FAQ’S and General Questions

What is a septic system?

A septic system is a small scale waste management system that is used in areas where there are no connections to main sewage pipes provided by local governments or private corporations. The system is built specifically for one house and uses bacteria in the soil to treat small waste water flows.

What are the components to a septic system?

There are many different types of septic systems that fit a wide range of soil and site conditions. The following will help you understand the main components to keep it operating safely:

A standard septic tank system has four main parts:

  • The Pipe coming from the home which connects to the septic tank.
  • The Septic Tank — A septic tank’s purpose is to separate solids from the wastewater, store and partially decompose as much solid material as possible, while allowing the liquid (or effluent) to go to the drain field. Septic tanks are made of concrete, fiberglass or plastic. They are usually buried and watertight and are designed to hold a minimum of 750-1500 gallons of sewage. Their purpose is to temporarily hold the waste water as solids and liquids separate.
  • The Drain field — After solids settle in the septic tank, the liquid wastewater (or effluent) is discharged to the drain field, also known as an absorption or leach field.
  • The Soil — The soil below the drain field provides the final treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent. After the wastewater has passed into the soil, organisms in the soil treat the effluent before it percolates downward and outward, eventually entering ground or surface water. The type of soil also impacts the effectiveness of the drain field; for instance, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to pass through and gravelly soil may be too coarse to provide much treatment.

How can I locate my septic tank lid?

  • Home owners can call Central District Health for Ada, Boise, Elmore or Valley County or Southwest District Health for Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette or Washington County to locate records concerning the septic system on their property. They can give directions for location and often can provide a map of the location as well.
  • Generally there is a cleanout pipe coming from the house to the septic tank. If this pipe can be located, the septic tank is usually located about 10 feet straight out from where the pipe exits the house.
  • The lid to the septic tank is usually 6-12 inches below the ground, but can be as deep as 3 feet. The lid needed for septic pumping is about the size of a trash can lid. The smaller lid cannot be effectively used to pump the tank and do a proper inspection.

When should I call ABC Pumping Services?

Septic tank inspection may be required by lenders when you sell or refinance your home. The repair of a failing system is usually a cost to the seller and should not be ignored.

Contact us to purchase, install, pump, repair, maintain and replace your septic system.