The Do’s and Don’ts of Septic Tank Cleaning in Erie County, NY

April 30, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

When your home or business operates on a septic system, it’s important you or a professional septic tank technician inspect the tank once a year—or as required by state and county regulations. Tank levels should be checked and the drain field area inspected for odors, surfacing sewage and wet spots.

Always be on the lookout for the warning signs of impending system failure, which can include slow drains, odors, surfacing sewage, septic backups and gurgling sounds in the plumbing system. Call a septic company right away if you notice any of these symptoms!

As a general rule of thumb, a tank should be pumped when the scum is within 3 inches or the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet device. Using the right tools, you can do these measurements yourself, otherwise hire a professional.

Not sure where to go from there? Here are the basic do’s and don’ts of septic tank cleaning in Erie County, NY. They’ll help you extend the life of your septic system, save money on maintenance costs and protect your household water.

What to do

It’s necessary to keep track of maintenance and perform yearly tank inspections and pumping to keep your septic tank in good working order:

  • Once a year inspection: Although septic tanks should be pumped out every three to five years, a thorough yearly inspection may show you don’t need to pump as often. Frequent septic pumping keeps the solids from flowing from the septic tank into the drain field, which is an area you absolutely don’t want solid waste to end up.
  • Pump the tank when needed: Regular maintenance prevents costly septic problems. The key is to not wait until you have a problem. Instead, schedule routine pumping to prevent septic system failures.
  • Keep records: If you don’t write down the dates of tank maintenance and pumping, service might be overdue. This is a big risk to your septic system. For everyone’s sake, the pros recommend homeowners keep accurate records of system maintenance.
  • Conserve water: The more water you use, the more wastewater you produce. Ultimately, this puts a much greater strain on your system. But, reduce your water use and you can extend the life of your drain field and avoid the possibility of system failure.

What NOT to do

There are some things you shouldn’t do if you have a septic system. To avoid backups, drain field flooding and other issues, here’s what NOT to do:

  • Flush everything: Certain things should never enter a septic system—fats and oils, coffee grounds, paper towels, paint, feminine hygiene products, diapers and more. These can clog and damage the tank or drain field.
  • Put weight over the drain field: Heavy vehicles and herds of animals need to be kept away from the drain field, because the pressure from such excessive weight can compact the soil and damage pipes. And don’t put plants, pools or structures near any of the system’s components, either.
  • Ignore runoff: Water runoff from roofs and concrete surfaces can overwhelm the drain field. Direct water away from your septic system to avoid serious problems.

Is your septic system due for service? Call Macken Services, Inc. today to schedule your next septic tank cleaning in Erie County, NY!

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