Steele's Septic Tank Service

Septic Tank Pumping and Maintenance:

Our technicians will take the time to completely remove all septage in the tank. If you have a filter on your tank, we will also remove and clean it at the same time. The most important step to achieving trouble-free septic system operation is to remove the solids from the tank BEFORE they start to wash out into the absorption field and BEFORE the system starts showing signs of failure. Remember, once the soil absorption field is clogged, cleaning the tank will do little good - you will need a new leach field.

The easiest way to care for your system is to consult a professional. Servicemen are experienced in locating, uncovering and maintaining septic systems. How often your tank needs pumping will depend on the size of the tank, the number of people in the household and the kinds of appliances you use. As a general rule, tanks should be cleaned every three to four years.

Grease Trap Service

Let us service your grease trap. We can pump and clean your grease trap on an as-needed basis or offer you a contract for regular maintenance. We also offer drain cleaning and have the experience to handle any problems you may encounter. Pumping your grease trap on a regular basis can alleviate some problems of having back-up inside your facility during peak business hours.

Inspections and Certifications:

It is a good idea if you are buying a house with a septic system to have it inspected and pumped before purchase is complete. For some home sales in Oregon, it may be required. The inspection consists of locating, digging and, if necessary, pumping the septic tank:

The following are components of the report:
* The general layout and placement of the septic tank.
* Analysis of its operational effectiveness in relationship to all of the factors that are specified.
* A description of the tank including; material, condition, tees, and lid accessibility.
* Measurements from the house, foundation and well.

The septic inspection and pumping are done at the same time and the report is usually done within a few days. We can bill directly to the title company and be paid from escrow for your convenience.


Septic systems are buried in the ground near the home they service. They have two main parts: The septic tank and the absorption field. (Leach field). The tank receives the wastewater from the home and separates most of the solids. The liquid passes through to the leach field and soaks into the ground without clogging the soil pores.

Concrete Septic Tank


The tank holds approximately 1000 - 1500 gals. and is usually made of concrete, fiberglass, plastic or steel. It has manholes on the top to permit inspection and cleaning. The sewage creates its own bacteria and will break down, creating a layer of scum on the top of the tank and sludge in the bottom of the tank. Gray water flows from the clear space between the scum and sludge layers to the leach field.


Leach Field Under Construction

Wastewater is distributed throughout the absorption system by pipe, then flows through to the trenches and soaks down into the ground. The soil both treats and disposes of the wastewater. Blockages in the pipe between the home and the tank can usually be cleared with plumbers' tools. If your plumbing backs up suddenly under normal use in dry weather this is probably the problem. However, some pipe blockages caused by tree roots entering the pipe or detergent buildup, can develop over a period of time. More serious difficulties occur when the absorption system becomes clogged or saturated. The most common cause of absorption system clogging is carryover of solids from the septic tank. When sludge and scum are not periodically removed from the tank, they accumulate until they are washed out into the absorption field. Eventually pores in the earth walls of the soil become clogged. A leach field which is only partially clogged may work well during dry weather, but when winter rains soak the ground, or when household use is high, the system becomes overloaded and failure becomes apparent. You may be able to clear blockages in the distribution pipe, but once the soil becomes clogged it will no longer accept the wastewater and you will need a new absorption system. It's a lot cheaper to keep your system working well through proper maintenance.

You can suspect a malfunctioning system if:
* There are odors, persistent wet spots or lush vegetation in the area of your system;
* Your plumbing becomes sluggish over a period of time;
* Your plumbing becomes sluggish when it is being heavily used during wet weather;
* Problems persist even though your tank has been cleaned recently.



Record the location of your septic tank. Once you have found your tank, make a diagram showing exactly where it is. Keep a copy where it will be handy.


Normally a tank is 18" - 24" under the ground. You can install risers on your tank to bring the lids to ground level. However, it is a personal preference if you want to look at the lids in your landscaping. If your tank is deeper than 24" it is always recommended to install risers. They are usually made from concrete pipe with a lid on top. Newer systems already have risers on their tanks and it is a DEQ requirement when installing a new system or tank.


The less wastewater you produce, the less the soil will have to absorb. Water conservation is the cheapest and easiest way to protect your septic system.
* Repair leaky fixtures. Check your toilet by dropping food dye in the tank and seeing if it shows up in the bowl without flushing;
* Wash clothes only when you have a full load. Avoid doing several loads in one day.
* Take shorter showers;
* Use a water saving device on your toilet;
* Don't let water run while washing teeth, hands, vegetables, dishes, etc.;
* Don't let rain water drain onto the leach field area from higher ground;
* Be alert for other sources of water-saving ideas.


A good rule is: “don't use your septic system for anything that can be disposed of some other way. The less you put into your tank, the less it will need pumping.”

* Avoid using your garbage disposal. Compost scraps or throw them out with the trash.
* Collect grease in a container near the sink rather than pouring it down the drain.
* Non-degradable items such as disposable diapers, and sanitary napkins, are especially harmful. Minimize the paper products you flush and use a good quality toilet tissue that breaks up easily when wet.


Ordinary use of household chemicals won't hurt the bacteria in your system, but don't use excessive amounts and don't use your tank to get rid of oils, paint thinner or other poisonous liquids. Septic tank additives-chemicals, bacteria, enzymes, etc. do not help solids break down in the tank and will not reduce the need for pumping. (Experiments with chemicals to unclog absorption fields are encouraging, but no proven products have reached the market).

Keep heavy vehicles off your tank and system. Underground pipes and cement tanks can be heavily damaged and may need to be replaced.

Steele's Septic Tank Service
Steele's Septic Tank Service

We are a licensed DEQ installer. We install new septic systems and will repair your failing system. We can do the job from start to finish, i.e. digging test holes, submitting paperwork to the DEQ for design, layout of the system on your site and installation through final inspection. We have all the equipment necessary to finish the job and make sure it is done to your satisfaction when complete.

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