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Should I Service My Own Aerobic System? [Video]

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Should I service my own aerobic system?

It’s tempting to try and save a few bucks by servicing your own aerobic system. But as our video shows, there’s more to it than you think — and doing it wrong can be dangerous.

All on site sewage facilities (OSSF’s) require maintenance; the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules require all aerobic systems in Texas to be checked and serviced every four months for the life of the system.

Not all counties require the systems within their jurisdiction to be checked by a TCEQ licensed Maintenance Provider and to have a maintenance contract. So depending on where you live, you may be able to service your own aerobic system. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Maintenance is not simple

Servicing an aerobic system requires a lot more than just adding chlorine; there are over 15 items that should be checked routinely, including electrical components. Here are just some of the items that should be checked every four months:

  • Aerator
  • Air filters
  • Diffuser
  • Submersible pump
  • Floats
  • Alarms
  • Control box
  • Timer
  • Photocell
  • Electrical circuits
  • Spray heads
  • Spray area vegetation
  • Sludge level in aerobic tank
  • Sludge level in pump tank
  • Chlorine supply

TCEQ-Licensed Maintenance Providers know the TCEQ rules that apply to your system, have years of experience in handling wastewater, and know how to service electrical components safely.

(Word of caution: it is recommended to only hire a TCEQ licensed Maintenance Provider that is also certified by the manufacturer of your aerobic system.)

Self-service is hazardous and expensive

The reason aerobic systems are required to be checked every four months is because if your system is not functioning properly, it may not be treating your wastewater to its fullest extent, and may be distributing hazardous materials onto your lawn when the system sprays.

This should be a huge concern, especially for families with children and pets.

All too often, homeowners choose to service their own systems—which usually means only adding chlorine—and only resort to calling a maintenance provider when an alarm activates, backups occur, or odors begin seeping from the system.

By the time the system is checked properly, it costs the homeowner more expense and repairs than if they had kept on top of the maintenance and hired a professional from the start.

Learn more do’s and don’ts of aerobic system maintenance or visit our FAQ for more information.


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