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Facts & Myths About Septic Systems

Myth 1: Do septic tanks pose a hidden threat to water quality.

Yes, particularly if the effluent is not adequately treated, as in a failing system. Untreated effluent is a health hazard and can cause many human diseases. But septic tank systems are used worldwide to treat domestic wastewater from houses that are not connected to the main sewage network.   Septic systems process and treat wastewater as it enters the system. For the data gathered on a research made by Paul Withers with the link study here. Shows that the specified myth above is not true at all. Previous studies found that failing septic systems can become chronic sources of nutrients and interact with nearby waterways (Hoxley and Dudding, 1994;Withers et al., 2014).

Myth 2: Septic systems are designed to be maintenance-free.

Even a correctly designed and installed system will not function as it should without proper maintenance. Neglecting system maintenance leads to system failure. There is a need for maintenance of septic systems, as failure to do this would make them a place for the accumulation of pollutants. The maintenance required for a septic system depends on its configuration.

Some septic systems contain parts that require replacement with time e.g. effluent filters, to guarantee effective removal of pathogens and other pollutants.  If simple corrective measures do not resolve a problem, and the system continues to malfunction, we recommend contacting us A1 Septic Tank service we have a team of the licensed installer, a registered sanitarian, and a professional engineer, which then can evaluate the system, investigate the cause of the malfunction, and recommend possible solutions.

Myth 3: Septic is a garbage disposal

This is the highest misconception on our septic system we treat it as a garbage bin. Garbage disposals can overload a system with solids causing the need for more frequent tank pumping; and can increase wastewater strength beyond the capacity of the system to properly treat it. This will lead to hire professionals and cost a lot of money in that case. A septic system should not be treated as if it were a city sewer system, don’t use your toilet as a trash can.

Do not flush plastic, condoms, rubber, coffee grounds, citrus rinds, eggshells, dental floss, diapers, baby wipes, kitty litter, personal sanitary products, cigarette butts, leftovers of bath soaps, bandages, hair, cotton, lint, rags, fats, greases, paper, paints, solvents, varnishes, thinners, waste oils and automotive fluids, photographic solutions, pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers down into your septic system. Leading to a septic system fail. When a septic system fails, the drain field is not functioning properly. When a septic tank overflows, the effluent can pass to the drain field, clogging up the pipes. This causes sinks and toilets to back up in the house.

Myth 4: Will additives help my system?

No. Some septic tank additives on the market with chemicals, yeast, bacteria, or enzymes claim to improve septic tank performance or reduce the need for routine pumping. Adding a stimulator or an enhancer to a septic tank to help it function or “to restore bacterial balance” is not necessary. The naturally occurring bacteria needed for the septic system to work are already present in human feces. Let nature takes its course.

Myth 5: Entering a septic tank

Never enter any septic tank. Poisonous gases or the lack of air can be fatal. Any work to the tank should be done from the outside.


We are a family-owned and operated business. For over 65 years we have been providing the greater San Francisco Bay Area with fast and dependable septic and non-hazardous pumping services. A-1 Septic Tank Service, Inc. is committed to always delivering a safe, quality service and has built its reputation on honesty and integrity. We are ready to take your call!

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