SEPTIC INFO & FAQ
Frequently asked septic questions and information are displayed below. If you have a question that is not addressed in the material, please feel free to give us a call or email and we would be happy to assist you.
Septic Info & FAQ
1. What is a septic system?
A Septic System is your very own onsite wastewater treatment system buried underground. A properly working septic system treats and disposes of waste that comes from the house.
2. How can I find my septic system?
Some septic systems have above ground lids or covers that make it easy for location and accessing the tank. If there is no visible openings on the surface, it may be completely buried. You can locate the area of a septic from the vegetation growth. The grass in this area could be more lush and green than the other areas of lawn.
The easiest method of locating would be to call a septic professional. At Butler's we use up to date electronic technology that provides accurate location and depth of the tank. Better safe than sorry they always say, knowing exactly where your tank and drainfield is will help you protect the system.
3. Why should I maintain my septic system?
Maintenance of your septic system is important for many reasons. One main factor is the protection of health and environment. If the system fails, the untreated waste is likely to flow into streams and rivers polluting our drinking water and the environment of wildlife. Properly maintained systems break down the waste and prevent pollution and disease from spreading into the water sources.
4. How do I maintain my septic system?
Contrary to popular belief, adding chemicals to the tank are not only unnecessary, but could potentially cause harm to your septic system. Doing the opposite and limiting the number of chemicals introduced to the system is best for the maintenance of septic systems. Chemicals such as medications, detergents, cleaning chemicals and any other harsh solutions can kill the healthy bacteria in the tank that helps your system work properly. In order to maintain your septic tank it is recommended that you have your tank cleaned out and inspected on average every 3 to 5 years. The frequency of cleanouts for your tank vary per size of the tank and number of people residing in the home. To see the recommendations for clean outs based on your tank size and house hold, see question 5.
5. How often does my septic tank need cleaned out?
The average clean out frequency for septic tanks falls between 3 and 5 years with a properly functioning septic system. The factors that affect how often your septic tank needs serviced is based on the size of the tank and the number of people residing in the home. To see the frequency recommendations for your septic, you can refer to the chart below. Keep in mind, this chart is based on a well maintained and properly functioning septic system.
6. How to tell if my septic needs pumped?
If you do not know when the last time your septic pumped was serviced, we recommend getting it cleaned out and inspected to assure it is maintained and functioning properly. Some signs that it needs serviced or that the system is failing could be any or all of the following:
Areas of water pooling on or around the system could mean that the septic tank is overflowing. When the tank is not properly maintained, solid material builds up and can clog the drainfield. It could also indicate a malfunctioning drainfield.
2. Slow Drains
The toilet is not the only drain to consider, as the gray water from sinks, laundry and showers all empty in to the septic as well. Slow moving drains could mean your septic is full or it could be a drain issue. At Butler's we can assist whether it is a full tank or a drain issue.
If you notice odors in your yard or in the home/basement, it is likely that your tank is overdue to be serviced, give us a call.
4. Sewer Backup
This is a sure sign of an issue and most times caused by an overly full septic tank. In some cases it can be a drain issue as well, either way, Butler's is your solution, give us a call right away.
7. Where does the waste go after it is pumped out?
At Butler's we are environmentally focused. Therefore, all waste collected are processed at a local approved and regulated waste water treatment facilities.
8. What kind of toilet paper should I use?
It is recommended to use single ply toilet paper as it is easier for the bacteria to break down, using single ply can also reduce your risk for clogs and help reduce cost and prolong the life of your septic tank. You can find single ply toilet paper at any local grocery or convenience store, the layer of toilet paper is labeled on the package.
9. Are all soaps and detergents safe to use?
No, all soaps and detergents are not safe. Many common house hold cleaners and detergents can be harmful to your septic. One thing to avoid particularly are anti-bacterials. These have additional agents specifically for killing bacteria, and bacteria is what makes your septic run. Try to avoid using any products that are anti-bacterial. Also, when you shop for laundry detergents and soaps, you can look for "Septic Safe" on the labels to be sure the product is appropriate to use without harming your septic system.
10. Can I place something over my septic system?
No, You do not want to place anything over your septic system, especially the leach field except for grass. Roots of other plants can damage the system, sheds or furniture can put to much pressure on the system and even temporary heavy equipment or heavy animals could damage the system. Also be very careful of digging anywhere in the area as you could damage a pipe. If you have any questions as to where your septic tank and leach field are located, you can reach out to Butler's for our locating service or you can also reach out to your local community building and they have the septic system plan of most systems in the county.