The Key Components of a Septic System

If you own a septic tank system, it’s important that you understand how it works so you can spot problems before they become costly repairs. Your septic tank system has four main components. Let’s take a closer look at all of them.

Pipe Leading from Your Home to the Tank

The pipe leading from the bathrooms in your house to your septic tank is the first key component to your septic system. This pipe carries all waste materials from your toilets to your septic tank. Any leaks or damage to this pipe can prevent your system from working properly and cause dangerous and inconvenient backups.

Septic Tank

Your septic tank is the main component to the septic system. Your septic tank holds all waste materials from your home and keeps them from leaking into the ground surrounding your home. Septic tanks are usually made of concrete and are buried underground. Compartments in the tank prevent certain forms of waste from reaching the drain field. Bacteria located in the tank breaks down some of the solid waste.

Drain Field

The drain field or leach field is an area where the partially treated waste slowly drains to make room for more wastewater. The wastewater is then treated further by the soil of the drain field. Too much wastewater caused by an overflowing septic tank will cause the drain field to flood, which can be extremely costly and inconvenient to repair.

The Soil Surrounding the Tank

The soil in your lawn surrounding your septic tank plays an important role in your septic system. When the wastewater from your tank flows to your drain field, the soil removes harmful bacteria and viruses, making it safe for the environment. Proper soil is necessary for a septic system to work efficiently.

For any questions about the key components of your septic tank system, call the professionals at Affordable Pumping Services.

Tips to Extend The Lifespan of Your Septic System

Your septic tank system is an important part of your home. It’s essential to properly care for it so that it works efficiently and safely. Here are some easy ways to extend the lifespan of your septic system.

Schedule Regular Pumping

One of the best ways to extend the life of your septic system is to pump it regularly. Most professionals recommend having your tank pumped at least every three years, but depending on the size of your household and your system, it may need to be pumped every year or so. Be sure to ask Affordable Pumping Services about the best pumping schedule for your system. Regular pumping will also allow for minor problems and issues to be spotted quickly.

Never Flush Anything Other Than Waste and Toilet Paper

Your septic tank system is not built to deal with anything other than human waste and toilet paper. Anything else, like baby wipes or feminine products, could cause dangerous and toxic sewage backups in your home or cause your tank to overflow. Make sure anyone that is staying in your home knows not to flush anything other than toilet paper.

Avoid Using Chemical Cleaners in Your Bathrooms

Strong chemicals used in some bathroom cleaning products can be harmful to your septic system. Your septic tank is full of helpful bacteria that help break down solid waste. Adding chemicals to your septic tank can kill those helpful bacteria, messing with the levels of waste in your tank. Always look for septic tank friendly products to use for cleaning.

Avoid Landscaping or Digging Near Drain Field

Make sure you know the exact location of your septic tank and drain field so that you can avoid construction, landscaping and digging in that area. Digging or using digging equipment near a tank could accidentally pierce or puncture the tank itself or important pipes connecting to the tank.

Call Affordable Pumping Services for other ways to extend the life of your septic system.

How the Weather Can Affect Your Septic System

If you have a septic system, it’s important to be aware of how different temperatures and weather conditions can affect it. It’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected and to know how to keep your septic system running in top shape. Here’s how different weather conditions can affect your septic system.

Cold Temperatures

Cold, winter weather can affect your septic tank in several different ways. Extreme low temperatures make it hard for the helpful bacteria in your tank to survive. The bacteria’s job is to partially digest the waste in your tank. When it is too cold, the bacteria won’t be doing its job. Undigested waste becomes sludge that settles on the bottom of your tank. If your area tends to get freezing temperatures for an extended period, call Affordable Pumping Services to come up with a plan to avoid problems. Special bacteria that can survive in freezing temperatures may need to be added to your tank.

Heavy Rainfall

Heavy rainfall can flood your drain field which will make it hard for water to drain from your tank. A flooded drain field can back up your entire system, causing flooding inside your home. A flooded drain field can also be harmful to the environment since raw sewage can seep into groundwater and local bodies of water. If you suspect your drain field may be flooding, reduce your water usage and call Affordable Pumping Services right away. During rainy seasons, be sure not to park vehicles on your drain field and keep your gutters clean and pointed away from the draining area.

To prevent weather conditions from causing an emergency with your septic system, take as many preventative measures as possible. Avoid pouring bleach or chemical cleaners down your drain that could affect the bacteria level in your tank. Make sure you’re on a regular pumping schedule and always contact the professionals when an issue comes up. Call Affordable Pumping Services today.

Are Septic Tank Additives Worth the Cost?

If you have a septic system or are thinking about installing one, you may have seen ads for septic additives that promise to save you money and allow you to avoid problems, but are they worth it? There’s never any replacement for regular pumping by professionals, and anything saying otherwise should be approached with caution.

Beware of Anyone Who Tells You Not to Pump Your Septic Tank

Ask any septic tank pumping service professional what they think of additives, and you’ll most likely get an eye roll. It is extremely dangerous to risk avoiding pumping your septic tank every 3-5 years like these additive companies claim you’ll be able to do. If you’re not on a regular pumping schedule, you risk not only your septic system and home from costly permanent damages, but you also run the risk of contaminating the environment with raw sewage. While using additives may be useful along with regular preventative maintenance, although the research on that is slim, NOTHING is a replacement for pumping.

Different Types of Additives

There are three different types of additives on the market: biological, inorganic and organic. The companies that sell all three claim that using any of these will either increase or help the bacteria that already exists in your tank. The truth is they may partially help; they may also decrease the amount of bacteria in your tank, throwing off the whole system. When there isn’t enough bacteria in your septic tank, sludge will form. Unchecked sludge can back up your entire system, causing your toilets and plumbing inside your house to overflow and flood.

Backed by Science

Additive companies will make claims that their products ability to maintain your tank is backed by science, when in reality the opposite is true. Many scientific studies have shown that additives have little to no effect on your septic system.

Trust the professionals, call Affordable Pumping Services to get on a regular pumping schedule.

Could State Inspections of Residential Septic Tanks Be Required?

Because of concerns of leaking wastewater into nearby water systems, many states are considering mandatory residential septic tank inspections.

Environmental Concerns

Septic tanks store wastewater in a large underground tank. When the tank isn’t pumped regularly or adequately maintained, raw sewage can leak into nearby groundwater as well as neighboring bodies of water. If leaking happens on a mass scale, it can be hazardous not only for the people living in the surrounding areas but for all wildlife. In Florida, out of 2-3 million septic tanks, 10% are regularly leaking harmful particles into the local groundwater. This is also a safe estimate for most states.

Concerns About Mandatory Inspections

Homeowners and local officials of every state worry that mandatory inspections could end up being extremely expensive. In Florida, where a bill to make mandatory inspections law is in the process, an inspection would be required every five years. Most septic system experts recommend those home systems should be inspected once a year, so if you’re taking care of your septic system, mandatory inspections shouldn’t be an issue.

What a Septic Inspection Involves

When your septic tank system is inspected by a professional, they will look for the following things:

  • The date that the tank was last pumped
  • Make sure the sludge level does not occupy more than 1/3 of the tank
  • Distance to local streams and wells
  • Ensure the tank is large enough for the home it’s servicing
  • Check for leaking waste
  • Check the drain lines
  • Check that the baffles are secure

Even if your state does not require mandatory inspections, it’s imperative that you have your septic tank system inspected once a year. It’s also essential that you get on a regular pumping schedule and call the professionals at Affordable Pumping Services at the first sign of a problem. Septic tanks are an economical and environmentally friendly waste management option when they’re properly maintained.

Environmental Concerns With Septic Systems

When properly maintained, septic tanks are great waste management systems and can be both cost-effective and convenient for your home. If you have a septic system or are thinking about installing one, you may be concerned about the environmental impact. Let’s take a closer look at the environmental concerns with septic systems.

How Septic Systems Work

Before we get into how they affect the environment, you first have to understand how septic systems work. A septic system is made up of two key components, a tank, and a leaching system. Waste is carried from the sewage line to the underground septic tank. Naturally occurring bacteria liquidates the solid pieces of waste while heavy particles form a layer of sludge until it’s broken down.

Maintenance is Key

If a septic tank isn’t pumped every 3-5 years or is not properly maintained with regular inspections, sewage can seep into the surrounding groundwater and nearby bodies of water. However, when taken care of and pumped on a regular basis, septic tanks can be far more environmentally friendly than other sewage treatment methods.

Decompose vs. Reduce

Since septic tank systems work by decomposing waste with the help of naturally occurring bacteria, they are much better for the environment than sewage treatment systems that just work to reduce the amount of wastewater. Septic tanks are also installed underground which eliminates the need for structures or machinery that could potentially cause environmental damage.

If you have a septic tank system, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are disposing of your waste in an environmentally sound way. Just remember to take care of your septic tank. Call Affordable Pumping Services today to get on a regular pumping schedule. Also, ask our trained technicians about regular inspections and ways you can keep your septic tank in top shape to protect your home and the environment.

Tips for Businesses to Keep Their Septic System Working Properly

Do you have a septic system for your business? If you do, it is essential to keep it working properly to avoid costly, time-consuming and embarrassing incidents. Here are some tips to keep your business’ septic tank working properly and prevent issues.

Always Repair Small Leaks

A leaky faucet or running toilet is easy to ignore when you have much bigger things to deal with while running your business. But the longer a faucet runs, the more water is wasted, and the more pressure is put on your septic system. Always call a plumber at the first sign of a leak.

Use Courtesy Signs in the Restrooms

Nothing should be flushed down your toilets beside human waste and septic-safe toilet paper. Anything else can lead to significant septic issues, including backed up sewage. Be sure to put friendly reminder signs in all your restrooms reminding employees and customers not to flush anything besides toilet paper. Place garbage containers inside bathroom stalls for feminine products, diapers and anything else that people may need to throw out.

Avoid Chemicals

If you employ a cleaning service, let them know that you prefer natural cleaners when possible. Harsh chemical cleaners can make their way to your septic tank and kill off the good bacteria that is essential to keeping your system running properly.

Regular Pumpings and Inspections

It’s essential to have your septic tank pumped on a regular schedule by professionals and to have it inspected at least once a year. Spotting problems early can avoid expensive repairs later down the line. Affordable Pumping Services can help you get on a regular pumping schedule right away.

Take Care of Your Land

Trees and their roots should be kept at least 100 feet away from your septic system. They can damage the structure of your tank.

For any questions about caring for your septic tank system or to get on a regular pumping schedule, call Affordable Pumping Services today.

Does Having a Septic System Increase Re-sale Value

If you have a septic system on your property, you may be wondering if it affects the resale value of your home. The research shows that having a septic system as opposed to a standard sewage system does not increase or decrease the value of your home, although there are some things about that septic system that can affect resale. Let’s take a closer look.

The Condition of Your Septic System

If you are planning to sell your home, it’s important to have your septic system inspected by a professional before you do. A home with a failing septic system, or a neglected one, will turn off buyers. However, if your septic tank is in pristine condition and all the components have been newly replaced or serviced, it can be a selling point.

When It Was Last Pumped

In general, a septic tank should be pumped about every three years. If you are planning on selling your home in the near future, get your tank pumped by a reputable company like Affordable Pumping Services. This will be a plus in the eyes of a prospective buyer since pumping can be expensive and they may already be overwhelmed with taking on a system that they’re not familiar with.

Safety of Your System

A family not familiar with septic tank systems may be wary of purchasing a home with one. To give prospective buyers peace of mind, be sure that all safety requirements are met and exceeded with your system. This means proper tank covers. A loose or ill-fitting tank cover is a safety hazard and is often the first thing checked by a home inspector. The best way to be sure your system is safe and up to code is to have it inspected by a professional.

Keeping your septic system up to date and properly maintained can increase your resale value when you’re ready to sell your home. Call Affordable Pumping Services today.

The Purpose of an Ejector Pump For a Septic System

If you’ve recently installed a septic system or moved into a house with one, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There’s a lot of new information to absorb and things to learn. One of the key components of a septic system is its ejector pump. An ejector pump, sometimes called a pump-up ejector system, is used to transport waste materials when the plumbing is below the level of the septic tank, like from a bathroom located in the basement of a home. Let’s take a closer look.

Replaces Gravity

Bathrooms located on the same level or above the septic system rely on gravity to transfer wastewater into the tank. Since bathrooms below the tank cannot do this, they need a little help. This is where an ejector pump comes in. A new ejector pump will cost about $300-$800 to install and will last on average 7-10 years. But with routine maintenance and professional inspections, they’ve been known to last over 20 years.

Not the Same as a Sump Pump

Plumbers are often asked if ejector pumps are the same as sump pumps. The answer is absolutely not. Sump pumps are made to get rid of extra water from rain or floods and use a simple drain pipe to transfer the water back outside. Ejector pumps are made specifically to transfer wastewater and are connected directly to your septic system.

Call a Plumber at the First Sign of Trouble

Because ejector pumps transfer wastewater from your basement bathrooms to your septic system, when they fail it can be extremely inconvenient and unsanitary. If you notice odd sounds coming from your basement bathroom pipes or there is an unpleasant odor, call Affordable Pumping Services right away to have your ejector pump checked.

If you have a basement bathroom, ejector pumps are a vital part of your septic system. Be sure to have them checked regularly and as always, call Affordable Pumping Services to get on a regular pumping schedule.

Pros of Having Your Pipes Hydro Jetted

Hydro jetting, or high-pressure jetting, is when a professional plumber uses a high-powered pressure hose to shoot water through your pipes to remove clogs and blockages. But is it better than other methods of unclogging drains? Here are the pros of hydro jetting compared to other methods.

More Effective

Instead of just removing the clog as snaking does, high pressure jetting removes all buildup and debris, thoroughly cleaning the pipe. There will be no leftover residue or particles which can lead to more clogs and further blockages.

Saves Money

Hydro jetting will cost you more than other traditional methods up front, but if your pipes are prone to clogs, jetting may be the only thing that fully solves the problem. Getting your pipes hydro jetted can prevent you from paying for frequent service calls and repairs.

Environmentally Friendly

Hydro jetting does not use any harsh chemicals or toxic materials to clean, just water. Therefore, this cuts down of environmental damage and waste produced.


Using snakes or other methods of unclogging can cause raw sewage particles to enter your home. Hydro jetting is an extremely quick process which is less likely to allow contaminants to enter your home.

Cleaning and Preventative Maintenance in One

Since hydro jetting completely cleans out pipes while unclogging them, it prevents future clogs from forming. This makes it a great choice for new homes or buildings where you may not know the maintenance history. Having your new property hydro jetted will ensure your pipes are safe to use.

Any Size Job

Hydro jetting works for small homes and big commercial buildings alike. Using the high-pressure jetting process will work on any size clog or pipe, including ones that other methods have failed.

Hydro jetting should only be done by the professionals, so if you think it may right for your home, contact Affordable Pumping Services today. We can answer any questions you may have and set up an appointment today.