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Arizona Septic Services

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Septic Tank Repair

A septic tank is an underground chamber that collects wastewater from a home that is not connected to a municipal sewer system. Over time, solids can accumulate in the tank, reducing its efficiency and requiring repairs. Typical septic tank repairs include: 

  • Pumping out the septic tank to remove sludge and scum which exceed the allowed capacity. A contracted pump truck is used to vacuum out the contents.
  • Replacing corroded or damaged inlet and outlet piping. A backhoe is used to dig down to the top of the tank for access and replacement pipes are installed.
  • Patching small leaks or holes in the septic tank itself, using waterproof sealants or epoxies that bond to the tank material. The area is dried and cleaned first.
  • Installing a septic tank filter or screen if one does not exist. This traps solids and further prevents excess accumulation. A riser is added for access to maintain the filter.
  • Repairing cracked or broken lids if any tank component access points are damaged. New lids are fastened into place, ensuring no surface water can enter.


Those are some typical repairs for restoring function and extending the life of an existing septic system tank.

Septic Tank Pumping

Septic tank pumping is the process of removing built-up solids and sludge from a home septic tank. It is typically performed periodically to maintain the health and longevity of the septic system. An authorized septic pumping service will bring a specialized septic truck outfitted with a large storage tank and a vacuum pump to the home. The technician first locates and uncovers the access port covers on the septic tank. Using suction hoses inserted down into the tank, the pump then extracts thesludge and scum, draining the contents into the truck’s holding tank. The pumping continues until the tank is nearly empty. Clean water may be flushed through to wash any clinging particles. Before concluding, the technician will inspect the tank and other system components for defects needing repair. With the cleaning and extraction process complete, the tank covers are replaced and the septic system can resume normal operation. Pumping intervals vary based on usage but are commonly needed every 3 years.

Septic Tank Rooting

Septic tank rooting refers to the problematic growth of tree roots inside pipes and components of a septic system. Roots originate from nearby trees and invasive root growth is attracted to the nutrient-rich environment inside the drainage system. As roots expand, they can cause major septic issues such as:

  • Clogging piping- Roots take hold inside pipes, wrapping around each other until blockages form, stopping wastewater drainage flow. This can back up the system.
  • Damaging connections & joints- Root accumulation and growth can crack pipes, disconnect joints, and distort tank openings and lids.
  • Flooding- By blocking pipes and connections, root intrusions can cause
    backups and flooding of wastewater into the yard.
  • System failure- Expanding root masses can go as far as crushing septic tank walls and structures.


To prevent damage, homeowners should have trees trimmed back from the septic system and periodically have the tank pumped and inspected while checking for root growth. Advanced septic rooting requires digging down to system pipes and the tank for removal of root masses and repairs where needed. Harsh chemical treatments can also be introduced in attempt to kill and dissolve root growths over time.

Septic Tank Cleaning

Septic tank cleaning is the process of removing built-up solids, sludge, and scum from within the tank. Regular cleaning maintenance is critical for preventing clogged pipes, backed up plumbing, and overflow into the leach field. A professional will utilize a high-power vacuum pump truck to draw out the septic tank contents through large hoses inserted into access ports on top of the tank. In some cases, pressure-spraying devices may be dropped down into the tank to break up grease accumulations and dislodged solid masses before extraction. Most of the cleared debris goes into the truck compartment for disposal while the empty septic tank is then refilled with water to test water flow functionality before inspection of the drainage piping layout. With sufficient extraction and confirmation of proper drainage, tank access covers are replaced, restoring full operation. Septic tank cleaning frequency varies based on usage and household size but often occurs every 2-3 years.

Septic Tank Digging

Septic tank digging is the process of uncovering a buried septic tank for access, inspection, and maintenance. Due to their underground location, excavation is required to reach septic system components. The area around the expected tank location is marked off and a specially designed backhoe or excavator brought onsite. The ground is then slowly and carefully dug out in layers until the top of the septic tank structure is reached. Depth can range from 2-4 feet for newer fiberglass/polyethylene tanks up to 6-8 feet for older concrete tanks. Care must be taken not to crack or puncture the structure during the uncovering process. Appropriate safety shoring is used within the hole to prevent collapse. Once adequately exposed, the tank ports are opened and cleaning/repairs conducted. Surrounding soil fill is replaced and compacted upon completion, restoring the landscape grade minus inserted access risers. Nearby grass or landscaping is then replaced over the dig site after conclusion of the septic work.

Septic Tank Inspection

Here is a short description of septic tank inspection:
Septic tank inspection is the process of checking the components of the underground septic system to ensure they are in good working order. Trained septic professionals will locate access lids and ports to visually examine the tank, pipes, and drainage field. Levels of sludge and scum are checked to see if pumping is needed – typically when accumulation exceeds 30% of tank capacity. They confirm structural soundness, looking for cracks or defects needing repair in the concrete, fiberglass, or plastic tank. The inlet and outlet tees or baffles are checked for blockages at pipe connections. Drainage flow is tested by adding water to see if backups occur and gauge drainage
field absorbency. Nearby soil is probed to check for wetness indicating leaks.
Necessary repairs or cleaning recommendations are provided. Routine inspections help prevent premature failures and expensive replacement costs. Frequencies vary from annually to once every 2-3 years based on tank size and household usage.

Septic Tank Installation

Septic tank installation involves carefully positioning an underground tank to serve as the initial collecting and treatment component for a residential septic system. Installation begins with excavating a hole to the required width, length and depth specifications per the tank size, which can range from 1,000-3,000 gallons. Reinforced concrete, fiberglass, polyethylene plastic, or coated steel tanks are gently lowered into the hole by a backhoe or using straps and a lifting boom on a truck. Once in place on a gravel or sand base, the tank inlet and outlet openings are aligned and connected to incoming sewer drainage pipe from the home and the outgoing pipe leading to additional treatment components. The space around the buried tank is backfilled with soil, sand, or gravel and carefully compacted. Access ports and manhole covers are adjusted to grade level prior to final landscaping. A licensed contractor assures proper placement, structural support, and watertight installation of
the tank according to state regulations. This critical first step sets up the septic system for reliable service. 

Septic Tank Unclogging

Septic tank clogs prevent the proper flow of wastewater and sewage, causing backups and functionality issues. Trained technicians utilize a variety of methods to clear blockages and restore drainage. One common approach uses pressurized water jets that are snaked into pipes and the inlet to break up solid accumulations of grease, paper, or debris. Mechanical augers can also be rotated through piping to cut through and remove clogs. For the tank itself, vacuum pumping trucks aggressively remove stored solids and sludge obstructions until fully emptied. Long rods with attached agitating heads are also manually worked around the inside of the tank to dislodge stubborn blockages. Chemical treatments containing enzymes or caustic compounds
to dissolve materials may be poured or flushed into the affected areas. Unclogging alleviates any restricted water flows and allows the septic system to operate efficiently. Regular septic maintenance helps prevent severe clogging issues.

Septic Tank Filter Replacing

Septic tank filters help prevent clogs by trapping solids, fats, oils, and greases before they can leave the tank and clog pipes or drain fields. Over time, these filters get overloaded and need replacement. To replace a septic tank filter, a septic professional will first unscrew the cap on top of the filter housing using a special key tool. The old filter cartridge is then lifted straight up and out of the housing using the handle on top. Before inserting the new filter, the housing is inspected and cleaned if needed. The new cartridge is then lowered into the housing, pressing down firmly until it hits bottom and seats properly into the gaskets on the housing inlet. Finally, the access cap is screwed securely back in place hand-tight only. Having a spare replacement filter
on hand allows for quick change-outs during routine septic tank pump outs or inspections. Manufacturers recommend replacing filters every 3 years or if septic issues arise.

Septic Tank Hydrojetting

Septic tank hydrojetting utilizes high-powered streams of water to cut through and remove accumulated solids, grease, and scum inside a septic tank. It is performed to unclog obstructed piping and clean out the tank interior. To hydrojet, a technician truck equipped with a tank of water and gas-powered pump is brought onsite. A segmented hose with specialized hydrojetting nozzles attached to the end is fed through the manhole openings into the septic tank. As water pumps through the hose at up to 4000 PSI, the spinning nozzle sprays targeted areas inside the tank, breaking up stubborn debris and blockages. The loosened solids and wastewater slurry is then vacuumed out using the hydrojetting truck. This allows all piping and compartments
to be systematically cleaned without needing to pump out the tank first. Hydrojetting can restore free flows and extend times between scheduled pump outs. Care is taken not to damage interior tank walls in the high pressure cleaning process. Any defects found can then be addressed.

Septic Line Repair

Septic line repairs involve fixing cracked, damaged, or clogged pipes that connect components of the septic system. Signs of septic line problems include gurgling drains, plumbing backups, surface pooling, or soggy soil over the pipe network. The affected lines need to be uncovered by hand or with a backhoe to reveal the issue area. Common repairs include:

  • Patching small cracks or holes using PVC, CPVC, or ABS cements and
    sealants compatible with the original pipe type
  • Replacing broken sections of pipe by detaching at nearest joints, installing new fittings if needed, and joining in new pipe lengths
  • Clearing roots, grease blockages, or collapsed sections by rodding, jetting, or brute force extraction
  • Ensuring proper slope and support under repaired pipes before burying


Any debris is flushed out before testing water flow. The lines are then re-covered with soil and landscape materials. Annual inspections help catch issues early to avoid catastrophic failures requiring complete line replacements. Septic repairs preserve system functionality.

Septic Line Replacement

Full septic line replacement becomes necessary when the drainage pipes connecting the septic system components are too damaged or clogged to repair. Warning signs include backups and overflow, surfaced sewage pooling, or roots/grease blockages that cannot be cleared from the existing pipes. To replace, a backhoe first digs down to reveal the full line pathway requiring change-out. The old pipe lengths are detached, removed from the trenches, and disposed. New lengths of PVC, ABS or polyethylene piping, checked for proper slope and bedding, replace the prior line segments. Adequate gravel or sand bedding provides support under and around the piping to prevent settling. Adaptors tie sections together. Once visually inspected, the lines are carefully re-buried, compacting the backfill dirt overtop. The surface is raked, reseeded, or sodded to match surroundings. Septic pipe replacement
reestablishes proper wastewater flows through a clog-free drainage system.

Septic Tank Locating

Locating an underground septic tank involves finding the buried position of the tank which stores and treats household wastewater. Homeowners often need to find tanks for periodic pumping, required inspections, or prior to landscape excavations or building additions. Professional locators use several methods:

  • Consulting the approved system permit plans detailing tank size and original installed location on the property.
  • Scanning the lawn using an electronic pipe & tank detector to trace the metal septic covers or pipes.
  • Inserting a thin fiberglass probe repeatedly into the soil to hits and map the buried edges.
  • Observing for surface depression lines indicating pipes into the tank.
  • Looking inside cleanouts for direction indicators pointing towards the upstream tank.


Once positioned approximately over the tank center, temporary spray markings or colored flags pinpoint access for septic service openings. While permit drawings provide official locations, verifyings through electronic detection or probing ensures the system hasn’t shifted during years underground. Accurate tank locating provides direct access for vital pumping and repairs.

Routine Septic Tank Maintenance

Routine maintenance is key to ensuring a septic system functions properly long-term. Annually a tank should be inspected by opening access lids and checking the sludge and scum levels. Thick accumulations over 30% warrant pumping out waste through the manhole by a septic truck. Flushing water into the inlet and observing flow out the outlet tests for clogs. Verify proper filter function if equipped; replace cartridges as needed. Inspect tank walls, joints, lids for defects; repair cracks to prevent groundwater intrusion. Flush biodegradable additives down sinks and tubs monthly to enhance bacterial digestion and declog small buildups. Rotate sink/tub usage across multiple tank inlets to balance flow. Don’t dispose grease, paper towels, tampons down drains. Maintain effluent drainage field by not driving or placing heavy items
over the buried lines. Landscape runoff should also be diverted around the drainage area through berms and grading. Following these basic routines will help sustain a functional septic system with maximal longevity.

Septic Tank Mapping

Septic tank mapping refers to diagramming the precise as-built location of new or existing underground septic tanks and connecting pipes. Mapping is important for homeowners to understand where septic access points are before landscaping or additions. For older systems, mapping allows documentation if tank records or permit plans are missing. Licensed technicians use several above-ground investigative methods:

  • Electronic pipe/tank locators scan below grade for metal tank or pipe components to trace the positional layout.
  • Probe rods are pushed into soil across suspect areas until hitting solid edges to deduce dimensional shapes.
  • Transported camera heads are snaked through pipes noting directional orientations.

Measurements are taken from reference building foundations or property lines to triangulate key infrastructure locations. The resultant septic map details the size, depth, piping network, and access risers for accurate documentation. Photos often supplement the subsurface depictions. Having a current septic map aids future repairs, additions, excavations, or potential real estate transactions when wastewater treatment systems require disclosure.

Septic Tank Preventative Treatments

There are several preventative treatments that can help maintain a healthy septic system:

  1. Annual Inspections & Pumping – Professionally inspect tanks yearly and pump out waste buildup every 3-5 years before it clogs drain fields.
  2. Monthly Additives – Pour biological additives down drains to enhance digestion of solids and prevent grease/scum accumulations that block pipes.
  3. Effluent Filters – Filters stop solids escaping the tank. Check/clean filters 2-4 times per year.
  4. Protect Drain Field Area – Don’t drive vehicles over the buried drain field which can damage pipes. Maintain plants over top for filtration.
  5. Divert Runoff – Surface rainwater should be directed away from the drain field vicinity through berms and grading to prevent flooding.
  6. Manage Water Use – Fix any leaky faucets/toilets and upgrade to low-flow models to reduce total wastewater volumes straining the system.


Following these preventative guidelines will minimize solids overload and extend the operational lifespan of the septic components. Preventing imminent failure avoids high-cost emergency repairs.

Septic Tank Pump Replacement

Many septic tanks have an inline effluent pump that pushes wastewater toward the drain field. These pumps eventually fail and require replacement. To replace a septic tank pump, the access lid over the pump vault is unlocked and opened. The old pump is disconnected from the discharge piping and float switch electrical wires. New wiring of proper length is attached to the replacement pump. The pump is lowered down into the vault and the discharge pipe is reconnected. An inline check valve is inspected and replaced if faulty. The pump float switch is adjusted to proper “on/off” heights to control pumping cycles. All connections are confirmed leak-free before the
vault is closed up and electrical power restored. Having a redundant pump on hand allows rapid swap-outs if one fails. Septic pumps should run quietly – noisy operation indicates imminent failure. Proactive pump replacement prevents wastewater backups.