Septic systems are designed so that only the effluent is discharged from the tank into the drain field (also called the leach field). This is simply a set of pipes with holes drilled into them that release the effluent below ground (but above the water table). The effluent is degraded enough to be well-filtered by good soil. There's plenty of organic material left in the effluent, though, which acts as fertilizer. This is why the drain field usually has the healthiest vegetation in the yard above it.

An amazing number of septic system owners, in Miami, believe that if they have not had any problems with their systems they do not need regular pump outs, of their septic tanks. Unfortunately this is a serious and sometimes very costly misconception. As your system is used, solid materials settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a sludge layer, while grease and lightweight materials float to the surface of the septic tank as scum. In the middle is the comparatively clear liquid layer called effluent or gray water.

A normal, properly designed tank has enough space for up to 3 to 5 years' safe accumulation of sludge. When the sludge level increases beyond this point, sewage has less time to settle properly before leaving the tank. As the sludge level increases, more solid wastes escape into the soil absorption system. If the system becomes so clogged that it can not absorb liquid at the rate at which it enters the tank, the plumbing will "back up" and unsanitary wastewater may bubble to the surface. In Miami's warm weather conditions a "little" problem can become real "nasty" real fast. Fixing big septic problems often requires thousands of dollars worth of parts and labor. Fortunately, a little maintenance can go a long way in avoiding problems.

Regular septic pumping helps prevent solids from escaping into the drainfield and stopping soil absorption. While septic pumping frequency is a function of use, Alfonso Septic Solution Inc. recommends that systems get pump outs, at least once, every 3 years, for homes without a garbage disposal. If a home system has a garbage disposal, it should get septic pumping every year.

If you are a nonresidential system owner, you should determine how often to get pump outs, based on prior accumulation and septic pumping records. Often you can look at past septic pumping intervals, to gauge your pumping schedule (i.e., previously did you wait too long before having pump outs and it was filled to capacity, or could you have waited a little longer for septic pumping?).

Do not wait until the Miami Board of Health shows up with a Condemned Property sticker.

Call Alfonso Septic Contractor Inc., (786) 718-6460, Miami - Dade's best septic pumping service, for over 20 years.