Are you suffering from a septic system backing up? Are foul odors permeating your home? Is there a sewage swamp in your yard where your septic tank is buried?
If you are having issues with your system, call Phil Hood and explain the symptoms. You can rely on his 30+ years of experience to diagnose the trouble. Phil will provide more information on possible causes, and then if necessary, visit your home and inspect your system. If there is a problem that requires action, you'll receive a free quote for repairs or replacement.
If you own a septic system, you need to realize its value. If you really think about it, it's extremely valuable to own a system that takes waste & sewage away from your home, processes it, & returns it to the environment. We take it for granted, but it's a benchmark of civilization. This service improves our quality of life, yet isn't usually considered at all... until it fails.
But aside from just the service your septic system provides, it has a high monetary value. Replacing an entire septic system (tank, d-box, leach field, excavation, piping, disposal, & labor) will typically cost from $5,000 to more than $10,000, depending on the situation. This is like having the cost of a late-model used car buried in your yard.
With a vehicle, we're conditioned to keep up maintenance and change the oil regularly because we know it would be costlier to just run it into the ground. Since a septic system is already in the ground, we just don't think about it often. But we need to. It's a valuable piece of property, and needs pumped every 3 - 4 years to save costly repairs or replacement.
Phil Hood & Hood Excavation, Inc. is a Licensed Commercial Septic Tank Cleaner (State of Iowa). Phil will discuss your system, visit your residence, evaluate your tank, let you know if it needs to be pumped, & then clean it if needed. Call Phil Hood to discuss your septic system.
It sounds logical to add more microbes or enzymes to digest the stuff in your septic tank, right? More is better, surely...
The fact is: there are more than enough microbes in your septic tank already. They've come from your body by the trillions through your waste, they're eating & breaking down all the stuff in your septic tank they can, and they're dividing and reproducing at an astounding rate.
Almost incredibly, there's so much activity from these little eaters that they keep the temperature of the tank well above freezing through some of the harshest North American winters.
Point being; unless you've created a very hostile environment by flushing too much harsh chemicals down the toilet, there will naturally be more than enough bacterial and enzymatic activity in your septic system. And if you did somehow make it impossible for bacteria to live in your tank, then adding more microbes isn't going to help. They won't survive either.
Independent testing has shown that additives either do very little to help process waste, or they actually harm your septic system. Studies have demonstrated that adding more bacteria can cause suspended solids to stay suspended instead of settling out of wastewater and dissolving. This can lead to these solids floating through the tank, past the filter (because the filter won't catch everything) and on to the leach field. This eventually clogs the pores in the soil under the leach field, and leads to the chambers filling with sludge. If left unchecked, the only fix for this is a complete septic system replacement, which is much more expensive and disruptive than regular pumping every 3 to 4 years.
" ...the septic tank should be pumped out every three to five years, given normal household water usage. "
" Adding septic tank "additives" to the system is not a proper substitute for tank pumping and may actually harm the system if it causes solids to become suspended and flow into the secondary treatment component of the system. It is also not necessary to add bacterial additives to the septic tank after tank pumping, since there is sufficient bacteria present in normal household wastewater for proper functioning of the system. "
" Some makers of septic tank additives claim that their products break down the sludge in septic tanks so the tanks never need to be pumped. Not everyone agrees on the effectiveness of additives. In fact, septic tanks already contain the microbes they need for effective treatment. Periodic pumping is a much better way to ensure that septic systems work properly and provide many years of service. Regardless, every septic tank requires periodic pumping. "
Unfortunately, this is only wishful thinking. It's like saying: 'As long as I only put fuel in my car's gas tank (as opposed to water, sugar, etc.), I shouldn't have to change the oil for the life of the vehicle...' That sounds ridiculous, right?
Of course, it doesn't hurt to avoid flushing things like cotton swabs and paper towels, and using your garbage disposal less (use your garbage disposal, but know that it will fill your tank faster than just regular human waste). But even if you managed to flush only human waste and toilet paper to your tank, not all of it will be digested and dissolved by the bacteria in the system. This leftover solid material builds up on the bottom of the tank as the sludge layer. There's just no way around it, and proper system maintenance includes getting the sludge and scum pumped out of the tank every 3 to 4 years of normal use.
If you're reading this, you're probably a responsible homeowner who has the foresight to maintain the vehicles, property, and equipment you own, because you know that it's usually more expensive and time-consuming to let things deteriorate. Well, add your septic system to the list, and make sure you are calling your Licensed Commercial Septic Tank Cleaner on a regular basis.
Just like you call your mechanic for regular auto maintenance, regular pumping is so much better than having to replace a ruined and clogged septic system. Plus, you're likelier to be warned by the pumper of any problem before it becomes a complete failure and your system backs up into your home.
" Unless there is adequate space in the septic tank for wastewater to separate into layers, solids and scum will float out of the tank and into the secondary treatment component of the system. Eventually, the secondary treatment component will clog and the entire system will fail. "
"To help ensure the proper maintenance and long term functioning of the entire onsite septic system, the septic tank should be pumped out every three to five years, given normal household water usage. Pumping the tank helps prevent sludge and scum from flowing out of the septic tank and into the secondary treatment system. "
" A key reason to maintain your septic system is to save money! Failing septic systems are expensive to repair or replace, and poor maintenance is often the culprit. Having your septic system inspected regularly is a bargain when you consider the cost of replacing the entire system. Your system will need pumping depending on how many people live in the house and the size of the system. An unusable septic system or one in disrepair will lower your property value and could pose a legal liability. "
" You should have a typical septic system inspected at least every 3 years by a professional and your tank pumped as recommended by the inspector (generally every 3 to 5 years). Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components need to be inspected more often, generally once a year. Your service provider should inspect for leaks and look at the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank. If the bottom of the scum layer is within 6 inches of the bottom of the outlet tee or the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet tee, your tank needs to be pumped. Remember to note the sludge and scum levels determined by your service provider in your operation and maintenance records. This information will help you decide how often pumping is necessary. "
Repairing a septic tank & replacing a leach bed after a system failure.
Fixing a Leach Bed, installing new Leach Field Chambers
More detail provided on the Services page.
Questions? call Phil Hood.