Residential Septic System Maintenance - Preserve Your Septic Tank's Health

Inexpensive Routine Septic Tank Pumping Will Protect Your Investment

Your onsite waste treatment system represents a significant investment which you should protect. With proper care and routine preventative maintenance, your system will function much more efficiently, and in most cases, have a longer lifespan. Even though septic tank cleaning is not a priority for many homeowners, it is far too important to neglect. CJS has provided home and business owners in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Mercer County and Ocean County with reliable, cost-effective septic system maintenance for over 45 years.  Our Service technicians are qualified and trained to safely pump septic systems, recognize existing and potential problems, and make recommendations to customers. Learn about our value added customer benefits that you can expect as a CJS client.

To find out how often you should have your septic tank pumped out, please reference the chart below. Generally speaking, every two to three years is considered adequate service but will vary with the size and usage of the septic tank. It is also suggested that risers be installed on the main cover to provide easy access for your septic tank service appointment. This small cost will help you avoid any digging fees and provide immediate access in the event there is a problem. We also suggest fixing all leaking toilets and sinks in a timely manner to prevent any potential system imbalances.

It is very important that septic system owners keep a record of all maintenance, inspections, and modifications to the system. This will help to address any problems that arise and assist the prompt sale of your home when the time comes. Prior to scheduling your first septic system pumping as a CJS client, we suggest that you quickly inspect for leaks inside your home, know the location (if possible - we can find it if necessary!) and retrieve any specifications of your septic system.
 
 

3 Most Influential Septic System Factors:

Tank Size

Gallons
Household size
(Number of People)
1
2
3
4
5
6

500

750

900

1000

1250

1500

1750

2000

2250

2500

5.8

9.1

11.0

12.4

15.6

18.9

22.1

25.4

28.6

39.1

2.6

4.2

5.2

5.9

7.5

9.1

10.7

12.4

14.0

15.6

1.5

2.6

3.3

3.7

4.8

5.9

6.9

8.0

9.1

10.2

1.0

1.8

2.3

2.6

3.4

4.2

5.0

5.9

6.7

7.5

0.7

1.3

1.7

2.0

2.6

3.3

3.9

4.5

5.2

5.9

0.4

1.0

1.3

1.5

2.0

2.6

3.1

3.7

4.2

4.8

  1. Total number of people living in your household*

  2. Amount of wastewater generated*

  3. Volume of solids present in the wastewater**

*Vacation homes will differ in the amount of time between recommended maintenance.
**Use of a garbage disposal will increase the frequency of recommended maintenance.


7 Signs of a Failing Septic System:

  1. Sewage Odor in House

  2. Standing Water over the tank or leach field (ground wet/mushy)

  3. Slow draining sinks and toilets

  4. Gurgling sounds in the plumbing

  5. Plumbing Back ups 

  6. Grass, algae or plants growing faster & greener in one area only

  7. Tests showing the presence of bacteria in well water

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Your Septic System Maintenance Includes:

  • Open the septic tank's main access port* (digging to locate septic tank lid can be completed for additional charge)
  • Technician will observe liquid level to determine if it is above outlet - potential for solids to be present in the drainfield.
  • Remove septage to within 2 inches of the tank bottom
  • Effluent filter cleaning (when present). Click here to learn about adding this protection to your septic system.
  • Notify client when sewage is flowing in to the tank from the drainage area
  • Observe and note defective septic system components (i.e. incoming or outgoing baffles)
  • Notify client of all findings including but not limted to root infestation, sewage breakout to drainfield, etc.
  • Observe flow from building/house in to the septic tank. Corrective actions for any obstructions to be suggested to client.
  • Discuss and recommend adequate maintenance frequency to the client.
  • System Document Management: system drawing, utility measurements, gallons pumped, tank location & condition of system
  • Enrollment in Reminder Program - postcard filled out at time of service and mailed to you when YOU request to be reminded of service.
(We can also perform an inspection with a digital camera to view the Distribution box without any disruption to your lawn, if inspection is requested.)


Pumping Your Septic Tank Regularly:
If the build up of solids in the tank becomes too high and solids move to the drainfield, this could clog and strain the system to the point where a new drainfield will be needed. Routine pumping costs over the extended lifetime of your system are far less than replacement costs. (Septic Pumping / Septic Draining is suggested Every 2-3 Years or when the total depth of sludge and scum exceeds one-thrid of the liquid depth of the tank.) With routine septic tank pumping, you can decrease the risk of a damaged drainage field due to solids flowing in to the drainage field. Keep in mind that the cost of a replacement system far exceeds the cost of regular maintenance (much like a vehicle) and can affect the resale of your property.

Inspect Your Septic System At Each Service:
Inspections can reveal problems before they become serious, and by checking the levels of sludge and scum in your septic tank, you can get a more accurate idea of how often it should be pumped. CJS clients receive a FREE mini septic inspection during each maintenance visit - learn about our other value added services.

Protect Your System: It is important to protect your septic system from potential damage. Planting anything other than grass near your septic system, such as shrubs and trees, can cause damage from root infestation. Do not allow anyone to drive or operate heavy machinery over any part of the system. Also, do not build anything over the drainage field. Many homeowners believe that once a septic system is installed, it will work forever without maintenance or repairs. Most septic systems, even with routine maintenance, will have an average lifetime of 15 to 25 years. By knowing the basics of septic system care, homeowners can protect their system.
 

Some commonly asked questions about septic maintenance are:

 Do you have a question not listed above? Visit our FAQ page or fill out our contact form and a septic professional will be in touch to answer your question directly.

> Download the EPA's Homeowners Guide to Septic System <