Septic Tank Systems: 6 Common Misconceptions Debunked

There are more than 60 million septic systems in the United States, which means that more than one in five homes use them instead of public sewers. Many people have wrong ideas about maintaining their septic tanks, so it is important to understand the facts. This way, you will know what costs you money and what does not.


Here are the six common myths about septic tanks and the truth behind them:


Myth #1: Septic Tanks Are Self-Cleaning


You may think that once you have a properly installed and maintained septic tank, all you have to do is add the occasional deodorant to it, and you are good to go. This is not the case at all. Septic tanks definitely need routine pumping, and the sludge that has built up is taken out. Doing so will save money on costly repairs in the future.


Myth #2: Septic Tank Pumping Costs a Lot


It does not have to. In most places, the cost of septic tank pumping is about $300 for a small tank and about $500 for a standard one. However, some places charge a lot more, so you should call around to find out. Better yet, you could look online for septic tank pumping reviews in your area and see if there you could save money.


Myth #3: Septic System Cleaning is Hard Work

Septic tank cleaning is a simple two-step process. First, the tank has to be pumped out. Then the sludge has to be removed and taken to a disposal site. However, it is not something that you should try to do on your own, but an experienced septic tank cleaning professional will be able to do it quickly and efficiently. Working with a professional will ensure that only properly trained and certified technicians clean your septic tank, which makes their job easier.


Myth #4: It Does Not Matter How Much You Put Down the Drain

This is a big myth and one that many people have bought into. You do not want to put anything that is not supposed to go into the septic tank down the drain or toilet. The reason is not only because some of these things could damage the septic tank, but also because they could weaken the entire system.

One thing that many homeowners do not think about is what goes down the drain. Think about it. Are you pouring down grease, coffee grounds, and soap? If you are, you are making your septic tank work harder, adding to your septic tank cleaning costs.

Myth #5: Additives Reduce the Need for Pumping

Some products claim to keep septic systems healthy and functional, but “so-called” septic repair kits are useless. These kits contain “secret” microbes and enzymes designed to increase sewage digestion and eliminate the need for pumping. However, the claims cannot be substantiated and leave a lot of factors unaccounted for, including whether the sewage treatment is overloading on liquids.

Well-balanced septic tanks can be maintenance-free, but if your tank is unbalanced, the solutions are pumping it out and maintaining it. If you want to be sure that things will work right, it is better and safer to invest in pumping every three to five years than to trust the additives that may not work for your system.


Myth #6: Septic Tank Maintenance is Not Important

As you can see from the five myths listed above, it is essential to ensure you get your tank pumped out. This also debunks the myth that routine tank maintenance is unnecessary.

Getting your septic tank cleaned out will ensure that the system is running properly and you are not stuck with high septic tank cleaning costs down the line. Moreover, it will keep your system in better shape, so you will not have to worry about your system failing on you.


It is important to know the facts about taking care of a septic tank system. Proper maintenance, including routine pumping every 3 to 4 years, can go a long way to ensure continued system health. Moreover, working with an experienced septic service provider specializing in septic tank pumping and maintenance is the best way to ensure good system management.

If you need septic tank services in San Jose, CA and surrounding areas, A-1 Septic Tank Service, Inc. is septic and non-hazardous pumping service provider offering 24-hour septic tank pumping. We also offer septic tank installation, inspections, and more! Email us at [email protected] or call us at (510) 886-4455 today!

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