Septic System Solutions​

A guide to your septic system, maintenance, benefits and how PWM can assure you stay on top of your property's needs. Book today for Same-Day Service and Low Price Guarantee!

How Most Common Septic Tanks Work?​

Septic tanks work by allowing wastewater to sit and undergo a settling process. Solid matter and sediment sink to the bottom of the septic system, separating from the water. Over time, bacteria eat away at this sludge and break it down into more manageable materials. This also releases scum, like fats, greases, and oil. Scum floats to the top of the water’s surface.  

After the solids are filtered, the filtered liquid wastewater, or “effluent,” is sent out through perforated pipes. These outlet pipes lead the water to what’s known as the drainfield or leach field. These outlet pipes lead the water to what’s known as the drain field or leach field.

The effluent slowly releases into the drain field and, over time, soil and gravel filter it, slowly removing impurities. 

Finally, the wastewater percolates into our soil to get rid of any bad stuff in it. This includes potentially dangerous pathogens, like coliform bacteria. Harmful coliform bacteria are found in human waste.

PWM Environmental septic systems

There are four major factors that influence the frequency of septic pumping

Household size
total wastewater generated
Total Wastewater
volume of solids in wastewater
Volume of Solids
in Wastewater
septic tank size v3
Septic Tank

Why Maintain Your Septic System

Saves you money

Regular maintenance fees every three to five years is a bargain compared to cost of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system. Repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system can cost anywhere from $3000 to $7,000.

Protects your property value

An unusable septic system or one in disrepair will lower your property value, and can pose a costly legal liability.

Protects the Environment

More than four billion gallons of wastewater are dispersed below the ground’s surface every day. Ground water contaminated by poorly or untreated household wastewater poses dangers to drinking water and to the environment

Keeps you and your neighbors healthy

Household wastewater contains disease causing bacteria and viruses and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. If a septic system is well- maintained and work properly, it will remove most of these pollutants.

How to find your septic system

One you have determined you have a septic system you can find it by:

  • If available, look on your home's "as build" drawing.
  • Checking your yard lids and manhole covers.
  • Contact us at 615-431-3663 and one of our professionals will help locate your septic tank.

Failure Symptoms: Mind the signs!

A foul order is not always the first sign of a malfunctioning septic system. Call us if you notice any of the following:

  • Wastewater backing up into your household drains.
  • Bright green, spongy grass on the drainfield, especially during dry weather.
  • Pooling water or muddy soil around your septic system or in your basement.
  • A strong odor around the septic tank and drainfield.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do I Need a Septic Tank Pumping?

Homeowners should schedule septic pumping every 2-5 years. Some exceptions are if have a large family or a smaller tank. In these cases, it should be done more often. Homes with a garbage disposal should have it done annually. It’s also a good idea for new homeowners to schedule septic pumping and an inspection right after they move in if it wasn’t done as part of the real estate closing process.

Do I Need Septic Tank Cleaning If My System is Fine?

Many people think that if their system is working fine, they don’t need to worry about septic tank cleaning. This is an unfortunate and frequently costly mistake to make. Regular pumping of the septic tank increases the life of your whole system. It helps avoid backups from occurring. You should schedule routine septic tank cleaning no matter how well your system is running.

Will Septic Pumping Fix a Backup?

Any problem with your sewer system is certainly unpleasant. Wastewater backing up into the drains of your house is also unsanitary. During this time, many people wonder when they last had septic pumping done and whether it would help. When the tank has not cleaned, the bottom layer rises. This obstructs the pipes that distribute the water and let it out of the tank. The material flows back into the building and through the drains. Septic pumping will solve the problem, but you may still need additional tank cleaning and repair to restore the system’s functionality.

Do I Call a Plumber or a Septic Company for Drain Cleaning?

Call PWM first! If you have a blockage and cannot get water to drain, you could have a problem with the pipes inside your house. It could also be a problem with a backup or clog in which waste enters your tank. Plumbers are excellent, they know many things, but they often have no experience dealing with septic systems. They can only diagnose what is going on inside of your house. They usually do not touch any part of the septic system because they are not familiar enough with it to diagnose or treat the problem.

Will a Septic Tank Service Solve a Smell?

Many people call for a septic tank service when they notice a smell. If you haven’t had septic tank cleaning performed in a while, it may well be time to make an appointment. Often there might still be a smell after having your septic system serviced. Here are a few items to check:


Circulate The Air In Your Home

Removing wastewater from your septic tank mixes the gases in the tank and can cause them to backtrack to your home. The odor should disappear in a few hours. You can speed up the process by running water down every drain. Drains are required to have water in the curve of the pipe. This water stops gas from coming back up into the building. You can also open some windows to allow air exchange.


Spills while Pumping Your Tank

Your septic contractor should be courteous to avoid spillage. But if your septic technician does a lousy job, it could leave you with septic waste near your house. No matter how disgusting the spillage looks and smells, please do not attempt to clean it yourself. It’s hazardous. Contact the original septic company to correct their mistake or consult a more competent septic provider such as the Poop Dudes.


Toilet Seal Might be Damaged

Toilets are attached to the floor with an airtight wax seal or ring. This seal prevents the flushed sewage from escaping onto the bathroom floor. It also inhibits the pungent gasses from filling the room. This seal can crack over time, and as a result, you might have a foul-smelling bathroom. The odor may be there until your septic tank is full again, and the process will also make the smell stronger. In this scenario, you should swap the toilet wax ring with a plumber for you. The smell is likely to be present before having your septic tank pumped, and the process can often worsen the smell. In this case, you can have a plumber replace the toilet wax ring for you.


Plumbing Vents Might Be Defective

When plumbing vents work correctly, they help to remove gases and odors from your plumbing system. The ducts are connected to vertical pipes branching from your mainline. These pipes lead to a vent on the roof that allows the gases to flow out of your home. When your ventilation vents work correctly, they regulate the air pressure in your septic system. However, when the vent is blocked, the gases are stuck in the system. This will disrupt air pressure and push foul odors through the drain, worsening after pumping. You will want to contact an experienced plumber to solve the problem.


If the smell doesn’t resolve or you notice other symptoms you should schedule septic tank service.

How Do You Know When Your Septic Tank Needs To Be Pumped?

Watch for these signs: unexplained slow drains (sinks, bathtubs, and showers), sewage backup into your home (sinks, bathtubs, showers, sometimes laundry) wet or spongy spots in the yard (due to rain or other water source), grass that is unusually green over the septic system, and foul odor near the septic system.

How Does a Septic System Work?

By using the natural power of gravity to separate out the household wastewater into three parts: solids (sludge) at the bottom of the tank, grease (scum) at the top of the tank, watery mix (effluent) in the middle. During normal operations, the sludge and the scum remain in the septic tank while the watery mix flows out into the drain field. However, the sludge and scum need to be periodically cleaned from the septic tank to keep things flowing smoothly.

How Do You Tell If Your Drain Field Is Clogged?

Sluggish drains and/or flushing, odor, surprisingly lush, green lawn over drainfield, standing water, & sewage backup.

When was the last time your tank was inspected and pumped?

Don't wait until it's too late! Schedule your appointment now by calling or booking online.
Call 615-431-3663