01. What Is a Plumbing System?
A septic system is an on-site sewage treatment and disposal system buried underground. These are very common in the Hudson Valley area as most of the towns in these counties are not hooked to a central sewage system. The system’s individual parts are the septic tank, a distribution box, and a leach field. Bacterial action takes place in the septic tank where the end products are mainly water, gases, and undigested material, called sludge. Sludge sinks to the bottom of the tank, while scum floats to the top of the tank. It is very important that the septic system is regularly cleaned and pumped to keep the environmental integrity of the Hudson Valley. The septic tank contains baffles that prevent any scum that floats to the surface and sludge that settles to the bottom from passing out of the tank. From the septic tank, the segregated and relatively clear liquid flows into a small distribution box, where it is then metered out to several perforated pipes. These perforated pipes then deliver the liquid to a large soil surface area, called a leach field or absorption field for absorption. The leach field is found in a cleared and open residential or commercial lot area. In the Hudson Valley, these are usually found in the backyard, separate from outcroppings, landscaping, or recreational items such as pools and decks. The soil also acts as a filter to remove any small amounts of solids carried along with the liquid. There are other kinds of systems for special situations, but the septic tank and leach field is the most widely used system in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas.

02. Why Do You Need to Pump Your Tank?
If your tank isn’t cleaned regularly, sludge and scum will clog the drain field and cause the whole system to fail. It can be environmentally toxic for your well and water supply, as well as that of your neighbors. This can put neighborhoods in the Hudson Valley in danger, contaminating the drinking water. It is important to remove this solid material before it reaches the level of the discharge outlet and flows into the drain field. A certain amount of material is not biodegradable and must be removed by pumping. The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare Public Health Service states: “A septic tank system will serve a home satisfactorily only if it is properly designed, installed, and adequately maintained. Even a good system that does not have proper care and attention may become a nuisance and a burdensome expense.

03. How Do You Maintain Your Septic System?
  • Conventional septic systems in the Hudson Valley are not entirely carefree. The undigested solids (sludge) in the bottom of the septic tank should be pumped out every two to three years, depending on usage and tank size. If the sludge is not removed periodically, it will eventually carry over into the leach field and may cause the field to fail. This can put neighborhoods in the Hudson Valley in danger, contaminating the drinking water.
  • After pumping your tank, use an additive monthly. This will help keep the enzyme and bacteria levels high in your system. Your daily use of home care products such as bleach, disinfectant, and antibacterial may destroy enzymes and bacteria. Therefore, we recommend that homes in the Hudson Valley treat their septic with an additive that replaces the enzymes and good bacteria on a regular basis between pumpings.
  • Enzymes and bacteria must be present to keep your tank working efficiently between periodic pumping. ProSeptic recommends using Septic Drainer. Ask your ProSeptic professional for information about Septic Drainer when they come to your Hudson Valley home for your initial consultation or pumping.
  • Do not flush cigarette butts, sanitary napkins or tampons, paper towels, baby wipes, or any inorganic materials down the toilet. Only toilet paper and waste matter should be flushed. We recommend septic-friendly toilet paper that will not harm your septic system.