FAQs

Septic Systems

No. Deterioration in steel and concrete tanks begins immediately. Polymer lasts the longest and can serve you for many years as long as it doesn’t suffer any physical abuse.
Concrete is porous and cracks easily. Salts and chemicals are the major factors that contribute to the deterioration of both concrete and metal tanks.
Category: Septic Systems
It is never recommended to build over a septic tank. Access to the tank is necessary for inspection and maintenance. Anything built over the tank would have to be removed for pumping.
Additionally, the weight of any structure on top of the tank could damage it. The gasses that escape in this situation are very harmful to people and could potentially be explosive, causing damage to your home and foundation.
Category: Septic Systems

Yes. Access to the inlet and outlet ports of your tank is a must for inspection and maintenance. Risers and childproof access lids can be easily installed at ground level for easy access.

Category: Septic Systems
A visual inspection of your backyard for standing wastewater where the leach field should be or unusual odors can both indicate a problem. Otherwise, our first means of checking your tank is a visual inspection.
Clarity of the effluent water leaving the outlet baffle is the most important area to check. We’ll also measure and check the depths of the sludge, liquid center, and top scum level.
Additional information can be gathered by checking the temperature and pH level of the tank. Risers on the ports of the lid allow for frequent inspections. Proper pH is a must and its reading can be taken inside the outlet baffle.
Category: Septic Systems
Cigarette butts, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, plastics, and other trash, as well as high levels of cleaning agents or chemicals, can all create problems for your septic tank.
Some things kill the good bacteria your tank uses to break down human waste. Other items don’t readily decompose and can clog the tank’s baffles, preventing proper fluid flow. Non-biodegradable products are non-septic products.
Category: Septic Systems

Possibly, but any alteration in the spray area may require a repair permit.  The system is designed to be installed in specific areas and to spray a specific amount of square footage in order to meet TCEQ and local requirements.  Adding spray heads or moving spray heads may not be feasible to meet those requirements.

Any alteration of the system by the homeowner, landscaper, or irrigation company will put the system out of compliance and will be at the homeowner’s expense to bring the system back into compliance.

Category: Septic Systems

Don’t panic!  It is usually not an emergency.  Press the silence button to silence the buzzer.  Check the breakers to your system; sometimes short power outages can cause the alarm to activate.  If the light stays on or if the buzzer sounds again, call your maintenance provider as soon as possible. Never turn the system off.

Category: Septic Systems

Although plumbers and septic maintenance providers may seem to deal with the same problems, these businesses do not overlap.  A plumber does not have the knowledge required to fix septic systems, and we are not equipped to solve plumbing issues.

Septic Clean-Out access
Septic Clean-Out access

If you are experiencing Backup, try checking the systems “CleanOut”, a short pvc pipe with removable cap that sticks out of the ground between your house and the tank.

  • Contact a plumber if there is no backup in the cleanout.
  • Contact a septic company if your tank is over flowing, or if you cannot locate a cleanout.

Category: Septic Systems

Deterioration of the concrete septic tank is typically caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. Most deterioration issues are associated with heavy garbage disposal usage as the rotting food creates hydrogen sulfide.  Also, backwash from some water softeners into the septic tank using salt for water treatment can also create hydrogen sulfide.  Since it is a gas, the deterioration occurs above the water line in the tank.

Category: Septic Systems

No. Most septic tanks in the area are made of concrete, but there are some that are made of fiberglass and plastic. Some older tanks may be made of metal.

Category: Septic Systems

Septic tanks are sold in a variety of shapes and sizes. The size of tank depends on the number of bedrooms and the square footage.   If you do not have accurate records from the installation, we can give you a good estimate of the size over the phone, or measure your tank.

Category: Septic Systems
Your septic tank is typically buried near your house.  It’s connected to your indoor plumbing by a sewer pipe.  The pipe can be found in your foundation or crawl space and is usually 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
By carefully removing the end cap, you can determine the direction of the pipe that leads out to your yard.  With the information you’ve gathered, you can estimate the location of the tank and probe carefully with a shovel or iron digging rod to locate the four corners of the tank lid and its probable depth.
Category: Septic Systems

A septic tank is a large container, usually buried near your home. It receives all the wastewater you produce.

A septic tank is a large container, usually buried near your home.  It receives all the wastewater you produce. Heavier solids settle to the bottom, while grease and lighter solids float to the top.
Healthy bacteria break down these materials and allow effluent water to leave the tank and get dispersed through the leach field.  If your water has sludge present, the system is in a shutdown or failure mode.
Septic systems (“OSSF” or On-Site Sewage Facilities) in Texas are licensed and regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Category: Septic Systems

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Septic System Cleaning
  1. Does the company carry general liability insurance?
  2. Does the company carry workers compensation insurance?
  3. Is the company registered with the TCEQ  for hauling wastewater?
  4. How long has the company been in business and cleaning tanks?
  5. What methods are used to locate the tank?
  6. Does the price include finding the tank and exposing the lid(s)?
  7. Does the price include dumping fees?
  8. Does the price include any additional time on site due to locating the tank or a tank with very heavy sludge?
  9. Are their hoses long enough to reach the tank without driving over your lawn?
  10. Do they carry extra lids on the truck in case yours breaks?
  11. Do they check the inside of the tank for baffles, walls, cracks, leaks, roots, etc.?
  12. Do they pump the tank though the tank lid(s) or the cleanout?
  13. Do they wash out the tank after it is pumped?
  14. Will they remind you the next time your tank should be cleaned?
  15. Do you have to be there when they clean the tank?

The question should be “How do I know how much sludge is in my tank?”

The liquid level in your tank should always be at its normal level, which is at the outlet pipe (unless you are having a backup from the absorption area).  So, lets say you have a 1000-gallon tank. The tank will be filled to 1000-gallons, at the level of the outlet pipe. When your tank is cleaned it will be empty.  Once you use 1000-gallons (or however many gallons your tank holds to the outlet pipe), the tank will be filled to its normal level.  The amount of sludge in the tank determines when the tank is pumped, not when it is “full.”

Some liquids will remain on the bottom of the tank, simply because it is impossible to leave the tank completely dry.  The bacteria that remains in liquid helps keep your tank clean.

No.  We use shovels to expose the tank lids.  If you have nice grass, we will be careful to place the grass back in a way that it will easily grow with regular watering.  If the tank is difficult to find, several holes may be dug.

In extreme cases, an excavator may be used to locate or expose the tank and the lids, with your approval.

A conventional septic tank should be pumped every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of the tank and the household wastewater usage. A family of 6 on a 1,000-gallon tank will need to pump out the tank more frequently than a family of 3 on a 1,000-gallon tank.  In Bexar County, the tank is required to be pumped/cleaned at least every five years in order to renew the License to Operate for the system.

A clean septic tank lasts longer.  The septic tank separates the wastewater from the solids and allows the wastewater to enter the absorption field.  A dirty tank allows more solids to enter the absorption field.  This clogs your drainfield, leading to system failure.

In most cases, the entire system will have to be brought up to current regulations set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and your local permitting authority, which often requires an entirely new system installation.

We recommend you be there because we like to be able to tell you about your septic system. However, you do not have to be there if you leave us a check and telephone number.

The state of Texas recommends that your septic system be cleaned every 2 to 5 years. Proper maintenance is important to keep all the components running smoothly.

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