Septic FAQ

There are quite a few questions people often have in regards to their septic systems. Here are a few that we can quickly answer for you. If your question isn’t answered here and you would like to speak directly with a professional, give us a call as (315) 750-9284. We would love to help you out!


Q: How long do septic systems usually last?

A: The lifespan of a septic system depends on a few different things. The most important thing to keep a septic system healthy for a long time is proper maintenance during general use. While septic systems are built to last a long time, issues like clogged drain fields and pipe blockages can disrupt the system and cause damage. Make sure to keep up with the maintenance of your septic system—give us a call if you need help with it.


Q: What can I do with the land above my drain field?

A: You should try to keep the area within 10 feet of your drain field and open as possible. It’s important to make sure the soil can exchange air freely for it to do its job. Trees and large shrubbery should be kept at least 30 feet from your drain field as their root structures can damage the integrity of your drain field. Excess rainwater should be directed away from it as much as possible as well.


Q: How can I find my septic system and learn more about it?

A: If you aren’t sure where your septic system is located, get a copy of your property’s septic system record (which is usually referred to as an “as-built”). This is a diagram that shows where your septic system components are located. You can get a copy of this document from your local health department or health district—inspectors can help locate your septic system if your tank has no risers.


Q: How can I tell my septic system is working properly?

A: If you don’t have any apparent issues but want to make sure everything is in good working order, a professional can perform a septic system evaluation. Some Health departments and districts can perform this service as well; usually this comes at a cost.


Q: What are the signs of septic system failure?

A: The main cause for septic system failure is with the drain field. When the drain field isn’t working properly, water and sludge can accrue on the surface—you won’t have trouble noticing the smell. This kind of failure often comes from septic tank overflow. Have a professional evaluate the situation as soon as possible if you see any signs of overflow or drain field backup.


Q: What should I flush down the drain?

A: The only things that should be flushed down the drain are human waste. Foods and other chemicals slow down decomposition rates in the septic tank and can lead to septic backup. While it won’t happen immediately, the general rule of thumb should be to avoid flushing things that bacteria can’t easily break down.


Q: How can I tell if I need to have my tank pumped soon?

A: If you have risers installed checking the status of your septic tank fill levels are pretty simple and can be researched further online. If you do not have risers installed, the only real way to check the status of your tank before something goes wrong is to dig it up and check it out. We can do that for you, so give us a call!


Q: How often should I have my tank pumped?

A: How often you need to pump your septic tank depends on the size of the tank and the number of people using it. Commercial septic systems need more frequent maintenance because of the volume of use. Your septic tank should be inspected annually to check for needed repairs and pumped when necessary—usually every 3 to 5 years. If you are unsure of when you last had your septic tank pumped, give us a call!

About Kitchen Excavating

Whether your business or home needs a new septic system and leach field installed or Septic tank pumping, leach field pipes cleaning with high pressure jetting or replacement of that plugged septic system or septic pipe Kitchen excavating can do it all. From plumbing to pond creation, we have the expertise to complete any job.

We serve the Central New York Region. Our area of service includes Utica, Rome, New Hartford, Clinton, Whitesboro, Vernon, Oneida, Canastota, Chittenango, Cazenovia, and Hamilton areas.


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I had an old building that was just falling apart. It started to become a real eye sore on my property so I contacted Kitchen Excavating and they removed it for a great price. You wouldn’t even know a building was there.

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