Rogers Septic Maintenance & Repair

FAQ

What is the warranty on our new system?

WARRANTY INFORMATION

THANK YOU FOR YOUR RECENT PURCHASE FROM ROGERS SEPTIC, MAINTENANCE & REPAIR & FOREST ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES. We are very happy you chose us!

This letter is to inform you about our warranty terms and conditions for the products purchased from Rogers Septic.  The warranty term would have been listed on the proposal from Rogers Septic Maintenance & Repair. We assume responsibility for any kind of problem with the products during the warranty term.  The product will be replaced or repaired free of cost if there is any problem with its working condition. The warranty is void if:

  • The product is not used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

  • The product has been serviced by a company or individual other than Rogers Septic – Forest Pumping

  • The product failure is caused by a problem outside of the septic system

  • The product fails due to a natural disaster, or other consequential damage.

Rest assured, if the problem is a result of our workmanship beyond the warranty term, we’ll work with you to resolve the issue.

Attached you’ll find the Do’-and-Don’t with regard to owning a septic system. We’ve found it to be helpful to our customers new to the septic system environment.

Most owner’s manuals are available on-line on the manufacturer’s site for your convenience. An additional manufacturer’s warranty may exist beyond our company’s warranty.

As a reminder, in order to maintain a healthy septic system and prevent issues it’s very important to pump the tanks once every 3-5 years. Our pump trucks are ready to help when needed.

Iowa law may require an Annual Maintenance Agreement for your septic system.  In short, this law requires the system to be inspected once or twice a year. During the inspection, Iowa law also requires water samples be taken from your discharge pipe and sent to a laboratory for testing in order to ensure it’s not polluting the environment. Our office would have supplied this year’s Annual Maintenance Agreement to your county of residence as part of our installation price.  Please visit RogersSeptic.com to process your next agreement; each agreement begins on Jan 1st and expires on Dec 31st.

FEEL FREE TO CALL 515-282-0777 OR VISIT ROGERSSEPTIC.COM FOR ALL YOUR FUTURE SEPTIC NEEDS.

Again, thank you!  Rick Rogers

How do I find a copy of my septic system's design?

Typically, a septic system is permitted and inspected by your county’s local health or environmental department. You can contact these entities to obtain a copy of your property’s septic record drawing and copies of the permits. The permits may also have additional information on your system, such as the date of installation, soil properties, etc.

How do I know if I have a septic system?

One way to determine if your home has a septic system is to check your property records. The property deed, building permit and design plans for your home and property will likely contain information about the presence of a septic system. In some cases, there may be visual signs you have a septic system. For example, for some septic systems a mound or small hill is created for the installation of the drainfield. Also, if you follow the plumbing outlet leaving your home, you might find an access riser with black or green lids.

Where should septic tanks be placed?

The local health department may have septic tank placement requirements and a minimum setback distance from your foundation. Typically, it should be located on level ground so solids can settle in the tank. The location of the plumbing outlet usually dictates where the tank is located and depth of the tank to account for adequate slope on the inlet pipe. Septic tanks should be placed away from areas subject to flooding and surface water ponding. The tank should be properly vented. Avoid steep slopes and areas of dense tree roots or other obstructions. Also, place the septic tank where it is accessible for future inspections and pump outs.

How close can a septic tank be to a property line?

Isolation distances from septic tanks to property lines are typically part of local or state permitting regulations. Contact your local permitting authority, which is usually the county environmental department.

How do I get a permit for the repair, new construction, or replacement of a septic system?

A septic system permit is issued by your local permitting authority (i.e., local health or environmental department). You can apply for the permit yourself, or the contractor hired to build the system can obtain it on your behalf. Check with your local municipality in the event they also require additional permits to install your system.

Is one type of septic system better than another?

The type of septic system for your home depends on a variety of factors, such as lot size, ground slope, soil conditions, size of your home, local & state regulations, and your budget. Some properties can be served by a conventional gravity septic tank and drainfield, while others may require advanced technologies for wastewater treatment.

Where can I find a septic system professional to install a new system?

Rogers Septic is here to serve all your septic needs.

Should I be care of what I pour down the drain?

Yes. Many materials that might be poured down the drain do not easily decompose. This can be harmful to the healthy bacteria that grow in your septic tank and drainfield to help break down organic matter. Do not pour grease such as: fats, butter, wax, cheese, & heavy cream. Liquid wastes such as: pesticides, drain cleaners, household chemicals, paints, paint thinners, oils or coffee grounds should also not be poured down the drain. If you have a garbage disposal, limit its use because food waste can add an unnecessary amount of solid material to your septic tank.

Does using a garbage disposal unit impact my septic system?

Yes. Using an in-sink garbage disposal unit can impact how often you need to pump your septic tank. Food waste usually is slowly digested by the healthy bacteria in your septic tank and can accumulate as scum and sludge. If you must use a garbage disposal unit, your tank will need to be pumped more frequently. 

What can I flush down the toilet?

Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.

 

Never flush these items down the toilet because they could clog your septic system and cause a failure:

  • Cooking grease or oil

  • Non-flushable wipes, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Condoms

  • Dental floss

  • Diapers

  • Cigarette butts

  • Coffee grounds

  • Cat litter

  • Paper towels

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Household chemicals like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Should I avoid driving on my drainfield?

Yes. Most drainfields (such as rock and pipe, chamber system, etc.) are constructed in open lawn areas and are not designed to handle vehicles or heavy equipment driving on them. The weight of vehicles and heavy equipment compacts the soil, which can damage pipes. Impermeable materials, such as concrete and asphalt, should not be laid on top of a drainfield because they reduce evaporation and the supply of oxygen to the soil. Oxygen is critical to the healthy bacteria in your septic system and the proper breakdown of sewage by soil microorganisms.

Should I avoid building on my drainfield?

Do not build any structures in or on your drainfield area without checking with a local designer or permitting authority. It is not recommended to plant trees, shrubs, or vegetable gardens on the drainfield. Tree and shrub roots can ensnarl and damage drainfield pipes. Vegetables can potentially be exposed to sewage effluent and unsafe to consume. Native grasses and ground covers are the most appropriate planting over your drainfield.

Who is responsible for maintaining septic systems?

The owner of the system is responsible for the overall operation, maintenance, and upkeep of the system, including repairs or replacement. The system users are responsible for the proper use of the system, such as what materials go down the drain, how much water is used, etc.

How often should my septic tank be pumped?

In general, a septic tank should be inspected every 1 to 3 years and pumped every 3 to 5 years. The frequency of pumping the septic tank depends on the tank size, number of people in the household, habits of water use as well as the amount of solids accumulated in the tank. Some alternative systems that are more complex may require more frequent inspection or pumping. If you are unsure, ask your local septic system professional. A septic tank effluent filter may also require frequent maintenance and should be included in the inspection and maintenance activities. It is important to save your system’s yearly schedule or maintenance records.

I’ve never pumped my septic tank, is that a problem?

If you have not pumped your septic tank in several years, but do not seem to be having any problems, it may mean one of several things:

  • There is minimal water use in the home, and/or the size of the septic tank and the biological activity maintains the solids at sustainable levels. This is rare but may occur when there are only one or two people in the home.

  • The tank has a leak and is discharging wastewater into the ground instead of into the drainfield.

  • The tank is full of solids, which are slowly migrating and may eventually clog the drainfield. This may increase the cost of pumping the tank and may require replacing the entire drainfield if it becomes clogged. 

What kind of additives are acceptable for use in my septic system?

Commercially available microbiological and enzyme additives are promoted to reduce sludge and scum accumulation in septic tanks. However, these additives are generally not necessary for a septic system to function properly when treating domestic wastewater.

How long does a septic system last?

The lifespan of a septic system depends on the material it is made of, the design, installation, service and exposure conditions, and maintenance of the system. Typically, a septic tank made of concrete may last 40 years or more, although older tanks may not be as well constructed as newer tanks. Tanks made from other materials, such as plastic may last a similar timeframe.

If your septic system includes a pump, many pumps and controls will need to be replaced every 6-12 years. If you have an advanced treatment unit, check with the manufacturer for estimates of lifespan and warranty information.

If your drainfield is more than 25 to 30 years old, the natural biomat that forms in the bottom of the trenches or beds can thicken and reduce the ability of the drainfield to properly discharge the wastewater into the ground. This can cause ponding in the drainfield, surfacing of untreated wastewater, or backing up into the septic tank and into the plumbing in the house.

If your septic system is more than 25 to 30 years old, start planning for an upgrade before you are in an emergency situation. It is likely your system is close to its useful lifespan.

How can I prevent a septic system failure?

Regular maintenance is the best method to prevent a septic system failure. Septic maintenance includes inspecting the entire system every 1 to 3 years and pumping the tank every 3 to 5 years. The frequency for pumping the septic tank depends on the tank size, number of people in the household, the water habits and use, if a garbage disposal is used, and the amount of solids accumulated in the tank. A rule of thumb is to pump the tank when the solids are two-thirds of the volume in the tank. Routine maintenance is the responsibility of the home or property owner. If you rent a home, you have responsibility for the proper use and operation of the system.

In general, you can avoid a septic system failure by:

  • Inspecting your system every 1 to 3 years

  • Pumping the tank every 3 to 5 years or as needed

  • Avoiding excess water use (e.g. spreading out laundry use over the week)

  • Flushing only human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.

What are common signs of a failing septic system?
  • Water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks backing up into the home’s plumbing

  • Bathtubs, showers, and sinks draining very slowly

  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system

  • Standing water or damp spots near or over the septic tank or drainfield

  • Sewage odors around the septic tank or drainfield

  • Bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank or drainfield, even during dry weather

  • Straight pipe discharging untreated wastewater to the ground surface

  • Algae blooms in nearby lakes or waterbodies

  • High levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in surface waters or drinking water wells

If I smell a foul odor coming from my septic system, does that mean my system is failing?

There may be several reasons for the smell, which can occur inside or outside your home. If you notice an odor, it may be coming from a roof vent or other vent pipe that allows the system pressure to equalize. This is a normal part of your system. Sometimes these vents can become obstructed and clogged from leaves, debris, etc., or the vent pipe can freeze during prolonged cold spells. These situations could cause an odor inside or outside of your home. Another possibility is a down draft, or changes to wind patterns or other location-specific conditions, which can create an odor inside or outside your home. In these cases, the vent may need to be cleaned or raised.

If your drainfield is not working properly, that could be another reason you smell an odor inside your home or around the septic system. Soft, wet, or spongy soil (especially when there have been no significant rainfall events) around your drainfield is a good indication of a system failure. It is not possible to diagnose the exact cause of an odor remotely. EPA recommends you contact a local septic system service provider and/or plumber to address the issue. 

How can I pay for my septic system?

Feel free to contact our financing partner Cedar River Financing at 319-362-2185, or CedarRiverFinance.com.  It’s a quick, ten-minute application process, and there’s no charge for the application.

Are there grants or loans available to help me pay for the repair or replacement of my septic system or to buy a new one?

There are national financing programs available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), & EPA as well as other agencies. They are listed below.

County Emergency Fund: All repairs may be completed at no cost or minimal contribution by the homeowner. 515-286-3356. Polk County phone number only. Please call your individual county to determine if they have an Emergency Home Repair Fund. 

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund provides financial assistance for the repair or replacement of failing decentralized systems. Each state’s CWSRF program is responsible for selecting the projects that receive assistance. You can contact the Iowa CWSRF person at 1-800-432-7230. 

Rural Home Loans Program offers loan assistance to low and very low-income applicants. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income. Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate, or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. 515-284-4663.

The Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants Program offers grants and low-interest loans to repair, improve, or modernize rural single-family homes or grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards, including septic systems. Loans may be used on repairs and improvements and grants must be used to remove health and safety hazards. The maximum loan amount is $20,000 and the maximum grant amount is $7,500. 515-284-4663

Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program offers grants to rural homeowners. Grant funds may be used to help a nonprofit create a revolving loan fund for eligible individuals who own and occupy a home in an eligible rural area. The fund may be used to construct, refurbish, or service individually-owned household water well and septic systems. Terms for the loans include one percent fixed interest rate, 20-year maximum term, and an $15,000 maximum loan per household. 515-284-4665

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development provides funds to states through community development block grants. The grants fund various projects, including rehabilitation of residential and nonresidential structures, construction of public facilities, and improvement of water and sewer facilities. 202-708-1455

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