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5 Surprising, Little Known Facts About Septic Systems

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Think you know septic systems? Check out these surprising facts most people don’t know!

  1. Your septic system contains an ecological system. A delicate balance of bacteria lives within your septic tank which partially treats the wastewater. Then, when the water flows through the soil below the drainfield, tiny microbes further remove pathogens from the wastewater.
  2. Your septic tank is not the most important part of your septic system. While your septic tank is an important part, it’s only one part. The drainfield where the effluent percolates is just as important as the tank itself, if not more. If the drainfield is not working, your whole system won’t work.
  3. Pumping your tank won’t solve most septic issues. Most septic issues are with the drainfield, so pumping the tank won’t solve drainfield issues. But, don’t wait to pump your tank until your drainfield fails – see #4!
  4. Pumping your tank regularly keeps your system lasting longer. The tank protects the drainfield from sludge and solids. While the sludge builds up in the tank, it does not disappear. Pumping the tank is the best way to keep sludge out of your drainfield.
  5. Septic tanks fill back up with liquids within a few days after pumping. Many customers think they only need to pump the tank when it is “full”. The fact is, the tank is always filled to the outlet pipe. However, over time, the percentage of solids vs. liquids begins to build up, which is why pumping is needed every few years even without signs of the tank being full.

If it’s been over 3 years since your septic tank was last pumped, don’t delay any longer. Call us today for a free phone estimate.


For 86+ years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has withstood the test of time as the leading Wastewater System company, providing San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can count on now and in the future. 

Call us for any of your wastewater systems needs and let our professionals help you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Boerne).


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