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Septic Tank Cleaning


Your septic tank is a key component of your water treatment and recycling system. It serves as a settling basin where solids accumulate and gradually get broken down by bacterial action.

Some of the organic waste is actually liquefied by this “natural bacterial decomposition”; however the rest of the waste accumulates in the bottom as a layer of sludge. Additionally, a small percentage of this waste (mostly fats and oils) may float to the top of the tank to form a layer of semi-solid scum.

Preventing groundwater pollution from failing septic systems should be a priority for every homeowner. Contamination of the groundwater source can lead to the pollution of local wells, streams, lakes, and ponds— exposing family, friends, and neighbors to waterborne diseases and other serious health risks.

Professional septic tank cleaners will check the condition of the baffles or tees, the walls of the tank for cracks, and the drain field for any signs of failure. When it’s time to pump, be sure to hire a licensed local contractor. They will have the appropriate equipment and will dispose of the sludge at an approved treatment facility.

Septic Tank Cleaning

Average Cost

The national average cost is $150 – $700+

The average cost to hire a local professional will average about $150-$700, with some consumers spending over $700 or more. So choosing the right professional the first time is of the essence.


Recognize that there are many variables in developing the price. These include:

  • Time that it takes to complete the repair or installation or cleaning.
  • Time that it takes to complete the cleaning.
  • How many technicians are working on your project.
  • Was it an after hours emergency
  • Finding the septic tank lids.
  • How much to dig out the lids.
  • Pumping the tank lid.
  • Pumping the tank itself.
  • Any repairs that may be needed.
  • The cost of dumping fees.
  • Inspection of the baffles.
  • Clean the filter baffle.
  • Extra charge to pump a tank that has not been maintained properly.
  • Distance and elevation required to pump

Remember, the company quoting a low rate may not necessarily be the right  company for you. Some  companies may offer low hourly rates, but then charge additional “fees” to complete the job.

You may also need to consider that most  companies charge a higher rate for overtime, weekends, holidays and emergency calls.

The best rule of hand is to get an itemized estimate so you know exactly what is expected from the local company.

Basic Information

Septic Tank Care

Inspect Your System Yearly

Septic tanks should be pumped every three years. Inspection, by you or a professional, may show that you need to pump more less often. Regular pumping ensures that solids will not flow from the septic tank into the drain field.

Pump Your Tank

You should have your tank pumped at least once every 3 years to prevent build up of possibly even a backup.

Bacterial Additive Products

During the year you can use bacterial additives in your system. This bacteria ensures that your system is able to break down the solids that enter your system and keep your system working properly.

Septic System Filter

Use a septic system filter. This will ensure that solids remain in the septic tank, as they should and will not clog your field, the most expensive part of your system. A septic system filter works much like a coffee filter.  It catches solids and let’s liquids pass through.

Divert Rainwater From the  Drainfield

A soggy drain field won’t absorb and neutralize liquid waste. Plan landscaping, roof gutters and foundation drains so that excess water is diverted away from the drain field.

Don’t Overload the drain field

Check faucets and toilets for leaks; make repairs if necessary.
Reduce water levels for small loads of laundry.
Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it.

Keep Trees Away

Keeping trees at least 50 feet away from the septic system. Trees with very aggressive roots, should be even farther away from the system.

Do Not Flush

Never flush cat litter, diapers, napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds, or cigarette butts down the toilet. They’ll clog your septic tank in less time than you might imagine.

Garbage Disposals

Choose a top-line disposal that grinds food into tiny particles that are easier for a system to digest.

Minimize Heavy Duty Cleaners

Overuse of heavy cleaners kills bacteria in the septic tank, so solids won’t break down as well.

No Grease

Grease can clog the septic drain field, making it impossible for soil to absorb liquids. If that happens you’ll need a new drain field.

Avoid Hazardous Chemicals

Hazardous chemicals such as varnish, paint thinners, motor oils, gasoline and other similar chemicals can ruin the septic system and are a hazard to groundwater.

Protect from Damage

Do not drive over, build a structure on top of, or cover the drain field with concrete or asphalt.

Find Local Trusted Septic Tank Cleaning Professionals Already Working In Your Neighborhood!

Tips & Advice

  • Ask For The License – Ask for all local and state business licenses.
  • Proof Of Insurance– For your own protection, check proof of both workman’s compensation and  liability Insurance.
  • Business Stability– Find out how long the company has been in business.
  • Check Online Reviews – You’re probably not the first person in town looking for their services. Rely on the internet to get reviews written by people in your community.
  • References – Expect any top-notch company to be able to provide you with references upon request. Once you have these names, contact the clients to get information about the quality service. When you call, ask questions about the work, timeliness, cost and whether the clients would use the company again for future work.
  • 24-hour Emergency Service – Make sure your local company offers emergency 24 hour service. If something goes wrong, it’s good to know that you will not have to wait days for them to come  out and fix it.
  • Over The Phone Pricing –  Honest estimates simply cannot be given over the phone – especially if you aren’t talking with an actual technician when you call.
  • Free Estimates – Most companies offer free estimates. This is important because they can provide you with the costs upfront, so that you are not shocked with a bill after the services are completed.
  • Safety Record – Safety can be a significant factor, so ask the company about their safety records to ensure that any service professional you hire has a satisfactory safety record. You want a company that doesn’t have a high incidence of on-the-job mishaps or injuries.
  • Building Codes- In certain areas you’ll need to make sure that the local company meets all building code requirements.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee – Choosing a company that offers a satisfaction guarantee will ensure that they will get the job done right the first time and will save you money and frustration in the long run.
  • Cleanup – The mess left behind after a project can be major. Ask what cleanup work the company includes with it’s services.

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