Maintaining a Septic System

Quality and Speedy Service since 2001

Call 403-862-1313

Maintenance is vital to ensure a long trouble free life for your Septic System.

What is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is the primary part of a septic system designed for wastewater to drain into the tank. The tank has 2 or more chambers, one chamber to separate the hard non dissolved solids, and the other to allow for leaching or pumping of the fluids into a septic field or mound. Areas that are not served by the local sewage treatment plants require a septic tank. A septic tank is connected to all the drain lines within a building that has sinks, toilets and shower facilities.

A septic tank can serve a small home, or even a large community, the size of the tank will dictate the volume of sewage it is able to handle. A holding tank is different from a septic tank in the fact that a septic holding tank will not allow pumping or leaching into a field. All sizes of septic holding tank must be pumped out every time it reaches its holding capacity. The major two types of bacteria’s to remember are Anaerobic and Aerobic. Anaerobic bacteria’s are found inside the septic tank. The warmer the temperature inside of the septic tank, the happier the bacteria becomes. Aerobic bacteria’s are found in the septic fields. Their job is to continue to break down the sewage.

What should a Septic tank be used for?

  • Proper Septic System Care Waste water draining into a septic tank and field should never consist of the following;
    • Non- biodegradable waste such as diapers, cloths, hygiene products, cigarettes, cotton make-up swabs or Qtips.
    • Drain cleaning chemicals or petroleum products.
    • Herbicides, pesticides, bleach, swimming pool water, corrosive fluids.
    • Paints, solvents or any other in-organic materials.
    • Attention must be given to prevent excessive rain water or runoff from getting into the septic tank.
    • Septic Tank Cleaning and pump-outs
    • Holding Tank Pump outs and cleaning
    • Clean ups of flooded areas

Any of the above items will kill the anaerobic bacteria’s required to breakdown the human waste solids causing septic tank failure. Smells, odors and sour fields are a direct result of dumping the wrong things into a septic tank system. Other areas of concern are the use of garbage disposal units also known as garburators that can overload the system and cause failure.

What Septic Tank Safety Concerns should I be aware of?

Because of the anaerobic action taking place in the tank, hydrogen sulfide gases are produced. Never go into a septic tank that is or has been in use. Death has occurred many times from people unknowingly or carelessly working in and around septic tanks. Alarms can be installed to warn of a clogged discharge pipe, or a failure of the pumps used to remove the effluent.

What's the cost of Septic Tank Cleaning?

The cost to clean a septic tank depends on where you are located as well as how much waste there is to remove. Other factors such as ease of access to the tank can come into play. We recommend the scheduling of the septic tank cleaning in advance so that we can efficiently plan the routes saving you money on organized Vac Truck traveling charges.

Maintaining a septic system is crucial for several reasons, including:

  • Protecting public health: A septic system that is not properly maintained can contaminate groundwater and nearby bodies of water with harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. This can lead to serious health problems for people and animals who come into contact with the contaminated water.
  • Preventing environmental damage: A malfunctioning septic system can release harmful chemicals and pollutants into the environment, damaging ecosystems and harming wildlife.
  • Avoiding costly repairs and replacement: Regular maintenance and inspections can help detect and address issues with your septic system before they become major problems. This can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or even the need to replace the entire system.
  • Maintaining property value: A well-maintained septic system can help maintain the value of your property. A malfunctioning or poorly maintained system, on the other hand, can be a major turnoff for potential buyers.

To maintain a septic system properly, it is important to have it pumped and inspected regularly, avoid putting harmful chemicals or materials down the drain, and ensure that only biodegradable waste is flushed. It is also essential to have a qualified professional inspect and maintain the system to ensure it is functioning correctly and to address any issues promptly.




  • Slow draining sinks or toilets: If your sinks, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures are slow to drain or seem to be backed up, this could be a sign that your septic system is becoming clogged or full.
  • Foul odors: Foul or sewage-like odors coming from drains, the septic tank, or the drainfield can be a sign of a problem with the septic system.
  • Standing water or lush vegetation: If there is standing water or lush vegetation in the area around your septic system’s drainfield, this could indicate that the drainfield is not properly absorbing the wastewater.
  • Gurgling sounds: Gurgling sounds coming from drains or toilets can indicate that the septic system is backing up.
  • Sewage backups: Sewage backups in sinks, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures are a clear sign that the septic system needs to be serviced immediately.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your septic system inspected and serviced by a qualified professional as soon as possible. Regular maintenance and inspections can also help prevent problems before they occur and ensure that your septic system is functioning properly.

Do’s and Dont’s


Clean your filter once a year if it is a new systemKnow the location and capacity of your septic tank system

Every 3 years you should have a qualified company inspect the tank

Have your tank pumped yearly or otherwise advised by a qualified technician

Install the system so that rainfall and surface water will flow away from the drain field.  Water from a roof, should not discharge onto the drain field

Only grow grass or small plants above the system, never grow any kind of tree, for the roots could damage the system

Install water conservation fixtures or devices to reduce the total volume of water entering the system

Keep plumping fixtures such as toilets and faucets in good repair to prevent leakage or wasting of water, as this can float the field, causing damage

When purchasing a home, get a septic professional to inspect the system


Don’t use antibacterial soap as it kills necessary bacteria

Don’t drain hot tubs into the field

Don’t allow reverse osmosis systems to drain into the field

Don’t flush paper towels, newspapers, wrapping paper, rags or sticks into the system

Don’t allow large, irregular, intermittent or constant volumes of clear water into the system, such as a leaking toilet or faucet

Don’t over use ordinary household cleaning chemicals that will be flushed into the system

Don’t pour out or empty hobby or home industry chemicals into the system

Don’t allow waste from water softeners to enter the system

Don’t allow grease or other bulky waste to enter the system

Don’t flush toxic materials such as pesticides into the system

(403) 862-1313


Extreme Pressure Wash also trades as Septic Source, Action Septic and ExPressure.

Septic Source