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To Pump or Not to Pump…

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Your septic system is your own personal sewage treatment plant.  It is also a living ecosystem.  Sadly not many people know how a septic system really works or how to care for it.  They think of it as simply as an underground holding tank that makes their waste disappear, and when it doesn’t, they call a septic pumper.

A soon-to-be client of ours came home one night to find their septic had backed up in their basement.  They quickly called their septic pumper to pump out the tank believing that their problem would be solved.  However, after two more back-ups and two more pump outs within a matter of a few months, they realized something more may be going on and called us.

Typically, a full tank is just a symptom of an underlying problem.  Far too often septic pump outs are performed unnecessarily.  Septic tanks generally only need to be pumped out about every 3-5 years, depending upon the health of the system, and then only to remove the sludge that has built up.

Solids settle to the bottom of the tank where bacteria gradually decompose them.  Over time, some partially and non-decomposed waste remains, forming a sludge that builds up and eventually needs to be pumped out.

So what can cause a septic to back up?

  • Grease or debris blockage
  • Clogged filters
  • Misaligned or broken pipes
  • Roots
  • Pump or float not functioning
  • Overuse of chemicals such as anti-bacterials, detergents, fabric softeners…
  • Driving on septic system
  • Building a deck, garden, hot tub, etc. on top of the septic system
  • Too much water getting into system from plumbing problems, poor drainage…

Septic Repair


A septic repair/maintenance company can diagnose the problem and offer the correct solution.  They can also provide you with information on how to care for your septic system so it can function at peak efficiency for years to come.



To learn the signs of potential septic trouble along with some “do’s and don’ts” of septic care, click here.

When it does come time to have your tank pumped out, make sure the pumper removes all the sludge, even from the corners, and checks to confirm that he has.  Help him (and your septic) by having a garden hose nearby so he can wash out the corners in the tank.

For professional septic repairs, maintenance and inspections, call Plumb Perfect at 1-888-458-1979.


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