So, what is the difference between a Holding tank and a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are always connected to a field or sewer system. Holding tanks are not connected to anything.

How do Holding Tanks work?

Holding tanks have no pump in them. Once they are full, they need pumping.

I'm moving into a home with a holding tank. What should I do about maintenance?
Keep a close eye on the tank to see how fast you fill it. We use more water than we think. A holding tank that's 1500 gallons may only last 2-3 weeks between pumping. Depending on how many people live in the house.

How often should I pump the holding tank?
Again it depends on the number of people in the house and if there are low flow fixtures in the house.
Septic Tank Lid Cover in Steinbach House
Septic Tank Concrete Lid
How do Septic Tank & Septic Field work?
All the water that is used in the house goes into the septic tank. The solids stay in the tank and the excess water pumps into the field or sewer system. Septic tanks have 2 compartments in them to separate the two.

I'm moving into a home with a septic tank. What should I do about maintenance?
Yearly cleaning is recommended.

How often should I pump the Septic Tank?
A family of 4-5 should clean their tanks yearly. Larger families may need to clean twice a year
A couple people in the house can get away with every 2 years in between cleanings. But often do it yearly anyway just for peace of mind.

What should I NEVER put down my garbage disposal and toilet?
Never flush grease, cooking oil, sanitary products, baby/cleaning wipes, dental floss, hair. Just toilet paper and regular waste.

What is a Septic tank or Holding tank failure and how does it look like?
They're are multiple things that can fail:
  • The pump could plug with a sanitary product or hair
  • The pill switch (the float that turns your pump on and off) can fail
  • Pump failure
  • You can plug a line if you're flushing grease.
  • Your toilets will stop flushing and things could back up if your tank gets full.

Should I use any activators for the septic tank?

There should be no need to use activators in the tank if people are living in the house and using the toilets.

What can cause the septic tank to stink?

Most of the time you'll smell nothing. But sometimes the wind will shift and you may catch a whiff. Also, if the drain dries out in the house, you may get a sewer smell. Just put a couple gallons of water down unused showers and floor drains and there should be no smell.

Do I need to winterize Holding or Septic tank?

It's not a bad idea to cover the holding tank in winter to keep it from freezing. If not, we just have to chip ice to get to the liquid to pump it.
Septic tanks often get covered in snow for winter and they're ok. But if the snow tends to blow off it all winter and insulated tarp is good idea.

Can my septic tank & sewage be inspected with a sewer camera?

If you're having a problem with a plugged line, then yes. If everything is working good, then there's not much point.

What's the difference between a pump out system and a gravity flow system?

The difference is a gravity system has no pump. It flows the field on its own. The maintenance is the same. Yearly cleaning is still recommend.

What if my septic tank is not cleaned often enough?
It makes our job much harder as the solids build up in the tank and get harder to clean out. Also it's harder on your pump because it starts pumping thicker stuff.
MARCH, 23 / 2020

Thank You Kyle from Rene's Septic Tank Cleaning Service for answering all of the above questions. If you need your Septic Tank cleaned you can reach Kyle at 204-326-2392.