Conventional, Aerobic, Drip, LPP systems and more.
We specialize in all types of septic system repairs.
For preventative maintenance septic and aerobic systems should be pumped and cleaned every 2 to 5 years. Please don’t wait until you have a catastrophic problem! This is an important step in keeping your onsite septic system functioning long term. Please see our FAQs page for tips on when to consider pumping.
When purchasing or selling your home it is very important to make sure your septic system is in working order.
We offer different types of maintenance contracts that will give you peace of mind that your aerobic system is functioning to the best of its ability.
1. How often should I have my septic system pumped or cleaned out?
S&A recommends pumping and cleaning every 2 to 5 years. However, there are many variables to consider when determining how often to pump your septic or aerobic system. Some homeowners may be able to safely go longer than 5 years and some users may need to pump every year. Pumping is an important step to maintaining you're on site sewer system even if you believe you are a non-abusive septic system user. How often a septic system should be pumped depends on usage and the size of your system. Ask yourself these questions when considering a pump out:
• How long has it been since your last pump?
• How may people live at your residence?
• What are the sizes of my septic tanks?
• How many gallons of water per day do I use at my home?
• What types of materials do you flush down your drain? Do you or another member of your household frequently flush items that are not designed to break down quickly. Please see question 3 below for a list of items that should not be flushed down your septic or aerobic system. Texas A&M AgriLife website provides a great table to reference when gauging how often to pump your septic system.
2. How often should I have my aerobic system pumped?
It is best to carry a service contract on your aerobic system and let your professional technician suggest when its time to clean out. If you do not have a service contract and do not wish to purchase one then for pumping frequencies homeowners should ask themselves all of the same questions listed under FAQ 1 above.
3. What items should I not flush down my septic or aerobic system?
The simple answer is anything that will not break down easily. Your septic system is designed to handle water, human waste, and lite use of soft toilet paper. The following items should not enter the septic tank.
• baby wipes or hand wipes
• paper towels
• feminine products such as tampons
• cigarette butts
• latex products
• coffee grounds
• no biocompatible soaps
• water softener
• dead fish
• small animals
• thick or hard toilet paper
• kitchen grease
• food - it is best not to use a garbage disposal.
4. Will pumping fix my septic system backup problem?
If you are experiencing a back up pumping may not fix the problem or may only be a temporary fix. However, pumping the system will likely be an important step in diagnosing the issue.
5. How much does it cost to pump out a septic system?
Pumping costs range from $300 to $750. Homeowners should have the following information prepared when calling or emailing for an estimate on septic pumping and cleaning.
• What is the capacity of your system? How many gallons do your tanks hold?
• What type of system do you have? Conventional or Aerobic?
• If Aerobic, do you know the brand of your system?
• When was the last time your septic system was pumped?
• How close can a large truck get to the septic tanks?
• Does your system have risers that allow access to the tanks or must digging occur to access and pump the system? If your system has risers please provide how many risers and the diameter of each riser?
• Are you experiencing sewage backup in your home?
• Is there water standing above your tanks?
6. Why is my septic or aerobic system starting to smell worse than normal?
One of several problems could be occurring .
* The system is becoming hydraulically overloaded. Meaning you may be using to much water within a 24 hour period causing your system to push solids through prematurely.
* The air compressor is not working properly.
* High sludge levels may exist in the pump tank.
* You are overdue for a septic pumping and cleaning.
* You may have a broken lateral line or a full drain field.
7. How long should my aerobic septic pump last?
Up to 15 years if maintained. Pumping/cleaning your aerobic system frequently will ensure a longer life span of your pump.
8. How long should my aerobic compressor last?
2 to 5 years depending on care and use. Cleaning of the air filter regularly, keeping debris from the motor, and treating for ants will ensure a longer life span of your air compressor.
9. How often should I add chlorine tabs to my aerobic system?
Check at least once per month to make sure you have chlorine in your sleeve/tube.
10. How much chlorine do I use in my aerobic system?
Add 4 to 5 tabs every time your chlorine tube is empty. It is best to wait until your last tabs are completely dissolved before adding more tablets. Do not over fill tube. Its always best to leave room for water to flow through the tube allowing proper disbursement of the chlorine.
11. Where do I buy septic chlorine?
You may purchase it from S&A Septic or from your local hardware store in the plumbing section.
12. Can I us pool chlorine in my aerobic system?
No. Chlorine tablets for swimming pools are not designed to treat wastewater — only calcium hypochlorite tablets have been approved by the EPA for use in aerobic systems. Pool chlorine is ineffective and can be dangerous when used in your aerobic system.
13. What is an emergency septic or aerobic need and what is not?
• Full tanks
• Backup into the house and after confirming no clogs in drain line from house to tanks
• Pump failures. On aerobic systems if sprinkler heads are not spraying causing tanks not to drain.
Non-Emergencies: However needs attention as soon as possible.
• Red light or alarm is on but the sprinklers are working and the tanks are draining.
• Failed compressor
• Broken sprinkler head
14. Is it okay to pour a driveway over my septic system?
We do not recommend pouring concrete driveways or walkways over your septic or aerobic system. This could cause the tanks to collapse or be damaged. This will also cause the system to be inaccessible for repairs when they occur.
15. Is it okay to drive a car over my septic tanks? Or park a car?
16. Should I use septic tank additives or chemicals in my system to help break
down solids and maintain the system?
S&A does not recommend septic tank additives. Proper use of your septic system and pumping at the correct frequency are the best treatments. Normal human waste should create enough bacteria for the septic system to operate properly. It doesn't hurt to put a packet of cooking yeast into your system to help accelerate the bacteria on new systems or recently pumped systems. For aerobic systems the correct level of chlorine is recommended.
17. What is causing my aerobic system alarm t o sound or light up?
Multiple issues may cause the alarm on your aerobic system to sound off. Below are some common problems your system may be having if you hear or see the alarm.
• A breaker in the control box has tripped.
• The pump has stopped working. It has either lost power or it has burned up.
• The float activating the pump has moved out of the setting.
• The compressor has stopped. It has either lost power or burned up.
• The airline has either become disconnected or clogged.
18. What should I do if my aerobic system alarm or red light comes on?
1. Ensure that all the breakers to the system are turned on and none have tripped.
2. Check the level of water in your pump tank and determine if the pump is working.
3. Check to see if there are any loose connections to the compressor or pump.
4. Contact a septic professional to diagnose the issue.
19. What is an Aerobic maintenance contract or service contract?
Aerobic maintenance contracts are actually better explained as a routine inspection or monitoring
agreement. Most repairs are an additional expense above the service contract . The following items will be checked during each inspection.
• Complete thorough inspection of your entire system on every visit.
• 3-4 visits per year depending on county or homeowner requests.
• All of the alarms are inspected for proper function on both visual and audio alarm
• The control box will be inspected for faulty wiring and corrosion.
• Air compressor inspected for proper function and flow to the aerobic tank .
• Air Compressor filter is cleaned or replaced.
• The chlorine supply is checked.
• Pump tank inspection to ensure the pump is functioning properly and that the sludge level in the tank is low enough not to block the pumps intake.