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Aerobic Septic System Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does my aerobic septic system smell?

A: An aerobic septic system must have air in it at all times or the beneficial bacteria in it will die and begin to smell. Your system will also smell if there is too much water running through it. Common household cleaning supplies or other foreign, non-biodegradable material added to your system could be the reason your bacteria is no longer active. Leaking plumbing, such as faucets and commodes, can also overload your system with excess water

Q: How often do I need to have my system pumped?

A: Have your system pumped every two to three years, unless an overload occurs. Overloads can be caused by excessive use such as having many visitors, unnecessary laundry use or other reason for added water usage.

Q: Can I save money by pumping only one tank?

A: No, you can’t save money by partially pumping out the system. All tanks must be pumped out to correctly pump your system. Pumping out one tank will waste money in the long run and will provide only very temporary relief for an overloaded system

Q: Why are my sprinkler heads losing pressure?

A: The pump is probably stopped up and requires cleaning or replacement. Broken pipes or sprinkler heads could also cause this situation. The service life of a pump is usually three-to-five years.

Q: Can I use swimming pool chlorine in my septic system?

A: No. Pool chlorine and septic system chlorine are not the same because they give off different gases. Aerobic chlorine is formulated to not kill grass or trees. Be careful when you fill the sleeve with chlorine – Do not overfill it or force the chlorine into it.

Q: How often do I need to put chlorine into my aerobic septic system?

A: How often you refill your chlorine depends on your use of the system. Check it at least every two weeks to be sure it has sufficient chlorine.

Q: Do I have to have a maintenance contract with a septic company or can I maintain my system myself?

A: Maintenance contracts are required by the state office, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and must be on file in your town. Having a professional routinely check your system ensures proper operation and protects your health and safety.

Q: Is it safe to sprinkle wastewater onto my yard?

A: As long as your system is maintained properly and operating correctly, chlorinated water is safe for your yard.