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Why Many Septic Systems Fail & FAQ

  1. How soon will you be able to schedule an appointment?
  2. How often should I pump my septic system?
  3. Why is my septic tank full so soon after it was pumped?
  4. What is a tight tank?
  5. My tight tank alarm is sounding, what should I do?
  6. What if I don’t know where my septic system is located?
  7. I ran over the cover with my lawn mower, what should I do?
  8. Can I wash my own filter?
  9. My filter keeps getting plugged, what should I do?
  10. Do I need to be home when you pump out the septic?
  11. How long is a Title V inspection good for?
  12. Why do I need a Title V inspection?
  13. What Does a septic tank look like?


  1. If you are experiencing an emergency, we will make every effort to get there right away.  We have an emergency phone number if you are having a problem after regular business hours.  If it is a maintenance pump we can schedule the pump within the next few days…Back to top
  2. We recommend annual pumping to maintain the longevity of your septic system.  That way we are able to detect small problems during our inspections before they become an issue.  It is a more cost effective than having to replace a failed septic system…Back to top
  3. Your septic tank will look full because the liquid from the house fills the tank.  The solids will sink to the bottom.  If the fluid level is over the inlet pipe then you need to have it pumped before there is a problem…Back to top
  4. A tight tank is an enclosed septic tank with no leaching field.  A tight tank may be required if there is not enough room on the property for a leaching field or if you are close to a water supply.  Your local Board of Health will determine this…Back to top
  5. If your tight tank alarm sounds, generally, you have 2-3 days of storage left.  We recommend that you call us right away so we can get there that day or the next…Back to top
  6. If you don’t know where the septic system is located you should contact your Board of Health to see if they have an “as-built” on file.  An “as-built” is a plan of the septic system.  If the cover is not visible from the ground you can locate the sewer drain in the basement.  Then, measure about 10 feet (sometimes more) from the foundation following the direction of the pipe.  If you probe the soil with a metal rod, the septic cover should be located 12 inches below.  Once it is located you should keep that information on file…Back to top
  7. If your cover is broken it needs to be replaced.  Warn children not to play on or around any septic cover.  Just give us a call and we can replace it for you or you can pick one up and install it yourself…Back to top
  8. It is not recommended because any debris the filter is holding back may escape into the leaching area.  To avoid this, the tank should be pumped down first.  We will wash your filter for you each time we pump…Back to top
  9. That is a sign that you may be putting harmful items down the drain.  If that is not the case, we offer commercial grade filters that should be able to maintain the flow…Back to top
  10. As long as the cover is visible or you have left the necessary information about the location, you do not need to be home.  If you have any questions or concerns you can call the office to discuss them…Back to top
  11. A Title V inspection is valid for two years from the date of inspection.  The inspection will be valid for three years if it is pumped annually and you have the proper documentation.  Condominiums may have different Title V rules…Back to top
  12. An inspection is required before the sale or expansion of your dwelling, even if it does not increase the flow to your current system.  Also, the Board of Health or Department of Environmental Protection may order a homeowner to perform an inspection at any time.  Failing septic systems and cesspools are a major cause of contaminated drinking water, tainted shellfish beds and polluted beaches.  Requiring Title V inspections protects you, your family and your neighbors from these public health threats…Back to top
  13. Cross section of a septic tank.

This is a useful link to the EPA’s guide to a Septic Systems: