Hillis Septic Services
We Repair, Install & Maintain Septic Systems
You can rely on Hillis Construction & Septic Services, LLC to take care of all your septic system needs from the initial installation to the final construction of your system. For older homes with installed septic systems we will come out and do a complete septic evaluation, set you up on a regular maintenance program, and repair any damage we come across.
Once you’ve installed your Septic System you’ll want to get on a regular maintenance schedule to prolong the life of your system and prevent breakdowns. Pumping your septic tank on a regular basis is key. See the chart below for a time estimate.
Estimated Tank Pumping Frequency
Tank Size (gallons)
So, for example a family of 4 with a 1000 gallon septic
tank would need to have it pumped every 2.6 years.
Other maintenance include checking baffles at the inlet and outlet to the tank. Keep in mind that adding biological and/or chemical additives to your septic system does not preclude the need for regular maintenance and are often times unnecessary.
A septic system that is designed and installed properly will function for many, many years as long as they aren’t damaged. The first step in managing and maintaining your septic system is locating the tank and drainfield. With older systems, this can sometimes be difficult to do. If you can’t find your tank or drainfield call us to help you locate your system. Once located, stick to a regular pumping maintenance schedule.
The main components of your septic system will be the following:
- Septic Tank – set below ground with a service “port” that usually extends above ground. Best to landscape the area around the septic tank with grass and low-growing vegitation and to use a birdbath, potted plant or lawn ornament to mark and conceal the tank port. Be sure to keep trees and bushes away from this area as growing roots can damage a tank.
- Drainfield – this is a large area that is susceptible to damage. Prevent excessive activity on this area as it compacts the soil and can harm the system. There are many recommendations for keeping this area safe and in good working order – be sure to talk to your septic system specialist for guidelines.
- Sand Filters – this is a special type of treatment between the septic tank and drainfield. Not all systems have one and if you do, it is obvious.
Symptoms of septic system failures or bad design include (but are not limited to) sewage backing up into the house, a wet, smelly spot in your yard or an area of grass too lush to mow, or your tank is piped to a road ditch, storm sewer, stream or connected to farm drain tile. Septic system failure is both a nuisance and a Health Hazard! It can result in the pollution of wells, lakes and streams. All failures should be fixed promptly.
Some common causes of failure include:
- Using too much water – this is a common reason for failure. Sewage is forced to the surface or backs up into the house if there ends of being more water than the soil in the drainfield can absorb. This is often a result of a badly designed system OR there is a dramatic change in the water habits of the household.
- Physical Damage – there are many ways for physical damage to occur. Some common causes of physical damage are: driving, paving or building on the drainfield, pipes are shifted or crushed due to soil compaction, and tree roots clog pipes or break tanks.
- Improper Design and Construction – this type of failure is doomed from the start. Make sure you use a licensed and bonded septic system professional with the knowledge and experience to do the job right.
- Lack of Maintenance – pumping out the tank according to the maintenance schedule above will keep your septic system in good health. There are other equipment parts that should be checked by a septic system professional on a regular basis as indicated above in the maintenance section.
- Water Conservation – reducing the amount of water to the absorption or drainfield. This can prolong the life of any soil absorption system.
- Install additional lines of soil absorption field – this helps to increase the size and capacity of the drainfield.
- Installing an alternate soil absorption field – constructing a second drainfield and diverting all wastewater to if for at least on year to rest the original field. After that, the fields can be alternated on a regular basis.
- Repair physical damage
- Improve surface and subsurface drainage – divert all surface and groundwater away from the drainfield so only the wastewater from the house is absorbed.
- Do not place more soil over a surfacing soil absorption field – this does not FIX the system but only temporarily hides the problem.
- Do not just pipe the sewage to the road ditch, storm sewer, stream, or farm drain tile – this is an environmental and health hazard!
- Do not run the sewage into a sink hole or drainage well – this pollutes groundwater!
- Do not wait for the system to fail before pumping the septic tank – once a system fails it is usually too late to pump the tank and usually a new system needs to be constructed.