Servicing septic tank too rarely

This blog post is about the frequency of septic service.  Now this doesnt mean just pumping services.  This means annual maintenance for those of you that have pumps involved.

Neglected septic system solids contaminate pump tank, screens, and filters

Neglected septic system solids contaminate pump tank, screens, and filters

Just a little background on septic tanks.  They have many functions, but the most important, and obvious is to separate liquids from solids.  Now this applies to those of you with pumps or without.  All septic tanks are the same for this purpose.  Now drainfields and pumps can handle water.  Nothing more.  Solids plug up everything, it is extremely difficult to remove and clean.  Which usually translates as expensive.  And for that we truly feel bad.  I don’t like having to tell someone some bad news that their system could cost up to $2,000.00 to clean and repair.

You can see in the pictures that “goo” is covering everything.  This has to be one of the worst jobs we’ve seen so far.

 

High head sewage pump out of a neglected septic tank

High head sewage pump out of a neglected septic tank

 

 

 

 

 

And this system was one of those that the homeowner’s just “knew” that everything was okay.  And this is where it’s hard to educate people.  No one can just “know.”  Just like you don’t know how much oil is in your engine of your vehicle.  You have to open the hood and pull the dipstick from time to time.  Hopefully you do that at least once a week for your car.  But back on track, your septic tank should be checked every three years.  To “check” the levels of your solids in your tank. And trust me, no one just “knows.”   There’s only one way to know how much solids are in the septic tank.  Someone has to open it up and take measurements.

 

Here we start to clean the sludge off the septic pump vault screen.  This is the final bit of protection for your pump and the drainfield.   What’s really scary is that no alarm sounded.  The pump simply was able to push these solids out until it started to plug the drainfield.

 

It’s so hard to say it.  This homeowner is wishing he’d heard of my website years ago.  It’s only about $125.00 bucks to inspect a tank on a yearly basis.  I would have seen this years ago and recommended cleaning before it got to this degree.  That’s about $10.00 per month.  A car wont run forever on “Not” changing the oil.  And the septic tank needs cleaned.  There is no special chemical that can make solids disappear either.  Be careful, there are those that try to sell that stuff too.  It’s kinda like snake oil.  There’s no special chemical that one can put in a gas tank to get uber great mileage.

This was the nightmare we were dealing with today.  We got it done.  First call wins again, and another septic system that appeared to be failed, is now back up and running.  Thanks for reading.

sludge on a septic pump vault screen

sludge on a septic pump vault screen

Starting to clean the sludge off the septic pump vault screen

Starting to clean the sludge off the septic pump vault screen

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One Response to “Servicing septic tank too rarely”

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