North Texas Septic
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



What is a septic system?
How often should I pump my septic tank?
I've never had any problems with my septic system, why should I pump my tanks?
Is it OK to use bleach in my laundry?
Do I need to add any products (yeast, enzymes, other over the counter additives) to my septic system?
What is gray water?
What is black water?
Is my septic system going to affect my well water?
Should I use liquid or powered laundry detergent?
What is the white pipe sticking up in my yard?
Is there anything I can do to make access to my septic tank easier?
I've heard I should not do all of my laundry at one time. Is this true?
Does using my garbage disposal hurt my septic system?
I want to hook up to sewer. Can you help me?
What if I need a septic system installed? I have a design already?
What is the cost of a new system?
What factors come into play when designing a new system?
Are there any ways I can protect my septic system?
What are the symptoms of septic tank failure?
Can I build over my septic tank?
What can’t I put down the drains or toilets?


Q. What is a septic system?
A septic system is a subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal system. In most circumstances a septic system will serve only one individual house or building. The sewage from the house enters the system through a building sewer and is treated before being discharged into the ground. Modern systems include a septic tank to retain solids, greases and fats and a disposal field to allow the liquid (effluent) to flow into the ground.


Q. How often should I pump my septic tank?
You should pump your septic tank every 2 - 3 years under normal circumstances. If you have a large family you will want to pump the septic tank more often to prevent solids from flowing out of the tank and fouling the disposal field. Click here for pumping.


Q. I've never had any problems with my septic system, why should I pump my tanks?
The primary function of the septic tank is to separate liquids from solids. Solids are retained in the tank after settling. Digestion of the solids occurs over time; however, the rate of solids accumulation exceeds the rate of solids digestion. Additionally, not all of the solids are digestible. Therefore, the solids level does rise over several years. A septic tank must be pumped periodically to prevent the solids level from reaching the outlet baffle where they are carried over to the disposal field.

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Q. Is it OK to use bleach in my laundry?
When used at the recommended rate household bleach does not produce a high enough residual concentration of chlorine to harm a septic system.


Q. Do I need to add any products (yeast, enzymes, other over the counter additives) to my septic system?
A common septic myth is that placing additives in your system can help renew your system's life span. Some of these additives even claim that they eliminate the need to pump out your tank. These products usually contain yeast, bacteria, or enzymes. However, there is little evidence showing that these additives are beneficial. First, there are materials inside your tank which cannot be broken down by any bacteria or enzymes. Some of these materials are organic while others are inorganic solids such as bits of plastic, sand, and grit. Secondly, the habitat within your tank is a very specialized one that is only fit for certain types of bacteria that have adapted specially to live in that environment. Any external bacteria that are introduced to your septic tank are more likely to be eaten than they are to eat. Enzymes, unlike bacteria, are not living organisms, and cannot reproduce. The number of enzymes you add to your tank is the number of enzymes that will remain in your tank. They will never increase in number. Because septic tanks are usually very large in volume, it would be very difficult to add enough enzymes to make a difference.


Q. What is gray water?
Gray water is the portion of sanitary sewage that is not generated from toilets or urinals. This includes laundry wastewater, kitchen sinks, showers, etc. It is not unusual for homes built prior to the 1980's to have a separate septic system that handles the gray water.

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Q. What is black water?
Black water is the portion of sanitary sewage that is generated from toilets and urinals.


Q. Is my septic system going to affect my well water?
Septic systems that have been designed in accordance with TCEQ regulations provide at least 4 feet of unsaturated soil that will treat the septic tank effluent to the point where the effluent is clean enough to enter the ground water. Rainfall and melting snow can percolate into the ground and further dilute the effluent. Septic systems are normally located at least 100 feet from wells to provide a factor of safety and ensure that the well water remains clean and potable. Normally a water well draws water from a deep aquifer that is vertically separated from the ground water into which the septic system discharges. If this is not possible the well can be cased (lined with a solid pipe) and pressure grouted to 100 feet to provide the proper separation.


Q. Should I use liquid or powered laundry detergent?
Powdered detergent comes out of solution and collects in the septic tank. Liquid detergents do not present this potential problem.


Q. What is the white pipe sticking up in my yard?
This is access port for clearing a blockage from your system. You CANNOT have your system pumped from this pipe. This is where a snake(device used to unclog drains) is placed if the systems has a blockage.

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Q. Is there anything I can do to make access to my septic tank easier?
Yes! If access to your septic tank is more than a 18 inches below the surface, we suggest installing risers. Risers are an extension of the tank that reaches the surface of the ground. Not only are risers required according to current regulations on new septic systems, but installing them saves you money every time you have to pump eliminating possible location or dig fees. They also provide you with quick and easy access for proper maintenance.


Q. I've heard I should not do all of my laundry at one time. Is this true?
Yes. Washing all of your laundry at one time, as well as performing other daily activities that require heavy water use such as showering and washing dishes, causes excessive water discharge into the septic system known as "Hydraulic Overload" and is the number one killer of drainfields.


Q. Does using my garbage disposal hurt my septic system?
We highly recommend not using a garbage disposal with a septic system as they are very hard on the system. They require a great amount of water to use, contribute to solid build-up in your tank requiring more frequent pumping, and chop particles up so fine they neither sink nor float in the system clogging filters and drain lines.


Q. I want to hook up to sewer. Can you help me?
Yes we can! We offer complete septic system decommissioning as well as performing everything needed in order to hook up your home to the sewer line connection at the street. (Sewer service must be available to your house by the city which you live in)

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Q. What if I need a septic system installed? I have a design already?
Fax or e-mail it to us, along with your contact information, and we can give you a quote on what it would cost to install it for you! No design, we have a Registered Sanitarian and a Licensed Engineer available to you for septic designs.


Q: What is the cost of a new system?
Unfortunately this question cannot be answered as each system is different. Septic systems are designed based on site specific conditions that are determined by the soil conditions and design requirements. It is impossible to determine the cost of installation until a plan for your site has been approved. Please call us to discuss your particular circumstances.


Q: What factors come into play when designing a new system?
Systems are designed based on site specific conditions such as; onsite soils, available space, and distance from existing; structures, lot lines, wells, wetlands, and landscaping features, and the number of bedrooms along with customer preferences (when possible).


Q. Are there any ways I can protect my septic system?
Don't plant anything but grass near your septic system and keep this area trimmed and cut. Roots from shrubs and trees can enter and clog drainfield pipes. Don't allow anyone to drive over any part of the system. Do not construct buildings or concrete over any part of the sewage system. Grass is the most appropriate cover for the drainfield.

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Q. What are the symptoms of septic tank failure?
A stinky area of wet, soggy soil, sometimes with visible water, may appear. Sewage may back up into the house and toilets may not flush properly, gurgling.


Q. Can I build over my septic tank?
This is never advisable and is against most municipal codes. Do not build any additions, pools, driveways over a tank. Also, do not build or plant on top of your drainfield.


Q. What can’t I put down the drains or toilets?
Its much simpler to tell you what you can put down the toilets. Water, toilet paper and anything that comes out of us, people. Everything else adds to the solids of the septic and will cause the system to need pumping more frequently. Realistically, normal household day to day operations are OK for your septic system.

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North Texas Septic
Conventional and Aerobic Systems Specialist

P.O. Box 288
Rhome, TX 76078
Ph: (682) 225-2768
Fax: (817) 636-9065

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30am - 5:30pm (CST)




RID-X usage. Not recommended.
Quote from their website:
“Sludge in large quantities can be eliminated by only a professional pumper. You should have a pumper inspect your system to determine if the accumulation of solid waste is too high and needs to be removed. You should not inspect the tank yourself since the gasses that accumulate in the tank can be lethal.” If you are concerned with the levels of sludge in your septic tank call North Texas Septic and schedule a service call for a certified technician to visit your house and personally check your sludge levels. Please call 682-225-2768.

         



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