water at one time, it needs time to separate the solids and liquids.
  • Check for leaky faucets or running toilets. You may also want to install high efficiency toilets to reduce the amount of liquid.
  • Spread out laundry use to allow time for your septic tank to do its job instead of overloading it all at once.
  • Protect the system – Do not park or place heavy objects on the ground over your tank for instance do not place a shed on your property over the system or park heavy equipment on your lawn over top of the septic system to prevent damage.
  • Do not dispose of anything non-biodegradable or use chemicals that can destroy the bacteria that break down solid waste in your septic system. Some examples of what not to dispose of in your septic system are dental floss, feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarette butts, kitty litter, tissue, cotton swabs, coffee grounds, paper towels, condoms, household chemicals, gasoline, grease, paint and bleach.
  • Use septic system safe products such as septic-safe toilet paper, wet-wipes, and soaps to preserve the bacteria in your system.
  • Keep up on maintenance around the tank – make sure not to plant trees or shrubs on the leach field to prevent the plant roots from damaging the pipes and tanks.

There are quite a few questions people often have in regards to their septic systems.

How long do septic systems usually last?

The lifespan of a septic system depends on a few different things. The most important thing to keep a septic system healthy for a long time is proper maintenance during general use. While septic systems are built to last a long time, issues like clogged drain fields and pipe blockages can disrupt the system and cause damage. Make sure to keep up with the maintenance of your septic system—give us a call if you need help with it.

What can I do with the land above my drain field?

A septic tank holds all your plumbing waste so it is not inside your home causing hideous smells and health concerns. Tanks are made in various sizes, some capable of holding more than others. But, no matter the size of the tank, at some point septic tank emptying antioch is going to become necessary. This isn’t a job you can perform on your own, so you’ll need to hire professionals to complete the work, leaving many wondering the costs of such a job.

What’s the Cost to Empty a Septic Tank?

Septic tank emptying costs vary from one job to the next, and several factors influence the rates you’ll pay for the work. The company hired is one such factor, but there are many others, like:

  • Size of the septic tank that needs emptying
  • Time of the year you need services (winter work is usually more expensive)
  • Any damages/problems that need repaired
  • On average, homeowners spend $350 – $600 to have their septic tank cleaned. Some jobs cost more, and some homeowners find that it costs them $800 – $900 for the job. This isn’t money you’ll need to fork over for this service regularly, but that doesn’t mean savings aren’t important to find and use whenever you can. Most septic tanks provide years of use before this service is necessary.

How can I find my septic system and learn more about it?

If you aren’t sure where your septic system is located, get a copy of your property’s septic system record (which is usually referred to as an “as-built”). This is a diagram that shows where your septic system components are located.

If not you can contact us and we will be happy to locate it for you

How can I tell my septic system is working properly?

If you don’t have any apparent issues but want to make sure everything is in good working order, we can perform a septic system evaluation. Please contact us for quote and any questions you may have.

What are the signs of septic system failure?

The main cause for septic system failure is with the drain field. When the drain field isn’t working properly, water and sludge can accrue on the surface—you won’t have trouble noticing the smell. This kind of failure often comes from septic tank overflow. Have a professional evaluate the situation as soon as possible if you see any signs of overflow or drain field backup.

What should I flush down the drain?

The only things that should be flushed down the drain are human waste. Foods and other chemicals slow down decomposition rates in the septic tank and can lead to septic backup. While it won’t happen immediately, the general rule of thumb should be to avoid flushing things that bacteria can’t easily break down.

How can I tell if I need to have my tank pumped soon?

If you have risers installed checking the status of your septic tank fill levels are pretty simple and can be researched further online. If you do not have risers installed, the only real way to check the status of your tank before something goes wrong is to dig it up and check it out. We can do that for you, so give us a call!

How often should I have my tank pumped?

How often you need to pump your septic tank depends on the size of the tank and the number of people using it. Commercial septic systems need more frequent maintenance because of the volume of use. Your septic tank should be inspected annually to check for needed repairs and pumped when necessary—usually every 1 to 5 years depending on how many occupants are in the home. If you are unsure of when you last had your septic tank pumped, give us a call!

Septic Pumping and Maintenance and Keeping up with Septic Maintenance?

Keeping up with your septic tank is an integral part of plumbing upkeep that far too many people unintentionally neglect. Maintaining your septic system is very important to sustaining a smooth home or commercial operation. With routine pumping and maintenance, a healthy septic system is remains flowing smoothly and remains out of sight and out of mind for homeowners until the next time it is routinely worked on to extend its life as long as possible.


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Okanagan Valley
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Kelowna, BC Canada

Bruce Monfee

Central Septic Tank Cleaning Services in the Okanagan Valley