why maintaining your septic is crucial

Why Maintaining Your Septic System is Crucial

If you like saving money and don’t like stinky surprises, then getting your septic system on a regular plan of maintenance is the way to go. Most people are only concerned with getting their septic tank pumped, not realizing that the system has other parts which are important as well. Yes, of course getting your septic tank pumped needs to be done on a three to five year basis. Having Tri-county Septic come out to do it, enables them to also check on the condition of your tank and its components. Septic tanks like many things in life do not last forever, having a professional do an assessment for dings or cracks is a cost saving measure.

Most septic systems have alarms, many people see the green light flickering and assume everything is okay. The problem arises when the alarm is no longer attached to anything. Often over time the coated wires become corroded, leaving an alarm’s green light blinking merrily along. Generally, the alarm is connected to the float switch. When the float rises it is supposed to set off the alarm which is a red light along with beeping, it is a warning that the liquid inside the tank is rising. This can only happen if the alarm is functional.

Other reasons the float switch might activate:

Too much water is being put through the septic system.

Several long showers as well as an increased amount of laundry can cause too much water usage. Sometimes the solution is an easy one. Use as little water as possible for a day or so and do a couple of pump cycles to see if the float regulates.

septic bg

Ground water is getting into the system.

Heavy rain may cause seepage. When too much standing water occurs around the septic tanks, the water can seep into the tanks causing the water level to rise inside of the tanks.

Something may be wrong with one of the septic system’s components.

The pump, floats, alarm, timer, etc. may have something wrong that is not allowing them to work properly.

As you can see having a properly working alarm system allows for you to have advanced warning on a possible failing of your septic system or its components. Letting the professionals at Tri-County Septic maintain your septic system is a win for you.



To our valued clients

Tri County Septic remains committed to ensuring the safety, health, and well-being of our clients as well as our employees. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus recommendations from the CDC and WHO in addition to local and state agencies during this changing situation.

We are open for business.

We also want to be proactive in the prevention of spreading COVID-19 and other viruses.

Tri County Septic will continue to take precautions as necessary to keep you and our staff safe during this time. Acting on the guidance from the CDC, local health officials, and our own protocols, here are the additional steps we are taking as we service your septic needs.

Our workers will use a new pair of latex gloves and/or sanitize their hands with each residence they visit.

Greetings by handshake in and outside the office are to be avoided.

Our employees are instructed to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth area.

ALL STAFF will follow procedures by properly washing or sanitizing their hands many times throughout the day (before/after eating, using the bathroom, after using any shared tools or office items, etc.)

Our team members are following the federal and state guidelines for social distancing by maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others and will not attend gatherings of more than 10 people.

Our office staff are working remotely and conducting business through online meetings and conference calls when necessary.

Only team members that are asymptomatic are permitted to work.

If you or a family member in the home is sick with flu-like symptoms and we are scheduled to do work at your home during this time, please inform us right away. 

Our staff reserve the right to remove themselves from any unsafe situation; this now includes contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms.

This is a fluid situation and we will update this page as necessary Thank you for being a valued client and we will always strive to merit the confidence you have shown in us.


water and your septic

Water and Your Septic System

As you know ALL water in the house runs into the drains and then into the septic system and later into the drainfield. An easy to ‘go green’ is fill cups or buckets with water when you are adjusting the temperature at the faucet or for a shower. It will mean less water impacting your septic system. This isn’t the ‘water’ usually thought of when trying to make life easier on your septic system. This water can be used for countless household applications from regular drinking water to watering houseplants to washing fruits and vegetables


Greywater emanates from bathroom sinks or showers as well as the washing machine. Unless the load includes human bodily fluids or recyclable diapers, in which case it is considered to be Blackwater.

  • Although Greywater contains some bacterial particles it can be used for other household needs like watering outdoor plants or washing the driveway.
  • Drinking Greywater is not recommended due to particle contamination.
  • Generally speaking you can dispose of Greywater on your own property.


Blackwater, however contains high levels of hazardous bacteria and is from both the toilet and the kitchen sink. This includes human waste, urine, other bodily functions as well as food scrapes and food particles all of which can produce hazardous bacteria.

  • Septic professionals should be called whenever dealing with anything to do with Blackwater.
  • The gasses released during the bacteria breakdown process are highly toxic and often deadly.
  • Always wear protective clothing and gear if you find yourself dealing with Blackwater.


  • Solids in the form of human waste as well as food waste will sink to the bottom of the septic tank and over time combine with other solids to form the sludge layer.
  • Grease and oils float to the top of the tank, combining to form a scum layer.
  • A normally operating septic tank that is in use is always full of sewage: a mixture of solids, floating scum, and septic effluent.

It is up to you to regulate what goes down your drains. As well as using water wisely this benefits not only your septic system, but also your home and family.

the perc test

The ‘Perc’ Test

A percolation test determines the soil’s ability to absorb fluids for the installation of a septic system. A septic system uses a tank to collect a home’s wastewater and solids where it breaks down through an enzymatic process. The fluid flows from the tank through the pipe that leads to a series of perforated pipes buried a few inches below the surface of the ground called a septic drain field or leach field.

leach field dos donts

Leach Field Safety: Dos & Don’ts

DO put grass seed or wildflowers above your leach field, but not any deep-rooted varieties. Be careful when tilling the area, because the field can be as near as 6 inches from the surface.

This is also the reason you want to maintain greenery above the leach field. It helps to prevent erosion. You’ll want to maintain the distance between the leach field and the surface.

You may also plant shallow rooted trees/shrubs such as Azeleas or Boxwood shrubs near the septic field.

DO NOT plant anything near a leach field that requires regular watering. The goal is to not have a saturated leach field. Adding extra water to the area on a regular basis can be a big problem.

DO NOT plant anything that grows 30 feet or higher within 30 feet of your septic. The roots can cause thousands of dollars in damages. Root barriers are an option for homeowners who don’t want to remove existing trees near a septic area, but removal is the safest long-term strategy. Willows, Pussy Willow Shrubs, Aspen, Birch, Beech, Elm, Ash, Tulip and American Sweetgum trees should be nowhere near your septic system.

DO NOT plant edible foods within 10 feet of the leach field. Chemicals and medications that get poured down your sink (even thought they shouldn’t) can contaminate the food.

DO NOT park a car or ANY heavy machinery on top of the septic drain field. Avoid anything that could do damage to underground pipe system.

DO NOT place playground equipment over the leach field. While it’s perfectly safe for children to play over the leach field, heavy equipment can be harmful the system, and even lighter equipment that is difficult to move can become a pain if you ever need to repair your leach field.

DO Call Tricounty Septic if your leach field is soggy or smelly or has developed an exceptionally green, lush grass over top. This is a sign of septic failure. (908)689-9088

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