Common Septic Tank Problems Caused by Rain

Maintaining a healthy septic system can prevent the risk of septic back up and curb foul smells. Often when you smell a foul odor coming from your septic tank it is one of the first signs of a septic system problem. Worse, when there is heavy rain it can cause some components to your system to fail, which allows the smell to be more potent.

If your septic system is emitting a less-than-fresh odor simply because of a change in weather, specifically when there has been heavy rain, contact a professional septic system company to inspect and perform maintenance on your septic tank or leach field.

Why do septic tanks smell when it rains?

When it rains, the air becomes heavy and doesn’t allow for proper release of methane gases through your vent. As a result, the gases stay low to the ground with the atmospheric pressure, which results in a foul smell. If you have a loose toilet gas ring somewhere in your home, the added pressure from the rain can push these gases through into the house resulting in a bad smell. Even the tiniest hole can allow methane gases to leak.

Can a septic drain field flood from too much rain?

When you experience heavy rains the ground becomes saturated, which, in turn, impacts your drain field. A saturated drain field can create a number of problems for your septic system. Heavy rains result in a rise of the liquid level in your septic tank, which increases back-pressure on gases in the tank. These gases have nowhere to go but into the drain, vent, and waste system in your home. The result is a foul smell caused by a flooded drain field.

heavy rain creates puddles and saturates the ground causing septic problems

How do I get rid of septic tank smells?

Septic odors often are caused by gases in the system. You can do a number of things to prevent or eliminate a bad smell coming from your septic tank.

  1. Run water through your drains frequently. Typically, houses with more than one bathroom suffer from septic smells more often when it rains because one of the bathrooms is used less often. By running water in all your sinks, showers, toilets, and drains every couple of months, you can prevent this kind of issue.
  2. Septic System Pumping & Tank Clean Out 
  3. Contact a professional to perform a soil and percolation test in the leach field.

Septic Medic is located in Dingmans Ferry, PA serving Delaware Township and all areas of Pike County. Dealing with a foul smelling septic tank or drain field early is key to preventing costly damages.



Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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What to Expect from Your Septic System in Winter

If you live in Pike County, PA or the surrounding area then you know about frigid winters. If you have a septic system then you should also be aware of the problems that can arise during colder months. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to avoid emergency winter septic problems. View our septic system preparation plan to help you curb any potential problems. When the temperatures drop in Northeastern Pennsylvania, contact Septic Medic for maintenance, repair, or emergency.

How to Prepare Your Septic System for Winter

Protect your septic system from harsh cold weather conditions and keep it working at its best throughout the winter. There are several steps you can take to avoid septic system problems during the winter. The most important thing is to prevent pipes and parts of your septic system from freezing. Freezing can cause pipes to crack or cause a septic back up, which may result in an emergency septic pumping.

  1. Get Your Septic Tank Pumped. We’re often asked, “Can You Pump A Septic Tank in Winter?” The answer is yes! Septic tanks can be pumped all year round and winter clean outs are generally not a problem, however, it is recommended to have your septic tank pumped before the winter weather hits. When the ground freezes it can make it harder to access the tank if there is an emergency.
  2. Keep Snow Plows Off of the Septic Drain Field. It’s important to know where your septic tank and drain field are and make sure to keep snow plows off them. Plows could damage the ground which, in turn, can damage your septic system.
  3. Run Hot Water in Your Home. When the temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period, be sure to frequently flush your system with hot water. You can do this by planning your laundry, dishwasher cycles, and hot showers so that your system gets a dose of warm water frequently throughout the day and evening.
  4. Don’t Leave Water Dripping in Your House. Keeping faucets dripping may help you avoid frozen pipes in the house but it can harm your septic system. A gradual stream of water can overload a septic system which will actually cause pipes near the exit to your home to freeze.
  5. Insulate and Prevent the Drainage Field From Freezing. Add one to three inches of mulch on the drainage field, pay particular attention to areas that do not have adequate grass cover. Mulch or straw insulation will stop melting snow from saturating the ground and reduce the chance of flooding. Insulation can also help to prevent underground septic components from freezing.
  6. Schedule a Septic System Inspection. Before the temperature drops, make sure your septic system is thoroughly inspected, and if needed, make recommended repairs. Septic Medic will check your system for leaks, which can be particularly damaging in colder months, and sure all pieces are properly insulated.

Septic Medic Pike County, PA, Delaware Township and surrounding townships. We’re here to help you prepare your septic system for the colder months and resolve any septic emergencies in this winter.



Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Can Rain Affect My Septic Tank?

Heavy rains can cause many catastrophic issues and your septic system is not spared from this act of nature. Heavy rains saturate the ground and the soil around your septic tank which can cause the the drain field to become clogged. If your drain filed clogs then your septic tank will continue to fill and eventually can cause your septic tank to flood.

Even if you’ve been diligent in your preparation and receive regular septic system maintenance service rain can still cause problems for your septic system. If your area is expected to get heavy rains, there are some steps you can take to avoid septic system issues:

  1. Limit water use during the rain
  2. Only flush safe materials
  3. Don’t work on the system during flooding conditions
  4. Don’t park or drive over your tank
  5. Use biodegradable cleaners
  6. Be mindful of root damage
  7. Regularly inspect and pump your septic tank

There are a number of things that can cause issues with your septic system. The key to getting ahead of any issue is to look for signs of septic problems. You can mitigate septic tank issues caused by heavy rainwater if you act quickly.

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

Septic Medic provides professional septic system services to homeowners in Pike County, PA and the suburbs of Northeast Pennsylvania. Contact Septic Medic to schedule a time for a septic system inspection today.

What Are the Signs of Septic Issues Caused by Heavy Rain?

When your area experiences heavy rains make sure you know how to recognize a flooded drain field or septic tank overflow. A flooded septic tank will look a lot like a standard clogged pipe or a tank that may need routine maintenance. When your tank is flooded, the drains and pipes in your home may begin to back up and fail to drain properly. You may also notice a bad odor coming from your septic tank when it rains. Repairing a flooded septic tank is different than routine maintenance and a professional knows the difference. If you are concerned that heavy rain has caused damage to your septic system, or just have a question, call Septic Medic at 570-828-7444 or contact us online.


How to Maintain Your Septic System 

Septic Medic truck parked at a Pennsylvania home to perform septic tank maintenance

In the Pike County area, including Dingmans Ferry, PA and Bushkill, PA, many homeowners depend on an on-site septic system instead of a standard public sewer system. Located west of the Delaware River and east of the Poconos mountains, Turkey mounds, an elevated sand mound on the property, is the most common form of a septic system in this part of Pennsylvania. Having a relationship with a professional septic system maintenance and repair company and implementing regular maintenance services is the backbone to keeping your septic tank healthy. Without proper maintenance on your septic system you can cause costly damage and reduce the lifespan of your alternative sewage system by years. Investing the time to become aware of the do’s and don’ts about your septic system can provide you with a level of comfort.

Call Septic Medic at 570-828-7444 to learn more about our septic maintenance services for tanks & leach fields

How Much Does Septic Maintenance Cost?

Ultimately the costs of replacing a septic tank far outweigh the costs of yearly or bi-yearly septic system maintenance, and can increase the life and reliability of your system. The cost of a septic system replacement depends on the type of system you have installed on your property and the size of the septic tank that services your home. Price tags ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 are a very good reason to be knowledgable about the benefits of regular septic system maintenance.

How does the Septic System Work?

For those who are completely unfamiliar with septic tanks and septic systems, a septic tank is almost like a living organism; in fact, the bacteria within it is utilized to break down waste products. The septic system is designed to break down solid wastes and directs treated liquids. You have pipes that exit your home (like any other home): pipes running from the shower drain, the toilet, and the sinks. The waste water and solid wastes enters into a septic tank via these pipes. which usually is designed to hold around 1,000 – 1,500 gallons or more.

When new water enters the tank, it pushes out or displaces the older water, which then flows out of the tank into the drain field. Within the drain field or the turkey mound, is where the the old water is slowly absorbed.

Within a healthy septic tank, there are 3 layers:

  • The top layer is biomat which breaks down the solids.
  • A middle layer of “clear water” that leaves the tank
  • A sludge layer at the bottom which is generally solid wastes generated by the bio mat

Turkey Mound vs Conventional Septic Systems

A better understanding of the type of septic system you have and how it works will help you to prevent septic pump problems, prolong the lifespan of your septic equipment, and keep everything working in prime condition.

Mound Septic Systems are typically installed in areas with a high water table or in areas where there is a lack of soil underground. In these instances a pile of sand or gavel, also called a turkey mound, is built above ground to assist with waste water absorption. An electric pump is used to bring the wastewater above ground. Turkey mound septic systems often require more frequent maintenance than a conventional septic system. If suspect that your turkey mound septic system has become clogged with sludge, contact Septic Medic to schedule mound system repairs.

Conventional Septic Systems are most often installed in areas with lower water tables that have enough soil beneath the ground to support wastewater treatment components, including a tank and drain field. Depending on how much clay is contained in the dirt effects the absorption process. Septic maintenance services for a conventional system can occur approximately every three years compared to every one year for a turkey mound system.

What to Expect When You Schedule Septic Maintenance Services?

When we talk about septic maintenance services, the following areas are important to check out:
• Checking sludge levels to ensure they are not getting too high within the tank
• Looking for liquid waste that may be appearing on the surface of the ground
• Ensuring that baffles are intact and functioning properly
• Inspecting the tank lid for cracks
• Pumping your septic tank, which is recommended every 2 to 5 years depending on your usage
• Learning about what you can and cannot flush down the toilet, which can include disposable wipes, certain types of cleaning solutions and much more.

Septic Medic highly recommends that you schedule annual maintenance services in order to keep your septic system healthy. If you have a large family and use your septic system more than the average household, then we suggest getting biannual inspections.


 Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Homeowner Guide to Septic System in Pike County

Septic Medic tanker truck driving on a Pennsylvania road.


As a homeowner with a septic system, it is important to routinely maintain your septic tank and pipes in your home. If your home relies on a septic system for water usage and waste then it is important to know how to effectively unclog a drain, diagnose septic problems, and understand the overall care for this type of system. It is a great idea to learn how exactly the system works, what types of problems to diagnose, and when to let a professional septic tank company deal with problems with your septic tank. Septic Medic in Dingmans Ferry, PA offers professional septic maintenance services to homeowners and businesses in Pike County and the Bushkill Falls region. 

<H2> Things to Learn When Your Property Has a Septic Tank

  1. Learn how to diagnose a clogged drain
  2. Educate yourself on the most common reasons a septic system fails
  3. Be proactive and know when to have your septic tank pumped
  4. Inspect and identify if your septic system uses a turkey mound or leach field.

Parts of a Septic Tank 

When you have wastewater or waste that flows out from your house, it goes through pipes and flows into the septic tank. There are 3 important parts of your septic system that control how waste products flow throughout your septic tank and you should educate yourself about each component, including: 

  1. The inlet baffle deflects waste downward ensuring that it does not go directly across the tank.
  2. The outlet baffle keeps anything floating from going out directly into the field or pump tank, and it allows only “clean water” to leave the septic tank. 
  3. Gas deflector at the bottom of the outlet baffle to deflect gas particles containing sludge. The remaining liquid waste exits the end of the tank, where it is usually flowing out into the leach field. 

How do you access the septic tank? 

Usually, you can access your septic tank from above so a homeowner or professional can easily inspect the inside of the tank and perform routine maintenance. Septic maintenance is critical to ensuring that your septic tank is functioning properly.

When do I need to pump the septic tank? 

If there are any issues such as sludge building up in the tank or a loose pipe somewhere, you could end up running into foul smells within your home, inability to flush your toilet or a septic backup into parts of your home. A tank should be pumped when sludge buildup measures 1/3 or more of the liquid depth and/or if the sludge level is higher than the gas deflector. Either of these will lead to a problem and it would be a good time to get a septic cleaning. Septic tank systems should be tested once every two years. It is recommended to test more often too, especially if you live in a household with a large number of people that require the use of resources on a greater scale, which in turn puts more strain on the septic tank system.

5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Septic System

  1. Make sure that you pump your tank frequently, usually bi-annually or annually. 
  2. Make sure that you use only safe chemicals that are suitable for septic systems. Certain household chemicals that travel through your pipes can often be detrimental to the bacteria within your septic tank system.
  3. Avoid flushing items such as disposable wipes down your toilet, as they will most likely build up and clog your pipes and system.
  4. Try to be economical when it comes to using your water system – don’t shower multiple times a day and try to conserve your usage as much as possible to avoid overstressing the septic tank.
  5. Keep an eye on things for anything unusual. Also, make sure to check your leach fields for areas of grass that are robust or growing faster than anywhere else on the mound. Make sure that the water isn’t standing there or squishy, and that it is generally in good shape.

Professional Septic Repair in Bushkill Falls

Septic Medic is a reliable and professional septic system repair and service company in Pike County, PA. We have years of expertise when it comes to serving septic tank issues and problems and we are proud to be the number one resource for emergency issues in the Poconos and Bushkill Falls region. Contact us online to schedule septic maintenance services, soil and percolation testing, or an installation consult. 

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Leach Field Repair

a septic tank drains into a leach fieldSeptic tanks serve a purpose that is not always apparent to those who live in highly populated or densely populated areas. Neighborhoods and homes that are located in these areas often have the benefits of sewer systems that are able to flush away and eliminate any waste water. But what about homes that are in less populated regions, or don’t live in a part of a town or city that offers a sewer line connection to their home or property? This is where septic tanks come into play; a homeowner with a septic tank, however, needs to be aware of some septic problems that may crop up, especially if regular maintenance and check-ups are not performed.

A septic tank system is generally designed to drain into a leach field. The maintenance and upkeep of the septic tank, as well as what you put down your drain, impacts the overall health of a septic system and leach field. When you eventually run into an issue with the leach field, there can be a number of issues. Some of the symptoms that will let you know a leach field are failing are:

  • Strong odors emanating from either the septic tank or the drain field region
  • Reluctance for water to flush normally, as well as noises coming from different pipes throughout the home
  • Standing water or wet spots located in and around the leach field
  • The toilet, shower or sinks backing up with water

Now while these are the symptoms, we still need to discuss what could actually be causing the leach field problem in the first place:

  • Bio-mat building and sludge build up
  • Lack of consistent septic tank cleanings
  • Broken drainfield pipes or soil that has compacted too much
  • Overuse of the septic system
  • Roots of trees that can get into the important elements of the septic system

So how is a leach field problem then fixed? There is no “quick-fix” unfortunately, but the good news is that by process of elimination and with the help of a septic repair company that has years of industry knowledge, it can be diagnosed with ease. One of the first methods one can employ is actually prevention: preventing this from happening in the first place by getting septic tank draining on a regular basis, having your system checked at least once a year by a professional and determining your needs based on your system usage. A next step is to check if there is a clog in the system somewhere, either in the drainpipe that leads to the field, or something further up the line that could be causing the system to become overloaded.

Sometimes it requires a new trench system to replace the current one so that it drains better and more efficiently, or you may even need a septic tank replacement. Other times, you will find that it is a quick and simple fix. Ultimately, it depends on the nature of your particular septic tank setup and how your lawn is set up.

Septic Medic will diagnose septic drain field problems and perform leach field repairs quickly and efficiently.

Contact Septic Medic to discuss installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services for your septic tank system. 



Septic System Repair in Pike County’s Wooded Areas

Septic Medic septic tank pumping truck in Bushkill PA Septic ServicesLiving in the Bushkill Falls region and Pike County definitely has its perks, including beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and streams. In this deeply wooded region known to many as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania” near the Poconos Mountains, most homeowners require a septic tank which means knowing when to call a professional septic system company is essential.

The Best Septic Maintenance Services in Bushkill Falls, PA

Property owners in the Poconos Mountain region often experience septic problems related to outdoor elements. Septic Medic works with homeowners and businesses in Pike County, PA, including Delaware, Lehman, Milford, Wild Aches, Dingmans Ferry, Unity House, Milford, Birchwood Lakes, Conashaugh, and Bushkill. Keep your septic system in top shape, contact us to schedule a routine septic inspection today.

Two Common Septic Systems Repairs in Wooded Areas

1. Excess Water Impacts Your Leach Field Drainage

The leach field also called a drain field, is where the runoff from your septic tank is purified and eliminated. In a heavily wooded region like Bushkill Falls, the drain field can become backed up when excessive levels of rainwater and cannot drain or the system has been overused. If you notice a bad odor coming from your septic tank or standing water in the leach field, Septic Medic professionals can diagnose and repair clogged septic pipes or perform a soil percolation test to ensure proper drainage.

2. Tree Root Intrusion on Septic Tanks

If you live in Bushkill Falls and the Poconos region, you need to be aware of any trees that could encroach on or near your septic system. Large trees and their roots can push under and through the soil and break or bend the septic system pipes or impact the actual septic tank. Consult with your septic tank professional at Septic Medic on the risks of trees on your property and determine if any of them need to be removed.

Professional Septic Repair in Bushkill Falls

The Bushkill Falls region is a wonderful place to live, and with proper septic tank maintenance, you can ensure a long-working septic system. Make sure to invest in regular septic inspections and you will do just fine!

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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How to Diagnose a Clogged Septic System

sink full of water due to a clogged drain

A clogged septic system can originate from the drain lines running to your septic tank, a clogged septic tank effluent filter, or a broken outlet baffle. The first step to troubleshooting a septic system backups is to identify the location of the clog. Millions of Americans rely on septic tanks each and every year in order to help eliminate harmful biohazard products and wastewater that flow from their homes. As long as a septic system receives routine maintenance services they are generally trouble-free, there may be times when a clog occurs. Most often a clogged drain line or pipe is due to waste or material that has accumulated over time, but it is important to check out the whole septic system to confirm you do not have any underlying damage. Septic system blockages can often be repaired with a routine pumping & tank clean out. For more troublesome clogs and backups a septic company may use hydro-jetting to clean your septic drain lines and leach field lines. High-pressure jetting can remove any masses that are causing a septic tank blockage as well as clean pipe walls and remove anything that could cause future clogs.

Septic problems can come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it is doubly important to invest in the services of a professional with an expertise in septic tanks and system design. Quality and service are Septic Medic’s top priorities. We will quickly and efficiently troubleshoot and diagnose clogged septic tank systems and leach field problems in Pike County, Delaware Township, and many other areas in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Contact Septic Medic online or call 570-828-7444 for septic maintenance, pumping and repair services for your septic tank system.

Steps to Troubleshoot Sewage Backup & Clogged Drains

While more often than not, the issue will be due to waste or material that has accumulated over time, it is a good idea to be able to check out the system as a whole, your indoor plumbing and outdoor environment for more problematic issues.

  1. Check the history of clogs: If you have a specific location in your home, a sink or a toilet, that frequently gets clogged then you’ll want to inspect it for properties installation, or explore whether or not that pipe is connected to a larger septic drain line so you can explore where the backup or odor is coming from.
  2. Take a flushable inventory: Often times people do not realize or remember that they cannot treat their septic system the same way you would a public sewer system. Items such as “flushable wipes” and other common household items, are not meant to work with septic tank systems and have a difficulty breaking down and can quickly clog pipes or a septic tank. Over time they can build up until there is a large mass that cannot dissolve and you’ll need you septic system pumped out.Certain chemicals that you use to clean your toilet, sink, or shower can also be problematic. Some chemicals can break down good bacteria in your septic tank and lead complicated issues down the line. Septic Medic’s professionally trained technicians will ascertain what household products or chemicals you are using and let you know if they could be causing clogs or disabling the functions of your septic system.
  3. Use a sewer line camera: A professional septic tank technician can scope the tank and system with a camera to inspect the drain lines for damage or blockage.
  4. Check septic tank filters: Intake and outlet drains can become blocked by floating solid waste or high sludge levels in your tank. Regularly pumping your septic tank can prevent sludge levels from rising and clogging the filters. Outlet baffles help direct wastewater away from the septic tank and into the leach field – when blocked it can result in pipe clogs and premature system failure.
  5. Inspect indoor plumbing and fixtures: If all the pipes leading to the septic tank outside are determined to be clog free then the next step is to check the plumbing within the building or home. This includes checking various plumbing fixtures throughout the home, on the ground floor and any upper floors.
  6. Look outside:  Checking outside the home can be another helpful way to determine the root of the problem. Trees with large roots that could be pushing or creating pressure on underground pipes. In addition, check the leach field to see if there is standing water that is unable to drain.



Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Let’s Talk about Sand Mound (Turkey Mound) & Septic Drain Field Problems

bulldozer digging a turkey mound for a septic system

What is a Sand Mound Septic System?

A sand mound, or turkey mound, is one of the common alternatives to septic drain fields in the Pike County, PA region. The turkey mound, an elevated sand mound, is a better choice for individuals who cannot risk a traditional drain or leach field due to either higher water tables in the region. A sand mound is also a great choice when your property has soils of differing extremes, such as too permeable or not permeable enough – be sure to have professional septic soil & percolation tests done when you install a new septic system.

How does a sand mound work?

Elevated sand mounds are built up from the septic tank and dosing chamber at various depths; and these depths are then determined by the particular layers of the soil and may change based on an individual’s particular property. The dosing chamber is what releases the effluent into the mound, and this is done in doses, not all at once. In this manner, it helps to distribute waste efficiently.

How to Fix Drain Field Problems

The majority of septic problems tend to occur below the surface, and without the proper tools and know-how, you could end up wasting a lot of time and still end up with no answers. So what exactly can you do if you have a septic emergency or need a septic system repair or tank replacement?

Contact a professional septic system company in Pike County, PA with the expertise and knowledge necessary to diagnosis your septic problem!

Common Septic & Sand Mound Problems

One of the more difficult aspects of owning a septic tank system is that it is not always simple to diagnose or spot an issue on your own.

  1. The elevated sand mound is unable to hold water.  Heavy rains can back up the entire septic system or cause problems with system components.
  2. The sand mound can become clogged with sludge or grease. In this particular instance, the portion of the mound that has been clogged needs to be removed and the sand scarified. The sand mound then will need to be replaced to the original levels.

Professional Septic Repair in Pike County, PA

Septic Medic is here to meet all of your elevated sand mound needs in Pike County PA and the surrounding areas, including Bushkill, PA and Milford, PA. Whether you’re running a mound system or a traditional septic tank setup, emergency situations can happen at any time – we are here to provide fast and reliable service!


Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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How Do I Keep My Septic System Healthy?

Septic systems offer a reasonable alternative to public sewage systems and are a great option for those who are unable to connect to a public sewer system, or for those who are too far removed from public utilities. Hundreds of thousands of home and property owners utilize a septic system for day-to-day activities. However, there are some differences between alternative wastewater treatment systems and traditional public sewer systems, which can mean there is a learning curve for homeowners that purchase a property that relies on a septic tank. Consider what happens when you don’t change your oil at the recommended mileage for your personal vehicle; failing to perform routine maintenance can often cause further issues down the line, and this ultimately means spending more money. Preventative septic maintenance plans are beneficial to the lifespan of your septic system and the health of your family and property.


5 Ways to Care for Your Septic System

In order to keep your septic system healthy and working in top condition, you must be consistent with septic system maintenance services. Everyone should learn what maintenance is required to keep your tank healthy and trouble-free, as this will help you avoid any serious issues down the road!

  1. Schedule regular septic system pumping and tank cleanout.
  2. Regularly test the soil in the leach field to protect your water source.
  3. Address clogged drains and septic backups immediately.
  4. Get annual septic system maintenance inspections to measure layers of sludge.
  5. Ask a septic system professional about which chemicals and products can do damage to your septic system.

Do I need maintenance service on my septic tank?

Septic system preventative maintenance plans executed by professional septic contractors can extend the life of your system and save you time and money on costly repairs or replacements.


Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444