How Often To Pump Septic Tank In Washington? (Solution found)

Pump Your Tank For a typical household, septic tanks are usually pumped every three to five years. Routine pumping can prevent expensive failures such as a clogged drainfield or sewage backing up into the home.

  • the local health district recommends pumping septic tanks every 2-3 years. However, some more sophisticated systems like sand filters and treatment systems require annual maintenance. 2. Where is my septic tank located? Most septic tanks are located within 10 feet from the foundation of the house.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank in Washington State?

Replacing a septic system can cost between $7,000 and $25,000 and requires a permit from Thurston County. A septic tank INSPECTION typically costs between $100 and $250. Getting your tank PUMPED usually costs between $300 and $400 (may be more if charge is per gallon).

How often should a septic tank need to be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

Do you really need to pump your septic tank?

Septic Tanks require regular pumping to prevent malfunction and emergency servicing. The most fundamental, and arguably the most important element required to maintain your septic system is regular pumping of the septic tank. Most experts recommend pumping the septic tank every 3 to 5 years.

How often should a 1000 gallon septic be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

Can you pump a septic tank too often?

If your septic tank is pumped too often, that bacteria will have no place to go but out into the drain field, which can lead to clogs and failures. So unless your septic tank’s sludge and scum levels reach certain thresholds, it’s actually beneficial to leave the septic tank alone.

How do I keep my septic tank healthy?

Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank as needed.
  3. Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
  4. Be water-wise.
  5. Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
  6. Landscape with love.
  7. Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.

What if my septic tank has never been pumped?

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

Can I shower if my septic tank is full?

Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.

Can you get your septic pumped in the winter?

Winter is really the only season we don’t recommend pumping septic systems. Unfortunately, frozen ground, heavy snow, and slippery ice can make it extremely difficult for even our skilled technicians to properly dig up and securely cover the septic tank.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

What to do after septic is pumped?

After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.

  1. 1) Get on a Schedule.
  2. 2) Take Care of the System.
  3. 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
  4. 4) Check Other Possible Issues.

How do I unclog my septic system?

If you experience a clog in your drain, here are a few of the safe ways you can go about unclogging it.

  1. Pour Hot Water Down the Drain. If you have a clog in your drain, one of the easiest methods you can use to try to remove it is pour hot water down the drain.
  2. Baking Soda and Vinegar.
  3. Septic-Safe Drain Cleaners.

Caring for Your Septic System

If your system consists solely of a septic tank and drainfield, which is referred to as a gravity system, you must examine it at least once every three years, if not more frequently. All other sorts of systems are expected to be examined at least once a year, if not more frequently than that. It’s possible that your local health department has more strict inspection requirements. A septic specialist can perform the examination for you, or if your local health department permits it, you can perform the inspection on your own.

Keeping the solids, also known as sludge, from piling up and getting close to the outflow baffles of the system is critical because particles can stop the pipe leading to the drainfield or, even worse, completely choke the drainfield.

  • A maintenance service provider
  • Learning how to perform your own examination
  • And other options. Inquiring with your local health agency to see if they can examine your system for a lesser fee

Pump Your Tank

When it’s time to pump out your septic tank, do so. Don’t wait until you have an issue before seeking help. Septic tanks should be pumped out every three to five years in a normal residence, according to industry standards. Pumping on a regular basis will help you avoid costly failures such as a clogged drainfield or sewage backing up into your house. Use of the garbage disposal will increase the quantity of solids entering the septic tank, increasing the frequency with which it must be pumped.

  • The number of people in the household. In general, the greater the number of people living in the house, the more frequently you must pump
  • The total amount of wastewater produced. Putting a lot of water down the drain (from inefficient or leaky toilets, washers, showerheads, and sink faucets, for example) causes the tank to be unable to settle entirely, and you may have to pump more frequently. The amount of solids present in wastewater. When garbage disposal and food waste flow down the drain, as well as RV and boat waste put into your system, solids will quickly fill your tank. The size of a septic tank. The larger the tank, the more the capacity it has to handle sediments and water, which may allow for longer periods of time between pumping sessions. Older septic tanks may not be the proper size for your property, especially if your home has been modified and is now significantly larger than before.

Learn how to hire a septic pumper by reading this article.

Use Water Efficiently

Water conservation should be practiced. The greater the amount of wastewater produced, the greater the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed of by the soil. By minimizing and balancing your water use, you may extend the life of your drainfield, reduce the likelihood of system failure, and eliminate the need for costly repairs. To lower your water consumption, do the following:

  • Invest in efficient water-saving equipment such as faucet aerators, high-efficiency toilets, showerheads, dishwashers, and washing machines
  • And Fix dripping faucets and dripping plumbing fixtures. It is possible to lose hundreds of gallons each day due to a leaky toilet. Shower for shorter periods of time
  • Bathe in a tub that is only partly filled
  • Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes. If your washing machine offers load settings, make sure you choose the appropriate size for the load you’re washing. It is not necessary to use the large-load cycle if you are only washing one or two loads of clothing.

Learn more about water conservation and water recycling by visiting this website.

Toilets Aren’t Trash Cans

Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. Apart from human feces and urine, toilet paper, and soap used for washing, there shouldn’t be much else flushed down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:

  • Baby wipes, cleaning wipes, or any other wet towelettes are OK. Tampons and pads, as well as condoms, are examples of feminine hygiene items. Paper towels, rags, or newspaper are all acceptable options. Floss for the teeth
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs are also acceptable. Diapers, hair, and cigarette butts are all things that come to mind. Band-aids
  • Grease and cooking oils
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Chemicals found in the home, such as fuel, oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint. For local hazardous trash drop-off locations, call the Ecology hotline at 1-800-RECYCLE. Prescription medications are available. Check to see if there is a medicine disposal program in your region.

Take Care at the Drain

Use wet towelettes such as baby wipes or cleaning wipes; Tampons or pads for feminine hygiene; condoms; and other feminine hygiene goods Items such as newspaper or paper towels can be used as alternatives. Floss for your teeth; swabs made of cotton and cotton balls Diapers, hair, and cigarette butts are some of the things that come to mind. Band-aids; Grease and frying oils; coffee grinds; cat litter; and other waste materials Gasoline, oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint are examples of common household chemicals.

Drugs obtained through a prescription Check to see if there is a medicine disposal program in your neighborhood.

  • If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
  • Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or into the toilet. Allow it to cool and harden before throwing it away in the garbage
  • It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Septic tanks can become overflowing with food waste from trash disposals, which can clog the drainfield.

It is not required to use septic tank additives found in stores to maintain your septic tank operating correctly, and they do not lessen or remove the need for regular pumping.

Maintain the Area Around Your System

  • Water runoff should be kept away from your system. Drainage systems should be installed to move water away from septic tanks and drainfields. The soil above your system should be somewhat mounding to aid in the discharge of surface water. If heavy rains cause water to pool around your septic system, avoid flushing it down the toilet
  • This will prevent damage to your system. Stay away from your septic tank, drainfield, and drainfield replacement area. Heavy equipment and livestock should not be allowed on your property. The pressure can compress the earth and cause damage to the pipelines and other infrastructure. Before you plant a garden, landscape your yard, build a structure, or install a pool, be sure you know where your septic system is and where it will be replaced. Make sure your system is appropriately landscaped. Grass is the most effective cover. Placement of concrete or plastic over your septic system is not recommended. It is best to plant trees and plants away from your septic tank and drainfield in order to prevent root intrusion into your drainage system. Depending on your needs, an aseptic service specialist might suggest landscaping choices for surrounding your septic system

Keep Records

Keep meticulous records on the operation of your septic system. Understand the location of the system and have a schematic of its layout on hand. Your local health agency may be able to provide you with information on its size and location. It is also a good idea to keep track of the maintenance performed on the system. These records will be useful if there are any problems with your home, and they will also be beneficial to the next owner of your property.

Don’t Ignore Problems

Minor septic system faults can quickly escalate into major, expensive concerns. When compared to the expense of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system, which can run into the thousands of dollars, addressing minor faults and paying maintenance costs of a few hundred dollars every few years is a bargain. Don’t ignore the warning signals of a failing septic system.

More Resources

  • Septic System 101 Video
  • Do-It-Yourself Septic System Inspection Video
  • Septic System 101 Video
  • Septic System 101 Video Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
  • Safety of the Septic Tank Lid
  • Symptoms of a Failing Septic System
See also:  What Will Break Down Baby Wipes In Septic Tank? (Solved)

WAC 296-46B-501:

Pumping chambers for sewage, effluent, or grinder pumps in on-site and septic tank effluent pump (S.T.E.P.) disposal systems will be considered unclassified when no more than five residential units are connected to the system, residential units are connected to a utility sewage system, or nonresidential systems have residential loading characteristics, and all of the following general installation requirements are met:(a) Troughs for sewage, effluent, or grinder pumps If the system venting has been approved by the local jurisdiction authority, venting may be accomplished through the building or structure plumbing vents or by a direct two-inch minimum vent to the atmosphere;(b) Equipment that, when in normal operation, may cause an arc or spark must not be installed in any pumping chamber;(c) Float switches installed in a pumping chamber must be hermetically sealed to prevent the entry of gases or vapors;(d) Junction boxes, conduits, and piping must Floor drains do not include drains from any commercially manufactured tub, shower, basin, sink, or toilet.(4) Pumping chamber access covers can be covered with gravel, light aggregate, or noncohesive granulated soil, but they must be accessible for excavation.

In order for buried access covers to be properly identified, an identification plate must be installed at the electrical panel or another visible point on the structure.

Pumps installed in chambers with less than fifty gallons capacity are not classified systems, as defined in Article 500 of the National Electrical Code.(6) Secondary treatment effluent pumping chambers, such as those used with sand filters, are unclassified and do not necessitate the use of special wiring methods.(7) Inspection approval is required prior to covering or concealing any portion of the septic electrical system, including the pump.

In addition, new septic and effluent tanks that contain electrical wires and equipment must be inspected and approved before they can be filled with sewage.(8) On-site sewage disposal systems that use pumps must be equipped with audible and visual alarms that are designed to notify residents if the system fails.

The alarm must be connected to a circuit that is separate from the pump’s circuit.

Inspecting Your Septic System

001 Sewage disposal systems.(1) Pumping chambers for sewage, effluent, or grinder pumps in on-site and septic tank effluent pump (S.T.E.P.) disposal systems will be considered unclassified if no more than five residential units are connected to the system, residential units are connected to a utility sewage system, or nonresidential systems have residential loading characteristics, and all of the following general installation requirements are met:(a) Troughs for If the system venting has been approved by the local jurisdiction authority, venting can be accomplished through the building or structure plumbing vents or by a direct two-inch minimum vent to the atmosphere;(b) Equipment that, when in normal operation, may cause an arc or spark must not be installed in any pumping chamber;(c) Float switches installed in a pumping chamber must be hermetically sealed to prevent the entry of gases or vapors;(d) Junction boxes, conduits, and piping must Groundwater drainage from any commercially manufactured tub, shower, basin, or toilet are not considered floor drains.(4) Pumping chamber access covers may be covered with gravel, light aggregate, or noncohesive granulated soil but must be easily accessible for excavation.

In order for buried access covers to be properly identified, an identification plate must be installed at the electrical panel or another visible position.

Pumps installed in chambers with less than fifty gallons capacity are not classified systems, as defined in Article 500 of the National Electrical Code.(6) Secondary treatment effluent pumping chambers, such as those used with sand filters, are unclassified and do not necessitate the use of special wiring methods.(7) Inspection approval is required prior to covering or concealing any portion of the septic electrical system, which includes the pump.

In addition, new septic and effluent tanks that contain electrical wires and equipment must be inspected and approved before they can be filled with sewage.(8) On-site sewage disposal systems that use pumps must be equipped with audible and visual alarms that are designed to alert residents if the system fails.

Measuring the Scum Level

Your septic tank’s pumping requirements will be determined by calculating the distance between the bottom of the scum layer and the bottom of the exit baffle or tee.

  1. Make a suitable reference point, such as a stick set on the ground across the opening at the top of the holding tank, to use as a guide. Attach a 3′′ x 1′′ x 2′′ board to the bottom of a six-foot pole and lower it down through the compartment’s outlet tee to complete the project. In order to indicate the location of the reference point on the stick, attach it to the bottom lip of the baffle using the 1′′ x 2′′ board. In Figure 1, you can see the baffle stick in action. A 6′′ square board should be nailed to the bottom of a second stick that is at least six feet long. This is referred to as the scum stick (Figure 1). Working from the manhole of the first compartment of the tank, move the stick through the scum layer until it is completely clear of it. Figure 2 illustrates the optimum method for accomplishing this: start with the board at a 45-degree inclination and straighten the stick as it passes through the scum layer. Continue to carefully raise the stick until you can feel or see the stick making contact with the bottom of the scum layer. Using your stick, mark the bottom of the scum layer at the reference point you established. Place the baffle stick and scum stick next to each other, with the reference markers aligned on both sticks. It should be noted that the distance between the bottom of each stick denotes the distance remaining between the bottom of the scum layer and the exit baffle (labeled “A” in Figure 2)
  2. If the two markings are fewer than three inches apart, the tank should be pumped out. If the top of the scum layer is within one inch of the top of the exit baffle, the tank must be pumped
  3. Otherwise, the tank must be drained. Set the baffle stick aside for comparison with the sludge level stick at a later time.
Measuring the Sludge Level

Using this information, you may figure out how far the sludge layer extends over the outlet baffle or tee from the bottom of the baffle or tee.

  1. Apply strong tape or string to the bottom three feet of an at least six-foot-long stick and tighten the rag or towel around the bottom three feet of the pole. This is the sludge stick, as the name implies. Carefully drop the stick to the bottom of the first compartment, making sure not to damage it. Reduce the height of the stick behind the outlet baffle or through the outlet tee in order to prevent forcing it through the scum layer. Keep the stick in the tank for a few minutes to allow the sludge particles to attach to the towel and collect on the stick. The bottom of the tank will be indicated by a stick that has been marked at the reference position. Pulling the stick out with care will reveal an indistinguishable, black stain on your towel, which represents the sludge layer. Place the sludge stick next to the baffle stick, making sure the top markings are aligned. The distance between the bottom of the scum stick and the top of the black stain on the sludge stick is measured in centimeters. This is the distance between the top of the sludge layer and the button of the exit baffle (shown in Figure 2)
  2. It is measured in millimeters. If the distance between the two points is less than 12 inches, your tank will need to be pumped.
Inspecting the Baffles
  1. Removing the inspection covers off the baffles that are located above the inlet, outlet, and crossover connections. Examine the baffles to confirm that they are still present and that they are not significantly rusted. Venting holes should be present and unobstructed if the baffles are made of concrete and molded into the rest of the tank
  2. Otherwise, the baffles should be removed. The input baffle should be free of obstructions, and the pipe well should be completely sealed to the tank. Ensure that the exit baffle is not clogged, and that the liquid level is at the bottom of the pipe, rather than below the pipe or much above the bottom of the pipe. The line connecting the tank must be properly sealed. In addition, there should be no obstructions in the crossover baffle. If the baffles are in bad condition or are missing, they should be replaced immediately.

A septic system that is properly sited and built as well as constructed and maintained may provide efficient, cost effective, and long-lasting on-site wastewater treatment. Maintain accurate records on the location of your septic system, as well as the dates on which the system was inspected and pumped (if applicable). Septic system maintenance will secure your investment, save you money, and provide protection for you, your family, your community, and the environment.

Written by Erin Harwood, WSU Clark County Extension, in 2005 and updated in 2020. If you would want more information about well upkeep or drinking water, please contact the following people:

Chart: How Often Should a Septic Tank be Pumped Out?

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Septic Tank Maintenance

Out of sight, out of memory, as they say. Due to the fact that septic tanks are subterranean and the access port is typically covered in mud and difficult to reach, pumping your septic tank is one of the most common home maintenance jobs to neglect. However, doing this critical maintenance work can help you prevent having to deal with odorous and expensive septic tank or drain field repairs in the future. As long as they are maintained consistently, septic tanks may survive for decades and provide dependable sewage treatment.

How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped Out?

That’s an excellent question, and the answer is dependent on a number of factors. The size of your family, the size of your tank, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, and the temperature are all factors that will determine how often you should get your tank serviced. To determine how often you should pump your septic tank, use the table below.

How Do I Know My Septic Tank is Full?

You should be cautious of a full septic tank before your yard is completely swamped with sewage, right? The presence of backed-up drains in your house is a solid indication that your septic tank needs to be emptied out. Septic tank failure can also be indicated by foul odors, sewage odours, or standing water outside your home. Clogged pipes or sewage obstructions can sometimes appear to be septic tank issues, so it’s important to have a professional inspect the system and make a proper diagnosis.

In order to be safe, put on gloves, protective gear, and protective eyewear before inserting a 6′ – 10′ wooden rod vertically into the septic tank.

Septic Tank Pump Chart

Make use of the table below to determine the proper service interval for your septic system. Keep in mind that this chart is intended to serve as a guide only, not as a fail-safe. Some states, towns, and counties may have minimum septic tank regulations that are not dependent on the size of your residence.

What Variables Affect Septic Tank Service Intervals?

The servicing intervals shown above are only suggestions. There are a variety of factors that influence how frequently you should pump your septic tank, including the following:

  • You employ a waste disposal on a regular basis. You own and operate a home-based business. You routinely flush coffee grounds or other non-septic-friendly items down the toilet
  • You have a clogged drain
  • You frequently host parties for your friends and family. It is necessary to have a sewage ejector pump installed in your septic system. It is necessary to utilize a water softener that is connected to the septic system. When compared to the typical person or household, you do more laundry.

Professional Septic Tank Pumping

Pumping a septic tank is not a do-it-yourself project. Because Mr. Rooter® Plumbing is a locally owned and operated firm, they have all of the required equipment and knowledge to pump your septic tank. Find the septic tank access port, and dig it out if it is buried if you want to assist reduce the amount of time that has to be spent on the service. This may sometimes feel like a treasure quest! Simply contact us at 855-982-2028 or fill out our online appointment request form to speak with one of our technicians.

Rooter LLC makes this blog available solely for educational reasons, in order to provide the reader with broad knowledge and a comprehensive comprehension of the specific subject matter discussed above.

In no way can this blog be considered a substitute for the services of a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Before beginning any household improvement, be sure you are in compliance with local and state rules. Previous PostNext Post Previous Post

Thurston County

Questions and Answers about Septic Systems

General Questions

  • The design of septic systems is such that they may provide long-term, effective treatment of residential waste if they are properly handled and maintained. The majority of systems that fail prematurely, on the other hand, are the result of poor maintenance. Plumbing issues are often of a less serious nature (such as pipe blockages from tree roots growing into the pipe). Even while septic tanks are quite resilient, they can decay or develop other structural issues from time to time. Having a blocked drainfield is one of the most dangerous problems you may have. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive of the repairs to complete. Once the absorption field becomes blocked, it must be changed, which may be quite expensive, costing thousands of dollars. Detailed instructions may be found atSeptic System Operation and Maintenance.
  • We offer a large number of booklets and brochures available for download or to be mailed to you (Thurston County residents only, please). In addition, we provide free septic seminars in the autumn. Please contact us through email or phone at 360-867-2626 if you require more information.
  • Is it possible for my septic system to poison my well? Alternatively, neighboring streams and water bodies might be used.
  • It is possible, especially if the effluent is not effectively treated, as in the case of a failing system. Untreated effluent is a health issue that has the potential to cause a variety of human ailments. If this untreated effluent gets into the groundwater, it has the potential to poison your well and the wells of your neighbors. It is also possible that shellfish beds and recreational swimming places will be affected if this sewage reaches neighboring streams or water bodies.
  • It is possible, particularly if the effluent is not effectively treated, as in the case of a malfunctioning system. Untreated effluent is a health issue and can lead to the development of a variety of human illnesses if not properly managed. You and your neighbors’ wells may become polluted if this untreated wastewater gets into the groundwater. It is also possible that shellfish beds and recreational swimming places may be affected if this sewage enters neighboring streams or water bodies.
  • In order to assist individuals who live in shellfish protection zones or who require financial assistance to maintain or repair failing septic systems, Thurston County Environmental Health offers low-interest loan and grant programs. To obtain a summary of the services that are available, visit Septic System Financial Assistance.
  • Low-interest loan and grant options are available via Thurston County Environmental Health to assist individuals who live in shellfish protection areas or who require financial assistance to maintain current systems or to repair failing septic systems. SeeSeptic System Financial Assistance for an overview of the programs that are offered.
  • The Thurston County Health Department must provide a Time of TransferEvaluation Report prior to the sale or transfer of a property with an on-site sewage system (septic system) in accordance with county laws before the property may be sold or transferred. Protection of public health is a priority, as is evaluation of all septic systems, identification of and repair of malfunctioning systems, as well as making records available to the general public. In accordance with this criteria, it became effective on September 1, 2010. A septic system review may be conducted by a professional who is knowledgeable in septic systems. Thurston County is also able to provide this service for an additional cost. In the assessment, you may find information such as a system record sketch, the size and age of the system, maintenance history (if available), and the status of system components, such as the tank and drainfield.
  • What information do I need to know before purchasing a construction lot for a new home?
  • Setbacks and other restrictions for septic tanks and drainfields should be checked with the Thurston County Building Development Center, 360-786-5490, before construction. Ascertain whether the septic system, replacement area, and drinking water well, if any are required, will fit within the confines of the property. The soil parameters must be determined since the quantity of sand, silt, and clay present in the soil has an influence on the drainfield. Because there are other additional concerns, such as the slope of the ground, the risk for flooding, if the property is in a wetlands region, and its proximity to water bodies, it may be essential to seek the assistance of a specialist.
  • Do you know how to educate your tenants if you have a rental property?
  • A strong emphasis should be placed on water conservation and the correct usage of septic systems, particularly in properties located near streams and other bodies of water. Thurston County provides specific posters and handouts for tenants, which may be obtained by contacting 360-867-2626. For more information, see their website. If you have any questions, please contact us. You may also supply your tenants with one of our booklets (see Publications and Brochures) or urge them to attend a free session (available during the spring and fall, see Septic System Workshops).
  • Are there any further conditions of usage that I should be aware of? Similarly to a holiday rental
  • Vacation houses and other places where people only visit once or twice a year may not generate enough garbage to provide the bacteria with adequate food to survive on. Prior to washing laundry or engaging in other high-water-consumption activities, flush the toilet a few times to give the microorganisms adequate time to reestablish their colonies. Other circumstances that place additional strain on the system include the birth of a child or lengthy visits from family or friends throughout the holiday season. Reduce the amount of water you use during these periods.
See also:  How To Diagnose Septic Tank Problems?

Maintenance Questions

  • Septic tanks should be drained every 3-5 years, according to our recommendations. When pumping is required, however, it is determined by the quantity of scum and sludge that has accumulated over time and has refused to disappear without the use of a pump.
  • If the amount of scum and sludge in the tank is equivalent to one-third of the overall depth of the tank, the tank should be pumped. Inspecting the septic system will involve taking measurements of the scum and sludge levels to determine whether or not any tanks need to be flushed. If your system qualifies, you may enroll in the self-inspection classes, which will teach you how to measure the scum and sludge in your tank and determine whether or not your tank requires pumping.
  • Is it possible to detect if a tank needs to be pumped without having to dig it up?
  • If you do not have risers placed, you will have to dig up the ground above the septic tank in order to check it properly. Risers provide for simple access to the septic system while minimizing disturbance to the soil surrounding the tank. Additionally, by keeping maintenance records, you may have it pumped on a regular basis depending on the rate of solids accumulation in the previous year’s records. An 1150-gallon septic tank utilized by a household of four with little rubbish disposal has to be pumped approximately every three years.
  • Alternatively, you may look for a list of countycertified pumpers and monitoring specialists on our website or in your phone book under the heading “Septic Tanks Systems – CleaningService.”
  • Pumping might cost anything from $350 to $1,500. Because rates vary, obtain quotes from a number of different pumpers, being careful to inquire about the amount of gallons included by each estimate. IMPORTANT: An average tank holds 1150 gallons.
  • Depending on the size of the pump, it might cost up to $350. Get quotes from different pumpers to compare pricing, and make sure to inquire about the quantity of gallons included by each estimate. An average tank holds 1150 gallons of liquid
  • Maintenance, maintenance, and more maintenance! You are responsible for the rest of the process if your system has been correctly planned, sited, and installed. Pump on a regular basis, limit your water use, and be mindful of what you flush down the toilet and down the drain. Septic System Operation and Maintenance is a good source of extra information.
  • What happens if a septic system fails to function properly? In what ways can I know if my system isn’t working properly?
  • Typically, when a septic system fails, it is because the drainfield is not operating correctly. Septic tank overflows can cause the effluent to pour into the drainfield, which can cause the pipes to get clogged. Sinks and toilets in the house become backed up as a result of this. Among the other indicators include slow-draining toilets and drains, a foul smell emanating from the drainfield, a puddle on or near the drainfield, and tainted well water. Contact Thurston County Environmental Health at 360-867-2673 for assistance if you believe your septic system is failing
  • Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide sufficient time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater, allowing clean liquid to be properly discharged to the drainfield. Over time, the scum and sludge layers thicken, reducing the amount of space and time available for waste water to settle before it is discharged into the drain field. Septic systems are limited in their ability to treat a given volume of water. Because for every gallon of water that enters the tank, one gallon of water is forced out into the drainfield, an excessive amount of water may back up into your home or overwhelm the drainfield and surface in your yard. The concern is that enormous volumes of water may not provide sediments with adequate time to settle before being taken out to the drainfield, resulting in blockage of the pipes. Indoor Water Conservation and Every Gallon of Water You Save, Saves You Money are two resources for water conservation advice.
  • It has been brought to my attention that I should not use a waste disposal. What is the reason behind this
  • The regularity with which garbage is disposed of has a significant influence on pumps. Food particles are typically not digested by the bacteria and instead build as scum in the tank. If a high volume of water enters the tank, it may drive the food particles into the drainfield, resulting in blockage of the drainfield. If you must use a waste disposal, you should have your tank pumped on a more regular basis.
  • Is it necessary to be cautious about what I flush down the toilet?
  • The answer is yes, many of the items that are flushed down the toilet do not degrade and remain in the toilet tank. In addition to using a trash disposal only when necessary (see question above), avoid pouring grease, fats, and oils down the drain, as well as placing coffee grounds and egg shells in the disposal or down the sink drain. Prevent chemicals from entering your system. Minimize Garbage Disposal (SOLID WASTE) – What you flush down the toilet can have a significant influence on the performance of your septic system. Many things do not breakdown properly, and as a result, they accumulate in your septic tank. If you have the option of disposing of it in another manner rather than putting it into your system, do so.
  • Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet
  • Do not flush dental floss, cat litter (including “flushable” varieties), hair, Kleenex, cigarette butts, cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, condoms, paper towels, static cling sheets, diapers, or disposable wipes
  • And do not flush any other items.
  • It is not essential to add a stimulant or an enhancer to a septic tank in order to assist it in functioning or “to restore bacterial equilibrium.” Human feces already include the naturally occurring bacteria that are required for the proper operation of the septic system. As stated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, none of these items completely eliminates the need for periodic maintenance and pumping.
  • Is it necessary to obtain a permit in order to make repairs to my septic system
  • And
  • Minor repairs such as repairing baffles, sealing fractures in the tank, and removing roots do not necessitate the acquisition of a permit. For further information, contact your septic specialist or call our office at 360-867-2673 or 360-867-2626. Yes, it is possible. A permit will be necessary for major repairs such as the replacement of a septic tank and/or drainfield, as well as the replacement of a d-box. For further information, you may either download the permit application from Development Services (both aMaster Application and aSupplemental Application are required) or call the Thurston County Building Development Center (BDC) at 360-786-5490 for assistance. The Olympia Business Development Center is situated on the second floor of Building 1 at 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW.

Drainfield Questions

  • In this location, there is potential for the replacement or expansion of the drainage system. It must fulfill the same requirements as a typical drainfield, such as suitable soils, setbacks, and so on, and it must be covered in the same manner as a regular drainfield. Additional information can be found at The Drainfield.
  • What can I plant over my drainfield and septic tank to make them more effective?
  • Drainfields benefit greatly from the presence of grass. Grasses can be used as a decorative plant, groomed in a standard lawn, or left unmowed in a meadow setting. Alternatively, groundcovers and ferns can be used (for specific plants, seeLandscaping Your Drainfield). Choose shallow-rooted plants that require little upkeep and require less water to thrive. Keep in mind that if you have plants over septic tanks and do not have risers placed, you will need to dig up the ground to access the tanks for inspection and pumping – which should be done every 3 to 5 years on average.
  • What is the maximum distance that trees and plants can be from the drainfield
  • A minimum of 30 feet between your drainfield and any trees or large plants should be maintained. Keep in mind, however, that particular soils may necessitate plants to be further apart than others. If you want to plant trees near a drainfield, speak with an expert who can decide the best sorts of plants to use and the appropriate spacing between them based on your soil. In most cases, trees and bushes have vast root systems that seek out and develop into moist regions, such as drainfields
  • However, this is not always the case.
  • Is it permissible to grow a vegetable garden over my drainfield?
  • No, it is not advisable to grow vegetables over a drainfield. Watering vegetables is necessary, because too much water in the soil diminishes the soil’s capacity to handle wastewater. Some plants have strong roots that might cause damage to drainfield pipes. In addition, bed preparation techniques such as rototilling and extensive digging can cause pipe damage. Additionally, there is the possibility of sewage polluting food crops.
  • If there is landscaping plastic or fabric under the mulch, may that be used to cover the drainfield as well?
  • No, since plastic decreases the amount of air exchange required in the drainfield soil. Even spreading mulch or bark over the drainfield is not suggested due to the fact that it hinders air circulation and absorbs moisture.
  • Is it possible to construct a carport or camping pad over the drainfield? Consider adding a tennis court or a hot tub to your property.
  • No, for a few of reasons. It is important to avoid driving over the drainfield since pressure from automobiles and heavy equipment compacts the soil and can cause pipes to get damaged. Second, impermeable materials such as concrete and asphalt restrict the amount of water that evaporates and the amount of oxygen that is available to the soil. The proper decomposition of sewage by soil microorganisms is dependent on the presence of oxygen.
  • Is it possible to construct a carport or a camping pad over the replacement area? Consider adding a tennis court or a hot tub to your property.
  • If you need to repair or replace your drainfield in the future, you should leave the designated drainfield replacement area (reserve area) undeveloped and protected from compaction.
  • Is it okay for cattle to graze on the drainfield? Let’s say you just want one horse.
  • It is recommended that livestock be kept away from drainfields. During the winter, cattle tramples and muddy the soil
  • During the summer, they compress it even further. As previously stated, this is detrimental to the soil’s ability to exchange oxygen. Please accept my apologies
  • Even one horse is not suggested.
  • Are there any issues with the rainwater being routed onto my drainfield
  • ​Yes. Whenever possible, rainwater from hard surfaces such as driveways and patios should be directed away from the septic tank and drainfield. A shallow trench uphill from a drainfield can assist in diverting water away from the drainfield.
  • ​Yes. Whenever possible, rainwater from hard surfaces such as driveways and patios should be directed away from the septic tank and drainage field. The construction of a short trench upstream from a drainfield can assist in water drainage.
  • It is recommended that water lines be at least 10 feet away from all components of the septic system. Make certain that all sprinkler lines are equipped with backflow protection devices that have been authorized.
  • Can I install a retaining wall and drains in that area as well
  • If you plan to install drains (interceptors, French drains, or curtain drains) or retaining walls within 30 feet of any section of your septic system, you must first obtain permission from the Thurston County Environmental Health Department (360-867-2673). Drainfields should never be cut through for the purpose of installing drains, walls, or irrigation lines. French drains are known for transporting sewage pollution from septic systems onto bodies of water or public roads.
See also:  When To Have Aerating Septic Tank Pumped Out? (TOP 5 Tips)

Official Island County Government Website

  1. What is an On-site Sewage System (OSS) and how does it work? When I say record drawing (asbuilt), I’m referring to the drawing that was used to create the record drawing. What is the name of the company that maintains the list of licensed maintenance service providers in my region
  2. What is the recommended frequency of inspection for my system? Who has the authority to conduct these inspections
  3. The frequency with which I should pump my septic tank is unknown. What is the process for enrolling in Homeowner Septic Training (HOST)? In order to address the issue of on-site sewage systems, the state passed new legislation. What is the location of the regulations themselves
  4. What will the cost of an inspection be
  5. What should I do to avoid a septic failure? What should I do if I can’t afford to fix my system? In order to protect my drainfield, what is the finest ground cover? Will the addition of additives benefit my system? What is the significance of water conservation? It has been brought to my attention that I should not use a waste disposal. What is the reason behind this
  6. I’m wondering how long septic systems endure because I’m noticing certain aromas coming from my system. Is this usual behavior?

So, what exactly is an On-Site Sewage System (OSS) and how does it work? A record drawing (sometimes known as a “asbuilt”) is a sketch that shows how something was built. What is the name of the company that maintains the list of licensed maintenance service providers in my area? What is the recommended frequency of inspection for my system; This type of inspection can only be carried out by certain people. The frequency with which I should pump my septic tank is not specified. What is the process for enrolling in Homeowner Septic Training (HOST); and In order to address the issue of on-site sewage systems, the state adopted new legislation.

  • A cost estimate for the inspection is provided.
  • My system can’t be repaired because I can’t afford it—what should I do now?
  • Will the use of chemicals be beneficial to my body?
  • Apparently, using a waste disposal is not recommended.
  • This appears to be standard procedure.
  • Regular maintenance on conventional septic systems (just the septic tank and drainfield) is recommended every three years. Every year, the conventional pressure systems (pump) are serviced. Alternative systems (mounds, Glendons, ATUs, and so on) are inspected once a year. Whenever a property is served by an on-site sewage system and an inspection has not been conducted during the most recent compliance period, all systems will be subject to an examination at the time of sale.

5. Who has the authority to conduct these inspections? This is depending on the sort of on-site sewage system installed and where it is located.

  • The following are required for conventional gravity systems: a Licensed Maintenance Service Provider or a homeowner who has successfully completed Island County’s HOST program (free Homeowner Septic Training)
  • The conventional pressure system is as follows: An Island County Licensed Maintenance Service Provider or a homeowner who has completed Island County’s HOST program (free Homeowner Septic Training) is required to install the system unless the system is located on land that is within the Penn Cove or South Holmes Harbor Shellfish Protection District watersheds. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that householders in “Sensitive” regions would be required to engage a Licensed Maintenance Service Provider for any systems that are not conventional gravity
  • System alternatives include: A Maintenance Service Provider who is properly licensed
  • A Licensed Maintenance Service Provider, regardless of type, location, or system, if an inspection has not been performed in the most recent compliance period by the homeowner or a Licensed Maintenance Service Provider
  • A Licensed Maintenance Service Provider, regardless of type, location, or system

What is the recommended frequency of pumping my septic tank? The frequency with which you must pump is determined by the size of the tank, the number of persons in the home, and the amount and kind of sediments in the tank. The average septic tank should be pumped once every three to five years; however, certain alternative systems that are more sophisticated may require pumping on a much more regular basis. What is the Homeowner Septic Training (HOST) program and how can I join up? If you want to check your own sewage system, you must first obtain certified via Island County and then attend a homeowner class, which may be taken in person or online through our Online Training Program.

  • To register for our HOST lessons, please go to our website and fill out the appropriate form.
  • 8.
  • As a result, Washington State has substantial problems with ground water contamination, which leads to the degradation of recreational and drinking water supplies, affecting both the health of residents and the livelihood of those working in the fishing and shellfish sectors.
  • Therefore, the State Department of health established more stringent regulations for septic inspection, design, and installation of septic systems.
  • On-site sewage systems that are well-maintained can also save homeowners money by eliminating the need for costly repairs.
  • May you tell me where I can discover the rules and regulations governing on-site wastewater systems?
  • The enforcement of these restrictions is the responsibility of local public health authorities.
  • What is the estimated cost of an inspection?
  • First and foremost, one must consider the intricacy of the on-site sewage system before proceeding.
  • Before having services performed, it may be a good idea to obtain an estimate, or even more than one estimate, from a reputable company.

In most cases, when a homeowner inspects his or her own system, there is no financial expense involved. Upon successful completion of Island County’s HOST program, a homeowner is certified to examine his or her own on-site sewage system, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Because of this, the system does not fall within the watersheds of the Penn Cove and South Holmes Harbor Shellfish Protection Districts
  • Nonetheless, the system does have conventional pressure.

The system operates under conventional pressure, however it is not located within the watersheds of the Penn Cove and South Holmes Harbor Shellfish Protection Districts.

Septic, Aerobic & Grease Pumping

Roto-Rooter will pump out your septic tank and take away the trash to an approved treatment and processing facility, and we will ensure that septic tank waste is treated appropriately and does not pose an environmental danger by using environmentally friendly methods.

Drain Fields

In order to restore your septic system to its most effective operational condition, we must first service the drainage field pipes. We have complete excavating capability to tackle assignments of any size or complexity. Roto-Rooter can repair or replace broken drain field pipes / lateral lines in your home or commercial property. As a result, a more effective and trouble-free septic system may be achieved. We provide septic tank treatment products that are ecologically acceptable and include a high concentration of cultivated bacteria in a concentrated formulation.

Grease Trap Pumping

Roto-Rooter reliably and professionally removes trash from septic tanks, grease traps, catch basins, and other liquid waste receptacles by vacuuming, pumping, and hauling it away. We take care of the garbage disposal in a safe and legal manner.

Why do some neighborhoods function off a septic tank while others utilize their local sewer system?

The answer to this query is frequently found in the location of the house in question. Septic tanks are commonly used by houses that are located outside of the reach of their local sewer system. When compared to one another, both utilities have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The majority of homeowners are compelled to pay a monthly charge when they use the public sewer system in their neighborhood. When utilizing a septic tank, the homeowner is responsible for the upkeep and removal of waste water, but there is no monthly cost associated with using a septic tank.

What is the lifespan of a septic tank?

It is common for the answer to this query to be found in the address of the residence. Septic tanks are commonly used by houses that are located outside the reach of their local sewer system. When compared to one another, both utilities have advantages and disadvantages. A monthly charge is levied to most residents who use the municipal sewer system in their neighborhood. While the homeowner is responsible for the upkeep and removal of waste water, there is no monthly charge associated with using a septic tank as opposed to a sewer system.

How do you properly maintain a septic tank?

It is common for the answer to this query to be found in the location of the residence. Septic tanks are often used by houses that are located outside of the reach of their local sewer system. When comparing the two utilities, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The majority of households are compelled to pay a monthly charge when they use the public sewer system in their community.

When using a septic tank, the homeowner is responsible for the tank’s upkeep and removal of waste water, but there is no monthly cost associated with the tank. The owners of septic tanks often save money over the course of their lives as compared to those who do not.

Aerobic Treatment System

Aerobic treatment systems are sewage treatment systems that are installed on-site. When it comes to wastewater treatment, forced air is often used. To spread the treated wastewater, surface application or drip irrigation may be employed, as well as subsurface application. Alternatively, they can be utilized to repair or replace subsurface systems that have failed owing to excessive groundwater levels or poor soil conditions. Although aerobic systems can be developed without first doing a soil test, it is recommended that a soil profile be conducted first.

While the initial cost of a system is frequently the most essential consideration, it may not be the most critical consideration.

The annual maintenance expenses vary depending on the kind of system, and this will have an impact on the five-year total cost of the system.

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