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What is a Septic Tank?

The septic tank is a buried, watertight container typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. It holds the wastewater from the house long enough to allow solids to settle out (forming sludge) and toilet paper, oil and grease to float to the surface (as scum).  After the solids and scum are caught, the wastewater then travels by gravity or is pumped to a drain field, a lagoon, or other systems. Septic tanks also allow for partial decomposition of the solid materials.

Compartments and a T-shaped outlet in the septic tank prevent the sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling into the drain field area.


Maintenance Frequency

In order for the septic system to function properly, it is important to have periodic maintenance of your septic tank. The frequency depends on several factors including: size/capacity of tank, how many people use it and the volume of solids and scum in the wastewater. For example, heavy toilet paper use builds the scum layer quickly.  On average, a septic tank should be cleaned every 3-4 years.  Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components need to be inspected more often, generally once a year.  Proper cleaning can also prolong the life of your pumps in these alternative systems.  Often there are filters that need cleaned, and it is important to have the tank checked for leaks.  

Service Records

We keep a record of all service provided so you can schedule regular maintenance and prolong the life of your septic system. Our knowledgeable staff can address any questions you may have. Call us today at: 573-474-5489. Our regular operation hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. We also offer emergency service and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sometimes people move from the city and public sewer systems to the county and now have their own septic tanks and drain fields.  They need to know that excessive water use, using the garbage disposal too much and flushing hand wipes all can cause septic system failure. 

Costly Backups

Maintaining your septic system protects your investment in your home.  Too often, septic tanks are not maintained, and then costly sewage backups occur in homes costing thousands of dollars in restoration costs.  Nobody is happy with sewage in the basement! Sometimes, due to lack of maintenance, the drain field becomes clogged and nasty sewage wet spots can occur in your yard.  If the system is designed, constructed, and maintained properly, it can provide long-term, effective treatment of household wastewater. If your septic system is not maintained, you might need to replace it, costing you thousands of dollars. A malfunctioning system can contaminate groundwater that might be a source of drinking water. And if you sell your home, your septic system should be in good working order.