Frequently Asked Questions


Superior Septic Services, Inc., in Franklin County, VA, Has the Answers

At Superior Septic Services, Inc., in Franklin County, VA, we like to answer frequently asked questions about our services. Keeping your system maintained is the best way to extend its life and limit the number of repairs. To schedule an appointment, or to inquire about our septic maintenance services, call us today at (540) 483-7867 or contact us online.

Common Questions Clients May Have

What is included in regular septic tank maintenance?
Most septic tanks are designed by soil scientists to be cleaned every three to five years. On-site septic systems use a passive anaerobic digestion process, which only achieves a maximum of 60 to 70 percent reduction in solid levels. The remaining solids need to be removed by a licensed on-site sewage system professional (OSSP).

How does my septic system work?
All of the household sewage flows into the septic tank. A properly functioning septic tank will hold the water for two days. During that time, the solids separate from the water, settling in the tank. The water then exits through the pipe into the drain field, where it disperses into the ground and filters naturally.

Do I need to use any septic additive, such as yeast, or cultured bacteria products?
By design, on-site sewage systems utilize the natural enzymes and bacteria present in sewage to complete the digestive process. Additives are unnecessary and unbalance the atmosphere of your tank. They can also disrupt efficient processing.

How large is my septic tank?
Standard residential septic tanks, designed for two-bedroom homes, are a minimum of 750 gallons.
Residential septic tanks for three-bedroom homes are a minimum of 1,000 gallons.
Four-bedroom homes typically require a 1,500 gallon tank.

How deep is my septic tank?
Septic tanks are typically buried at a depth of 18 inches to 24 inches; however, it is not uncommon for them to be either shallower or much deeper. If your tank is deeper, you may want to consider installing a riser to avoid extra digging charges, as these are typically figured by the foot.

How to locate a septic tank
If your home was built within the last 30 years, the health department may have an accurate map of your on-site sewage system. Please contact your local health department for further information. If you cannot find this information, Superior Septic Services, Inc., has the proper equipment to locate septic tanks. Call us to schedule an appointment.

What is the difference between a riser and an inspection port?
An inspection port is a small PVC pipe, approximately four inches in diameter, sticking up from the ground over your septic tank lid. The purpose of this pipe is to ascertain solid levels and determine whether or not the tank needs to be cleaned without having to dig down to the septic tank lid. The health department does not permit pumping from this pipe.

What does the county require for Smith Mountain Lake, VA?
We like to call this the five-year/500-feet rule. Franklin County, VA, requires an inspection or septic pump out every five years of septic systems within 500 feet of the Smith Mountain Lake, VA, shoreline. The purpose of the inspection option is to provide an option for those homeowners who do not need the pump out. If your solids level is less than 30 percent, the county will allow your inspection to stand. We recommend having the system pumped if it is more than 20 percent, though, to ensure that solid levels remain acceptable until your next required pump out date. We include all of the information that the county needs on your receipt.

What is included in a real estate inspection?
During a real estate inspection, we ascertain the location of the tank and drain field, estimate the size of the tank, and report tank baffle and drain field condition. We also run 100 gallons of water through the system to make sure that it is properly operating, we check any pumps and associated controls for proper function, and we pump the tank, if necessary. At the end of the inspection, we provide the agent with a detailed report of our findings.

Contact Superior Septic Services, Inc., in Franklin County, VA, for more answers to frequently asked questions.