How Septic Systems Work


Did you know septic tank maintenance is not enough? If your system is to have a long life, system design for usage level and conditions is critical. Bacterial and pathogen hazards and system collapse hazards can be fatal for both the occupants and the environment.

Most areas adhering to building and health codes require a building permit, a septic system design and soil percolation tests. Your system design must also be approved by local health or building department officials.

What Are My First Steps?

Contact your building and health departments to ask:

Was a septic design submitted and approved?
Are there drawings, inspection or test result documents available? Can you get copies?
Was there a final inspection to confirm that the septic system was built as proposed?
Confirm that a septic construction permit was obtained and the final system structure was inspected.

Identify the septic contractor who installed the system and ask for a site tour.
The contractor will locate and mark the location of all septic components, i.e. tank, distribution box, drain field and other site drainage components that may have been installed.

Septic drawing:
If an accurate sketch is not already provided, locate and sketch the measurements and location of all septic system components.

Inspect the septic system site, tank, septic distribution box, septic drain field.
A septic tank that has never been used should be empty of sewage and water.

If the septic system is new and never used, the septic tank should be empty. Inspecting the septic tank by finding and opening its service ports will provide important information such as a surface or groundwater leak in the septic tank.

Don’t wait until it is too late — if you don’t have a regular maintenance schedule in place, call the professionals at A 1 Environmental Septic Tank Service, Inc. for a comprehensive inspection of your system. We provide estimates upon request. Contact us today at 205-674-8999. ONE CALL DOES IT ALL!