Frequently Asked Questions
Cesspool/Septic System FAQs
- How Often Is Service Required?
There is no simple answer to this question as there are too many variables. However, the Suffolk County Department of health recommends cleaning the system every three to five years to prevent the septic tank from becoming overburdened with sludge and scum which will then flow out into the cesspool. If enough of these solids find their way into the cesspool, it will eventually become clogged and fail to function. For older systems without septic tanks, (cesspool only) more frequent service is usually necessary.
- What Does Service Entail?
The technicians will locate the system and if necessary, excavate the soil over the access covers. Typically, they will then run a line from the truck into your septic tank or cesspools and using powerful vacuum pumps, remove greywater and other loose substances. Where the sludge has solidified, it will be broken up and then pumped out. We also recommend aeration (forcing compressed air into the soil and sludge on the bottom) to further help breaking up of solidified sludge. Where indicated, chemicals may also be used. You can click the link at the bottom to learn more about cesspool service.
- How Much Do Septic Services Usually Cost?
Again, there are many too variables to answer this question with any degree of accuracy. Some of the factors determining the cost of service are:
- The amount of excavation needed to locate and service the system.
- The amount of waste we are required to pump.
- Additional service such as clearing blockages in the lines, repairs to any part of the system.
- Materials used for repairs or building up of the access covers, etc.
- What Are Some Symptoms of a Failing Septic System?
- Slow drainage when flushing toilets.
- Water backing up into sinks, toilets, tubs and washing machines.
- Unusual "gurgling" sounds when running water or flushing toilets.
- Areas of grass of a deeper green color than the surrounding grass on your lawn.
- Noticeably soggy areas of the lawn or soil.
- Depressions forming in the soil.
- Unpleasant odors in, or around the house.
- How Can I Prevent Septic System Problems?
- The first and foremost thing you can do is to conserve water. Excessive water introduced into the system will overload it and cause it to fail. Don't do too many loads of laundry on one day. Spread the loads out over a period of several days. Too many consecutive loads overburden systems. Fix leaky faucets and "running" toilets as soon as possible. A seemingly innocuous drip can introduce hundreds of gallons into the system in a deceptively short time and a toilet that runs can cause a failure inside of a month.
- Avoid the use of harsh detergents or other chemicals as they deplete the amount of beneficial bacteria your system relies on to "digest" solid waste.
- Try to minimize the amount paper products going into the system. Paper towels, tissue, feminine hygiene products and trash take much longer to decompose and tend to clog the system.
- Do not allow run-off from leaders and gutters to drain into the system. Divert them into dry wells.
- Keep heavy equipment from passing over the system as it can cause structural damage.
- Consider the regular use of enzyme treatments to replenish beneficial bacteria, and reduce odors and clogs.
- What Should I Do When I Have a Problem with My Cesspool?
At Emil Norsic & Son we pride ourselves on our rapid response to cesspool emergencies. If your problem is serious, we can usually have a service team at your property within two hours of receiving the call. In any case, we will try to schedule the service at a time most convenient to you. Call (631) 283-0604 - (800) 451-6875
For further information call us at 283-0604, Extension 114.
Suffolk County Consumer Affairs License #033-W
Suffolk County Scavenger Waste License #1A-557
Long Island Liquid Waste Association (631) 585-0448
Suffolk County Department of Health (631) 852-2100