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Owning a septic system is a very big investment, and one that is best cared for by preventative maintenance.

However, it’s out of sight and usually out of mind until it’s not working properly. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have and offer a management plan that will keep your system healthy for many years. Proper maintenance prolongs the life of your septic system. It’s our job to understand your system and we are only one call away!

We strongly believe in education, to give you a better understanding of how your system works and what you can do to protect it. Here’s a visual for you and some frequently asked questions.

Newer systems come with both a filter and an alarm. If your alarm goes off, that’s your first sign that there is a problem. That can be as simple as cleaning your filter, or that your tank is full and it’s time to be pumped.

If the red light on your alarm is on, there is a problem that needs attention. There is no reset button on an alarm.

Your septic tank has three distinct layers.

Top Layer sometimes called “scum,” is a layer made mostly of fats, oils, greases and paper products.

Middle Layer is the liquid layer. This is free flowing out of the system into the soil treatment area. The liquid is everything from the bathroom sink to the wash machine to the toilet, and goes through several phases of treatment before it goes back into the soil. This is all part of the unique design of your system.

Bottom Layer also called “sludge,” is where the solids settle. Inside your tank is an army of anaerobic bacteria which works day and night breaking down these solids.

Residential septic tanks vary in size, anywhere from 300 gallons to 4000 gallons, or even more.

Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota. Learn more here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to pump my tank?

When the top and bottom layers grow, the liquid layer can’t flow efficiently. Therefore, removing all layers gives your tank a “restart.” Without routine pumping, your system has to work harder, which eventually will cause premature failure.

How often should I have my tank pumped?

There are many variables in this decision. Our technicians build a history on your system and add in the variables: the size of your home, how many gallons your tank holds, how many people are in the household, whether there has been recent illness or a member of the home in chemotherapy treatment, etc. Once this is established, a recommendation is made for the pumping frequency. We keep these records on your tank and send out reminders to the homeowner when it’s due again.

Click here for pumping frequency guidelines from the University of Minnesota.

What do we ask of you before we come to pump your tank?

When you call or email to schedule your service, it’s good to know where your tank is located and if you have underground sprinklers. If you can mark it with a flag, or anything to help it stand out, our technicians truly appreciate it. If your lid isn’t exposed and needs to be dug up, that’s also something that helps them out.

We do everything we can to stay off your lawn. Each of our trucks carry over 200 feet of hose. If your access area is difficult to reach and requires access by driving on the lawn, we will recommend your service time to be when the ground is frozen or completely dry.

What can I do to protect my septic system?

This is a great question, there are so many things you can do to add longevity to your system. Here’s a great list!

  • Don’t drive over your septic tank with anything larger than your lawn mower.
  • Keep livestock off your drain field or mound.
  • Avoid driving over your drain field area. You don’t want to damage the pipes or compact the drainage soils.
  • Be sure to have any downspouts or other possible run off directed away from your tank and drain field.
  • Don’t put grease down your drain.
  • Avoid flushing things in the toilet that aren’t meant to be flushed, for example, feminine products, cat litter, cigarette butts, paper towels, baby wipes or other “flushable” wipes. Just because the label says “flushable” doesn’t mean we should flush them. These types of products turn into a cement-like consistency that will either clog or damage elements of your system.
  • Be intentional on conserving as much water as possible.
  • Spread out your laundry over the week rather than doing the bulk of it in one day. This can overload your system and put a lot of stress on it.

Contact us today and we will be happy to answer your questions. Let us know how we can help!

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