Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a pumping service?

Pollutants from a poorly functioning system can be drawn into your well and come out in your drinking, cooking and bathing water.  If your septic tank isn’t cleaned regularly, sludge and scum will clog the drainfield and cause the whole septic system to fail.

Why should I maintain my septic system?

A failing septic system isn’t like your car when it is low on oil; there is no red warning light!
The US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Public Health Service states, “A septic tank system will serve a home satisfactorily only if it is properly designed, installed and properly maintained. Even a good septic system which does not have proper care and attention may become a nuisance and a burdensome expense.”

How should I maintain my septic system?

With today’s modern watertight systems, no natural bacteria can penetrate the walls. The only way the necessary bacteria can enter is through your toilets, sinks, tubs and drains. Bio-activity must be present to keep you tank working efficiently between periodic, professional septic system maintenance.

How do I find my maintenance hole cover?

The location of the maintenance hole cover will vary by tank manufacturer, however the cover typically will be located in either the center of the tank or there will be a cover at each end of the tank. A location map may be obtained from your installer, your local health department or your local unit of government may have a location map often called an “As Built” Map.

Will household chemical use present a health hazard to my septic system?

As is true for a public sanitary sewer waste water treatment system, you should be careful about what you put into your septic tank system. Soil treatment and disposal systems are relatively tolerant to many pollutants but care should be taken to read labels on chemical products so that they are disposed of properly. Pouring large amounts of bleach or other disinfectants into a septic system can at least temporarily decrease the system’s performance.

How does the septic system operate with my water system?

A septic system or any type of waste water line is separated from potable water lines for public health reasons. The amount of water used in a household can affect the performance of an on-site system. As with homes using public sanitary sewer waste water service, water conservation should be practiced to the extent possible and leaky fixtures or toilets should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

What are the most common causes of septic system failures?

There is not one primary cause of septic system failure; however a majority of failures result from either overloading the septic system with too much water use, or lack of maintenance: such as failure to pump out the septic tank on a regular basis. The use of water can be conserved through the addition of water-restricting fixtures and devices.

Why should I be concerned if my septic system is currently working ok?

There are many environmental laws governing septic systems and you, as the property owner, are liable. These laws govern the design, installation, use and maintenance of septic systems. Also, you should never have an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” attitude toward the septic system; but rather view it as an appliance that needs proper operation and periodic maintenance. Prevention, then, is a key. When a septic system is not properly maintained and pumped, the few solids that do not get eaten by the bacteria can build up in the septic tank and then start overflowing into the soil absorption field. This can destroy the drain field, requiring immediate, expensive, and inconvenient attention from you.

Department of Health-licensed


Serving Westchester County