Are septic systems the same as being on city sewer?
No, they are completely different and should be used and maintained completelty different. Septic systems do require proper maintenance and cleaning. When households practice water conservation and proper disposal of waste, septic systems will last longer and better.
What is safe to put into my septic system?
All used water from the home or property, all wastes that exit the Human body and toilet tissue, all soaps, liquids and powders that are used for cleaning the home or body and all laundry detergents and softeners.
What is not safe to put into my septic system?
Excessive water usage. Garbage disposals contents, cooking greases, fats or oils, food stickers, wrappers and trimmings, Female Hygiene products like tampons, applicators, wrappers or pads, condoms or diaphragms, trash, cigarette butts, paper towels, needles or syringes, anything plastic like bags or packaging, any kind of wipes like baby, cleaning or make-up/face wipes and over the counter flushable Enzymes or Probiotics.
How often should I pump out my septic system?
The rate of pumping should be determined by number of occupants. The general rule of thumb is four people or more every three years or less; for three or less people should be every five years or less. Commercial and rental properties should be yearly to quarterly or more. Best to consult with the Septic Maintenance Provider for frequency of pumping on non-residential properties.
Does my septic system require maintenance?
Yes, any and all septic systems will require maintenance at some point. The best way to avoid costly repairs or full replacements of your septic is to have in inspected once a year. Standard maintenance is the best way to ensure the life in anything especially your septic system! Now some, depending on the type of system and location will be required by State of Texas or Local Governing Authorities by Law require frequent inspections and or Maintenance Contracts from a Licensed Provider.
How long will my septic system last?
An average lifespan of septic systems is 25-30 years. Now that is not a fact for every system. Most systems that are properly maintained and pumped regularly, not miss or over used can function for far more years than the average. But unfortunately the majority of systems are not used and maintained properly. So some do not even make to the average lifespan or even out of their warranty before they exhibit failures.
Can I build a deck, sidewalk, storage building, pool, driveway or anything over my septic tank(s) or disposal field(s)?
No, State of Texas does not permit the construction of anything permanent on top of, inside or outside of or around any part of the septic system. Anything of this nature should stay a minimum of five feet off any aspect of the system. Best to consult with the contractor and Local Governing Authorities for the permit of the project and location the septic system before doing anything like this.
Can I continue to use the same septic system if I add a spare bedroom, convert my garage into an apartment or do any additions to the property?
In most cases no, but in some cases maybe. It is always best to check with the Local Governing Authorities to see if the project is permittable first. Or check with a Licensed Septic Engineer/Designer and see if your current system is capable of handling more water legally and functionally. In most cases you will find the current system will not pass for the additional square footage for occupancy. Depending on type and age of the current septic system sometimes they can be added to. Generally speaking, they will need to be completely replaced with a larger and newer septic system.
Can I plant trees, bushes or flowers around my septic system?
It is not wise to plant anything around or on top of any protion of your septic systems except grasses. Deep rooting vegetation will devour tanks and disposal fields beyond repair in some cases. If done the chances of a long lasting septic system are slim and cost of repairs and or replacement are great.
How do will I know if my septic systems is having issues?
When proper maintaining the system with annual inspections and pumping intervals of current standards, most issues will be caught before a crisis occurs. Otherwise modern systems are designed with alarm features that light up and or sounds. Other signs are back-ups in or around the tanks or into the house. Wet spots that create cesspools in the yard that stay wet for long periods of time. Even small to large holes that appear in the yard that typically smell.