Frequently Asked Questions
What is an on-lot sewage system?
On-lot sewage systems are composed of two primary parts: (1) septic tanks and (2) an absorption area. The septic tanks separate solids from the
wastewater. The heavy solids settle at the bottom of the tank and the lighter solids float on top of the wastewater. The absorption area then utilizes the ability of the soil to filter and treat the
remaining effluent before it reaches the water table. By separating the solids, the septic tanks and/or aerobic tank protect the absorption area from becoming clogged. Proper maintenance of the septic
tank and/or the aerobic tank will prevent more costly problems with the absorption area.
What is a cesspool or seepage pit?
Many older homes with systems installed prior to 1970 may have these systems presently in use. Cesspools are constructed of open-jointed walls (concrete
block or stone) and open bottoms. The solids in the wastewater settle in the bottom of the cesspool, while the effluent seeps through the jointed walls and bottom. If the cesspool is not properly cared
for, the sidewalls and bottom tend to plug up with solids. This may result in sewage backing up into the house or being discharge to the ground surface. Seepage pits are simply cesspools proceeded by a
How often should I have my septic tank or cesspool cleaned and visually inspected?
Septic Tanks: If there are 4 or more residents the system should be cleaned/pumped and inspected on a yearly basis. If there are 3 or fewer
residents the system should be cleaned/pumped and inspected every two years.
Other: If you have a garbage disposal, filter, cesspool or seepage pit, the system should be cleaned/pumped and inspected
on a yearly basis.
Having your system serviced on this schedule will make your system last longer.
Is there anything else I can do to prolong the life of my septic system?
Yes. Install an effluent filter on the outlet baffle of your septic tank. A quality filter will increase the efficiency of your septic tank by 40%.
Septic tank effluent filters provide a relatively inexpensive means of preventing solids discharge. They are usually installed at the outlet of the septic tank, collecting solids that may be discharged
from the tank. Generally this filter needs to be cleaned once a year. Sometimes it needs to be cleaned more often. It's easy to clean. You can do it yourself or we can clean it for you.
How can I eliminate a septic odor problem?
Have your system properly serviced and cleaned.
If a homeowner has never had their septic system pumped, should they assume everything is working fine?
No. Just the opposite is true. It's not that you may not have a problem -- it's that the problem
may not have arisen yet. A septic tank that has never been cleaned is like a car that has never had its oil changed. A septic system will fail prematurely if it is not properly maintained.