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Everything You Want to Know

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about septic, excavation, water haulage, or more, we're here to help.

Why keep up regular maintenance?

A failing septic tank costs money to repair and replace. Keeping up regular maintenance can help you avoid complete system failure. It costs upwards of $5000 to replace a septic tank. Maintaining your septic tank also helps protect your family’s and your environment’s health by preventing pollution and chemicals from entering the ground.

Why does a septic system fail?

Several factors can cause a septic system failure. Improper siting, construction, or design contributes to failed systems. However, hiring professionals to design, construct, and install your system significantly lessens the likelihood of a septic system failure. Fortunately, learning how to maintain and operate your septic system is easy. Proper maintenance increases the longevity and health of your system.

How can I tell if my septic system is failing?

Warning signs to watch out for when your system is failing:

  • Sinks & Toilets Drain Slowly
  • Gurgling Sounds from Plumbing
  • Backups
  • Sewage Odors
  • Ground Wet & Mushy Underfoot
  • Grass Grows Faster/Greener in One Area of the Yard
  • Bacteria in Well Water

How do I care for my septic system?

Taking care of your septic system is simple. Just follow these tips:

  • Conserve Water
  • Know What Not to Flush
  • Don’t Dispose of Hazardous Chemicals
  • Pump Tank Regularly
  • Inspect System Annually
  • Protect System from Potential Danger

What are some simple dos and don'ts of septic systems?


  • Learn septic tank and drain field location
  • Inspect system yearly
  • Have the system pumped out regularly by a professional
  • Keep a detailed record of repairs, pumping, inspections, permits issued, and other maintenance
  • Conserve water to avoid overloading the system
  • Divert other sources of water away from the septic system


  • Go down into a septic tank
  • Drive or park over any part of the system
  • Plant anything but grass over it
  • Dig or build over it
  • Allow repairs to the system without obtaining a required health permit
  • Use septic tank additives
  • Use the toilet as a trash can or poison the system with harmful chemicals

What are septic tanks made of?

Typically, septic tanks are made of fibreglass, plastic, or concrete.

Are septic tanks bad for the environment?

When your septic system is working correctly, the treated effluent goes into the ground, purified by the soil. Regular central sewers place large amounts of treated effluent into a single body of water.

Why did my septic system fail?

If the soil in your leach field becomes clogged, the ground cannot accept effluent.

What is backflushing?

Backflushing occurs after we’ve removed the top layer of scum in your tank and the liquid in the middle. We pump clean water into your tank to help break up the heavy sludge at the bottom so we can pump it out.

How often should I have my septic tank cleaned?

Depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using it, every one or two years is usually adequate.

When is it a good time to pump my system?

Knowing when to pump your system depends on the tank’s size, the number of people living in your home, and household habits. Garbage disposals, hot tubs, and whirlpools affect the pumping frequency. Make sure you hire a licensed contractor to pump out your tank. To estimate how often you should pump your septic tank, please refer to the table above.

What should I expect from pumping and inspecting my septic system?

An inspection by a professional includes the following:

  • Finding your system’s location
  • Uncovering the utility hole for inspection
  • Flushing toilets
  • Measuring scum and sludge in the septic tank
  • Examining tank and drain field

How does my septic system work?

Your septic system is made up of two essential parts: the septic tank and the drain field. The septic tank is where wastewater is sent. It can consist of sludge and scum where naturally occurring bacteria break down the waste. The tank should be pumped periodically. Separated wastewater in the middle of the sludge and scum is eventually pushed out into the drain field. A drain field consists of a series of perforated pipes where the water trickle through to layers of soil and gravel. If wastewater leaves the tank too soon, solids can be carried with it to the drain field. Solids from the septic tank can clog the drain field’s pipes.

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1-1165 MacKenzie Ave N
Williams Lake, BC
V2G 4P3

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9841 Milwaukee Way
Prince George, BC
V2N 5T3

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