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FAQ - Septic Services

Frequently Ask Questions About Septic Services - Campbell River & Comox Valley.


How often should my septic tank be serviced?

-It is recommended that septic tanks be emptied every 3-5 years. The exact timing depends on Household size, Septic Tank Volume, Amount of water usage, the volume of solid waste.

How do I know if I need a plumber or septic tank pumpout?

Generally you will need a septic tank pumpout if your toilets won’t flush. A plumber will be required for an isolated problem such as one toilet won’t flush or one drain is clogged.

What happens if I don’t pump out my septic tank?

If you don’t pump out your septic tank you can end up with a clogged sewer line causing back ups into your house. You can damage your drain field costing you thousands to repair. Maintenance saves you money.

What can I do to make sure my septic runs properly?

By pumping your septic tank without too much buildup, the liquid (effluent) leaving the septic tank will contain very few solid particles. If build up is left too long, particles can flow through to the drainfield, potentially blocking the small holes in the drainpipe which can damage your septic field.

Why do Septic Tanks solids build up?

  • Your tank is not being pumped out frequently enough
  • High volumes of water from high usage are being discharged pushing solids through the tank before they can settle in the tank.
  • Your septic tank size isn’t rated for the size of your house or the number of occupants.

Why do I need an effluent filter?

Effluent filters are installed on outlet baffles and catch solids before they leave the tank. This ensures solid particles are not released to the drain field.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

There are many signs that will indicate a full  septic tank.
  • Pooling water, happens when your tank is full and the solids are blocking the system.
  • Slow Drains could be an indication of a clog in your septic tank or the system is full and needs to be emptied.
  • Odours, if you start smelling sewage it generally means your septic tank is full, or getting close.
  • Gurgling water is another sign your tank might be full and needs to be serviced.

How does my septic system work?

In a Type 1 septic system, all wastewater from your home drains from the house into a septic tank. With time, gravity and floatation the grease, oils and course solids will separate into three layers.
  • Sludge material will settle to the bottom of the tank.
  • Scum material will float at the surface.
  • Primary treated wastewater sits in the middle section of the tank and will transfer to a secondary tank chamber if equipped or directly to the drainfield via a Distribution Box.

What is a Distribution Box?

Gravity-fed septic systems distribute wastewater coming out of the septic tank through a distribution box. The distribution box evenly distributes the wastewater into the perforated drain field that lies in the ground.


The drain field of a septic system is an essential component to your septic system, it allows effluent  waste water from your septic tank  to pass into the ground thru  multiple pipes.

How Do I Make Sure My Drain Field Lasts?

Regular maintenance is key, your drain field is the final place that your septic wastewater goes before entering the ground. . Ensuring that the drain field is in working is very important to keep your system running, it is an essential part of your septic system.

Can I Plant Around My Drain Field?

The answer is, It Depends.

Deep roots are not acceptable, these plants can cause significant damage to systems including drain fields. Anything that requires large amounts of water should not be planted near your drain field. 

Never plant any vegetables on or near a septic drain field, septic effluent is hazardous. 

Can I Build On Top of My Drain Field?


How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank in Campbell River?

Generally Septic pumping cost range between .60gal to .40gal based on the volume.
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