Septic System Care

A1 Septic System Maintenance Tips

A few tips from A1 Septic Solution on how to keep your septic system healthy and trouble-free:


  • Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed of by your system. Doing laundry over several days will put less stress on your system and use liquid detergents not powdered as powdered form into clumps in your tank and you will need pumped more often.
  • Repair any leaking faucets or toilets. To detect toilet leaks, add several drops of food dye to the toilet tank and see if dye ends up in the bowl.
  • Divert downspouts and other surface water away from your tank and drainfield. Excessive water keeps the soil from adequately cleansing the wastewater.
  • Have your septic tank inspected and pumped regularly by a licensed septic tank contractor. *Suggested frequency is 3-5 years.
  • Keep your septic tank cover accessible for inspections and pumping. Install risers with lids if necessary.
  • Call your county health department or A1 Septic Solution  whenever you experience problems with your system, or if there are any signs of system failure.
  • Keep a detailed record of repairs, pumping, inspections, and other maintenance activities. Pass these on to the next homeowner.

Don’ts :

  • Don’t drive over your tank and drainfield or compact the soil in any way.
  • Don’t dig around the tank or drainfield, or build anything over it, and don’t cover it with a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt.
  • Don’t plant anything over or near the drainfield except grass. Roots from nearby trees and shrubs may clog and damage the drain lines.
  • Don’t use a garbage disposal, or at least limit its usage. Disposals increase solids to load to your tank by about 50%, so you have to pump your tank more often than normally suggested.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a trash can or poison your system and the groundwater by pouring harmful chemicals and cleansers down the drain. Harsh chemicals can kill the bacteria that help purify your wastewater.
  • Don’t put in a separate pipe to carry wash waters to a side ditch or the woods. This graywater contains germs that can spread disease. Use a laundry system.
  • Don’t waste money on septic tank additives. The bacteria needed to treat wastewater are naturally present in sewage. Additives can resuspend solids, causing your drainfield to clog. Additives do not eliminate the need for routine pumping of your tank.
  • Don’t allow the backwash from home water softeners to enter the septic system.
  • Never enter a septic tank – toxic gases from the tank can kill. If your system develops problems, call A1 Septic Solution to come out and take a look.

Pumping Out Your Septic Tank

Pumping your septic system is critical if you wish to maximize the life of your septic tank system. As a general rule, septic tank owners should plan to have their systems pumped once every three to five years, and more frequently if a system is used more often than recommended for its size.

To ensure that your septic system is properly pumped, schedule an appointment with family-owned and -operated A1 Septic Solution today. We are a licensed and insured septic services company that is known for offering the best value for septic tank pumping in Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish Counties. Over the years, our cost-effective and extremely thorough pumping service has been used by thousands of satisfied customers, helping them save money over time on unnecessary repairs and early replacement. With access to some of the best septic pump trucks in the county, our pumping service is ideal for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal septic systems, as well as pools, ponds, portable toilets, holding tanks for travel trailers and mobile homes, and more.

At A1 Septic Solution, we won’t just pump one side of your tank like some of our competitors; instead, we’ll pump and clean your entire septic tank, which ensures that all liquids and solids are removed. Once your tank is cleaned, our professionals are able to perform a complete visual inspection of your tank. With this free inspection, we’ll determine the general condition of your septic tank and its compartments, baffles, and access lids. By paying special attention to any leaks, breaks, decay, and safety issues, we can alert you to any problems before they become more complicated and expensive.

We will assess the tank for structural soundness (to prevent tank collapse) and walk the property to ensure there are no hazardous leaks. We’ll also report on the number of gallons that were removed to help you determine how frequently your system needs to be pumped in the future. Additionally, because we believe so strongly in proactive septic tank care, we’re always happy to discuss with you septic tank best practices and maintenance tips.

Whether you’ve started to notice problems with your septic system or your tank is due for routine maintenance, contact A1 Septic Solution today. We can often accommodate same-day as well as emergency appointment requests at no extra charge. We provide free, over-the-phone estimates for our septic tank pumping service and charge one low price for pumping both sides of your tank (unlike many of our competitors who provide their quotes for pumping just one side of a tank). Discounted rates are available to seniors and neighbors who arrange to have their tanks pumped at the same time. For added convenience, customers are not required to be present for routine pumping visits.

Riser Installation

septic risers installation A1 Septic in Whatcom County WAThe Benefits of Septic Tank Riser Installation
Risers are ultimately all about convenience. They are beneficial for homeowners who no longer want to remove sod and dig several feet into the ground to access their septic tank. Instead, you can install an above-ground riser for immediate tank access (and no digging at all).

Alternatively, you can install the riser 4-6 inches below ground, which allows you to grow grass over the site while still providing easy tank access. Another benefit of riser installation is that you no longer have to pay a professional to walk over your property to locate and mark out your tank lid’s location. When pumping and cleaning your tank, no labor to dig up the tank is required.

Choosing and Installing Septic Tank Risers
Risers can be made of PVC, polyethylene, or fiberglass. We typically recommend installing risers made of PVC, which is watertight, lightweight, and strong. While concrete risers might be cheaper, they are also far heavier and can crumble and decay over time. When installing a new riser, we will come out to your property to inspect the current state of your tank. Sometimes we have to pour a new top on the tank to prevent it from caving in. We then set the riser over the tank, seal the base down, and cut it down to height. The lid is then placed over the top, and covers are always gasketed and childproofed.

To install a new riser on your septic tank, call A1 Septic Solution today. We install risers for all customers in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties and can often make same day appointments. Our phone estimates are free, and our experts are always happy to discuss with you your individual septic tank needs.