Septic Frequently Asked Questions - Common Septic Myths

Portland / Vancouver Metro - The Dalles - Hermiston OR & Tri Cities WA

We love talking with our customers. Sharing ideas and providing them with information on septic systems is one of our most important company values. Sometimes while talking with customers we hear misinformation about how to properly care for your septic system. So we’d like to clear up some of those myths.

How Long Does a Septic System Last?

Generally, 40 years or more if properly maintained. The type of septic system you have will also determine how long it will last for. 

Is it Cheaper to Repair Your Septic System than it is to Pump It?

No, while pumping a septic system can be costly every 3 to 5 years, it’s significantly cheaper than it would be to repair your septic system. To repair a septic system it often costs thousands of dollars, which you can save by having your septic system pumped once every 3 to 5 years.

Are Septic Systems Bad for the Environment?

No, unless they’re not properly taken care of. If untreated sewage is floating around on your property it can contaminate your property and groundwater. Sewage issues can also cause potential health hazards. 

Does a Septic System Require Electricity?

No, most septic tanks don’t require electricity to function, but this all depends on the type of septic system you have. If your septic system uses a pump, you’ll want to conserve water during a power outage.

Can You Use a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank?

Yes, just be vigilant about what you’re putting down your garbage disposal, not putting anything other than food waste down it. 

Is it OK to Build on Top Of Your Septic System as Long as it’s Not a Permanent Structure?

No, your septic system should be easily accessible and your drainfield needs oxygen to help it naturally treat the wastewater it receives from the septic tank. If you build on top of the drainfield, it won’t properly get the oxygen it needs and thus lead to failure. It’s best to avoid building or driving on top of septic systems.

How Often Should My Septic Tank be Pumped?

Generally, your septic tank should be pumped every 3 to 5 years, but this depends on the size and type of septic system you have.

Where Should a Septic Tank be Placed?

Septic tanks should be placed on level ground where there is at least 8 feet or more of soil.

What Do I Need to Know About Buying a House with a Septic Tank?

It’s a good idea to have it inspected so you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with. An inspection will determine the age of your septic system, it will help uncover any issues, and it will determine if you need it pumped.

How Long Does it Take to Install a Septic System?

It typically takes about 3 to 5 days to install a septic system but this depends on your location, the weather, the wastewater treatment system, and local regulations.

What are the Signs My Septic Tank is Full?

The best way to know when to pump a septic tank is to check the levels of the solids. To determine if pumping is necessary, we perform a sludge test. A sludge test should only be performed by a qualified septic technician to measure if the solid level is high enough for pumping.

Does Rid-X or Yeast Work on Septic Tanks?

Rid-X and yeast isn’t good for septic tanks because it can harm or kill off the “good bacteria” that helps break down and clarify the build-up in a septic tank. In fact, the EPA states that people should “beware of septic tank additives” and that “periodic pumping is the only true way to ensure that septic systems work properly and provide many years of service.”

Will I be Reported if I Have a Failing Septic System?

No, septic service companies don’t regulate septic systems. In Oregon, we are only required to report untreated sewage flowing above ground into a waterway. Our job is to help you, your family, your home, and your septic system to ensure they all work together in the best way possible. It’s in everyone’s best interest to help you fix your septic system before it gets to this extreme.

We at Speedy Septic hope if you have any questions about your septic system or are experiencing issues, you contact us. We’d be happy to help!

Septic Frequently Asked Questions – Common Septic Myths in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Also Serving Customers In These Regions

Portland Vancouver Metro
Portland OR | Gresham OR | Troutdale OR | Sandy OR | Cascade Locks OR | Clackamas OR | Happy Valley OR | Oregon City OR | Canby OR | Molalla OR | Beaverton OR | Hillsboro OR | St Helens OR | Scappoose OR
The Dalles
The Dalles OR | Hood River OR | White Salmon WA | Bingen WA | Parkdale OR | Mosier OR | Biggs Junction OR | Dufur OR

Hermiston OR | Arlington OR | Boardman OR | Umatilla OR | Irrigon OR | Pendleton OR | Tri-Cities WA | Kennewick WA | Richland WA | West Richland WA | Pasco WA