Helpful Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

What is septic waste?
Septic waste includes greywater – wastewater from laundry, bathing and dishwashing – and toilet waste.

What is a septic system?
A septic system is composed of two parts for removing waste from a household: a septic tank and a drain field. In a septic system, waste will flow from the house into a septic tank, where it settles into three layers.

  • A layer of sediment – solids separated from liquids – settles to the bottom.
  • The upper layer consists of floating scum.
  • The middle layer is the remaining liquid that flows into a T-pipe on the side of the tank and out into a drain field.

Pumping out your septic tank every 2 to 3 years will help prevent sludge from entering the drain field and ruining your septic system.

What is a drain field?
A drain field is a designated area underground that takes the liquid wastewater from a septic tank and removes its contaminants through a natural soil filtering system. If septic tanks are not pumped out on a regular basis, the sludge will flow out into the drain field or could back up into a basement or crawl space.

What is a holding tank?
Holding tanks are found at lake and river homes where suitable soil for drain fields is not present. Most holding tank systems consist of two tanks that permanently hold waste and should be pumped out regularly. The frequency of pumping out holding tanks will depend on the amount of water used within a household. An average household (2-4 people) will require a pump-out every 2 to 5 months. During the holidays, when more people are staying within a household, pumping out holding tanks may be necessary on a weekly basis.

When should I pump out my tank?

  • It is important to keep track of when you last pumped out your septic tank. Septic tanks should be pumped out every 2 to 3 years.
  • If you are purchasing a new home, you should request that the previous owner pump out the septic tank.
  • Holding tanks have a colored light that will be lit when the tank requires pumping.

Septic Tips – Do’s & Don’ts


  • Pump out your sepctic tank every 2-3 years.
  • Add an activator to your septic tank, such as Rid-X or baking yeast.
  • Add root killer to your septic system if there are trees in or around the drain field area. (But NOT if you have a pump station.)
  • Know where your septic system is.


  • Do not flush toiletries down the toilet, such as feminine hygiene products, diapers, wipes and paper towels. Though these products may say “flushable”, most do not break down fast enough and can cause backups.
  • Do not drive over your septic system. This can ruin your drain field. 
%d bloggers like this: