06 Sep. 2019

Things You Should Expect from Septic Tank Pumping

How Septic Tank Pumping Works

It may seem as if your septic system can just operate by itself, but this is definitely not the case. For your septic tank to work properly, it needs to be pumped on a regular basis,  ideally every three years. Here’s a brief rundown on the process of septic pumping.

septic tank pumping

Locating the Access Lids

Your technicians won’t be able to get into your septic tank without first finding the access lids. Typically, access lids reside six to twelve inches below the surface, and once located and exposed, the technician can prepare the tank for maintenance.

Analyzing Liquid Level

The liquid level with the septic tank can tell the technician a lot about how well the septic system is operating. For instance, if the level of the liquid is below the outlet pipe, your tank may be suffering from a leak. If it’s noticeably higher than the outlet pipe, then there might be a disruption in the pipe to the drain field or a faulty pipe itself. Once these issues are taken into consideration, the pumping can take place.

The Pumping Process

Lowering the hose into the access hole, the technician will attach the other end of the hose to the powerful pump located on their truck. Powering the pump on will remove the solid and liquid waste out of the tank and into the truck’s container. While this is taking place, the technician will be mindful of how the outlet pipe is performing. If there is any backflow out of the pipe, there may be an issue with your septic system that will have to be fixed. A significant amount of backflow could be an indication that there is a drain field backup, while a small backflow could be a sign that there’s a sagging pipe in the drain field. Hopefully, there will be no evident backflow coming from the outlet pipe.

septic truck used for septic tank pumping

Cleaning the Tank

Once most of the pumping is complete, the technician will utilize a tool known as a septage spoon to backflush the tank. This is done in an effort to loosen up the sludge that resides in the corners of the tank and then removing it. Finally, the technician will spray the walls of the tank to remove the last vestiges of waste and sludge.


Finally, the technician will inspect the tank for any leaks, structural damage, damaged baffles or cracks. If any problems are spotted, they will make recommendations on what’s required for repair. Once the inspection is complete, the technician will close the access lids and reapply the six to twelve inches of soil to cover the lids, thus completing the process.

As you can see, pumping is more than just removing waste. It’s an essential part of an examination of the whole septic system. Only by pumping will you know if your tank is performing at its best. If you haven’t had your septic tank pumped in more than three years, call Septic Specialist at (217) 855-5622. We’re the leader in septic cleaning in Decatur, IL, and you can count on us to make sure your septic system is working the way it’s supposed to. Give us a call today!

05 Sep. 2019

The Impact of Weather on Your Septic System

How Weather Events Effect Your Septic System

Properly maintained, your septic system should be effective at disposing of waste. Just like sewer systems, however, it can be vulnerable to extreme weather events. Unlike city sewers, if you encounter a problem with your septic tank, it’s up to you to get it fixed. Examining your septic system after extreme weather such as cold snaps, flooding, and major storms can stop major problems from developing, so here is how different kinds of weather can impact your septic system.

heavy rain affecting your septic system


Your septic tank relies on a drain field for filtering out waste and releasing clean water into the environment. During heavy rains, it’s possible that the drain field will fill with water and become oversaturated. The flooded drain field will then be unable to treat the water, giving the water from your septic tank nowhere to go. Once the system is flooded, a major concern is the possibility of backups. Without any place to exit, the wastewater can potentially back up into your home’s pipes and toilets. If you notice clogging taking place in your home after a heavy rainstorm, it’s highly possible that a backed-up septic tank due to flooding is the culprit. At this point, you’d be wise hire experts in septic cleaning, so the backup doesn’t get any worse.

Leaking Sewage

Another unpleasant side effect that comes with a flooded drain field is the leakage of sewage out of the tank and directly into the ground. Untreated sewage can pollute the groundwater, causing serious environmental damage and create health hazards for you and your neighbors. Needless to say, if this occurs, you’ll have to have it taken care of immediately.


Extreme cold has the potential freeze components of your septic system. When this happens, the metabolic rate of the anaerobic bacteria that you depend on for breaking down sewage slows, limiting their ability to do so. To avoid this possibility, cover your septic tank with an insulating cover during the winter months and make sure there’s plenty of vegetation on top of and surrounding the tank as well.

frozen pipes and septic systems from extreme weather

Freezing Pipes

Pipes in your septic tank are as vulnerable to freezing as the pipes in your home and can suffer the same effects. If a pipe is leaking, the water within the pipes can freeze during the winter, further damaging your septic system. Even if your pipes aren’t destroyed by frozen water, clogs can result which can make the wastewater freeze over as well, further compounding the problem. The most important thing you can do is make sure leaky pipes are fixed before the winter when freezing water can do far more damage.

Storm Debris

Violent storms send debris flying in every direction, and this includes within your septic tank. While you can’t do much about the presence of some debris, keeping a well-ordered yard and regularly trimming and pruning trees and bushes will keep the potential for damage resulting from debris in your immediate area to a minimum.

To make sure your septic system is ready for whatever weather threats await, call the Septic Specialist at (217) 855-5622. We’re experts in septic repair in Decatur, IL, and we’re here to help. Give us a call today!

01 Jul. 2019

The Top Causes of Smelly Septic Tanks in Bloomington IL

Why is my septic tank smelling so bad?

septic tank pumping

There are few things that smell worse than a stinky septic tank. When you catch a whiff of raw sewage coming from your yard or in your home, you need to contact a septic and sewer service right away. The faster you get to the bottom of the smell, the fresher your home will smell. The good news is that many of the solutions for a smelly septic tank are straightforward and don’t take much time at all. Keep reading to learn more about the main reasons for a bad-smelling septic system.

Dry Drains

All drains need to have water moving through them to prevent them from going dry. Why does this matter so much? When there’s water in pipes and drains, sewer gases are trapped, and they don’t enter the home. Dry drains happen when there’s a clog in the septic system line that’s not letting water through and sewer gases are getting out. This is the foul smell that has permeated your house.

Blocked Venting Systems

Did the foul odor suddenly become noticeable after you landscaped or had other work done around the house? If so, the problem could be that the venting system has been blocked. You want to get this checked out right away because when septic vents don’t work right sewer gases get trapped in the wastewater and lead to toxic situations. Trapped sewer gases are highly flammable and can cause serious damage. The best way to prevent this from happening is to mark the vent locations prior to having work done to avoid accidental blockage.

Dirty Septic Tank

While dry drains and blocked vents do cause foul odors, the most common reason for a smelly septic system is a dirty septic tank. Your septic system has a tank that collects solids and hold them until they are removed. Solid waste can’t be treated and released into your yard. Instead it needs to be pumped out of the tank and removed by septic tank pumping companies like Septic Specialist Inc. The raw sewage is then treated at an off-site location.

awful smells due to your septic tank

To prevent raw sewage smells in your yard or home, you must adhere to a regular septic pumping schedule. This means having pumping services done on average once every 3-5 years. If you have a home that’s used as vacation property or second home and isn’t occupied often, you may not need pumping services as much. Likewise, if you have a large household and a home with several bathrooms, you may require pumping service more frequently. The exact pumping schedule should be decided upon by you and your plumbing professional.

Do you need septic tank pumping in Bloomington, IL? To keep your septic system free of damage and to minimize bad odors, it’s important to work with an established pumping company. Doing so ensures that your septic system will work as it was intended without interruption for many years to come. It also means you won’t have to worry about clogged drains, overflowing tanks, and other problems associated with overfilled septic systems. To learn more about septic pumping services, contact the pros at Septic Specialist, Inc., today!

05 Jun. 2019

Reasons Why You Should Avoid DIY Drain Cleaning

Don’t Damage Your  Septic System! Avoid DIY Drain Cleaning and Call the Professionals

diy drain cleaning versus professional plumbing serviceDrain cleaning is one of those plumbing tasks that many homeowners think they can do themselves. It’s not like septic pumping that requires special tools and a big pumping truck, right? True, drain cleaning isn’t as complex as septic and sewer services, but it still requires a professional touch to make sure your pipes are protected and the problem is solved the first time. Keep reading to learn more about why you should avoid DIY drain solutions and instead call for professional drain cleaning in Bloomington, IL.

DIY Solutions Could Damage Your Pipes

Most people deal with clogged drains by using chemical drain cleaners, especially when plunging and snaking the drain don’t do the trick. These chemicals are highly acidic, and when used frequently, actually do more harm than good. Repiping a home is not an inexpensive plumbing job. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this position after years of using chemical drain solutions.

Septic tank pumping companies also warn against using chemical drain cleaners because the chemicals affect the balance of bacteria in the septic system. In order for a septic system to work correctly, there must be bacteria in the tank. This is what aids in the wastewater process.

DIY Drain Solutions Don’t Touch Deep Clogs

Do you have a sink or toilet in your home that keeps clogging? Have you tried every do-it-yourself solution, but can’t go a long without reaching for the plunger? Next time this happens, reach for the phone instead and call for professional drain services. The reason the clog won’t go away could be because the blockage is deep in the pipe. It might even be in the sewer line. Nothing you do is going to make a difference with a deep clog like this.

You need a professional sewer service to come out and run a camera through the line to figure out what’s causing the problem. You might have tree roots in the line or there could just be years of waste built up in the pipes. Residential sewer pipes are only 2-3 inches wide, so it doesn’t take much waste to cause a lot of problems.

For home that use a septic system, the problems might be associated with a dirty tank. When was the last time you had septic tank pumping service? If it’s been more than 3-5 years and you’re experiencing frequent clogs, contact a septic service to have your tank, the drain field, and its other parts inspected.

diy drain cleaning for clogged drainsProfessional Tools Work the Best

Homeowners don’t have access to the same type of equipment that drain contractors have, such as hydro-jetting equipment and sewer and septic cleaning equipment. Renting these tools is far too expensive and dangerous. If you’ve never operated the hydro-jetter, you could end up harming yourself or damaging your home’s pipes.

It feels good to make home repairs yourself. It’s a sense of accomplishment that puts smiles on many faces of homeowner throughout the state. However, it’s important to know what home projects are ideal for DIY repair and which ones require a professional touch. When you can’t solve your drainage issues with a plunger or hand auger, it’s time to call for professional drain cleaning services. For drainage issues, including septic and sewer problems, contact Septic Specialist, Inc.


13 May. 2019

Health Related Effects of a Clogged Drain

How are clogged drains a health risk to your family?

There’s no argument that a clogged drain is a serious issue. When toilets clog and sinks back up, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to use your plumbing. Luckily, with services like professional drain cleaning in Bloomington, IL, these matters can be taken care of right away.

While it’s true that clogged pipes cause usage problems, did you also know that consistent drain clogs also affect the health and wellness of those living in your home? It’s true. There are health-related effects that accompany chronically clogged drains. Keep reading to learn how these issues affect your family’s health.

health effects of clogged drainsContaminated Water

Clogged sewer and septic systems don’t affect your drinking water, but they still carry health risks. That’s because when the sewer or septic lines become severely clogged, this creates pressure on the pipes. Eventually, the pipes break and start to leak. The first place you’ll likely notice leakage is the yard. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I noticed soggy spots int he yard near the sewer or septic line?
  • Does the yard smell like waste?
  • Is the grass greener near the underground pipes or the septic tank?

Answering yes to any of these questions means your sewer system may have developed a leak. It also means that contaminated water, water that contains raw sewage, is in the yard where children play and the pets run around.

How do you prevent this type of drainage problem from happening? If your home operates on a septic system, regular septic tank pumping is a great preventive measure to take. For households that use a sewer system for waste removal, contact your local sewer service in Bloomington, IL, for annual sewer line cleaning services.


Another health-related consequence of clogged drains is standing water in the home or on the property. When you have clogs that cause standing water in toilets, sinks, or even around floor drains, this is a health hazard. Any person or animal that comes in contact with stagnant water is at risk of becoming ill, because lots of different bacteria thrive in standing water conditions. Even if it’s in an out of sight place like the basement, garage, or a bathroom that never gets used, you still need to take care of this problem. Stagnant water also attracts insects and can quickly cause an infestation problem in your home or yard.

Sometimes it’s not easily noticeable that there’s a problem with clogged drains if this problem exists in an area of the house that isn’t heavily trafficked. That’s why septic tank pumping companies recommend that you make it a habit to have your home’s drains cleaned regularly. This includes the septic or sewer system.

asthma and clogged drainsRespiratory Illness

Clogged drains don’t smell great. That’s a fact, and if you have someone in your household who suffers from respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, congested pipes and drains make these problems worse. Breathe easier and have a cleaner smelling house by taking care of backed up sinks and toilets right away.

The good news is that taking care of clogs is affordable and easy when you work with reputable plumbing companies that offer sewer services, drain cleaning, and septic pumping. To schedule a service call, contact Septic Specialist, Inc. today!

24 Jan. 2019

Signs your Drain Needs Professional Cleaning

Slow drain

Signs your Drain Needs Professional Cleaning

The drainage is a functional part of any home. Whether you are washing your dishes in the kitchen, doing laundry in your utility room, flushing the toilet, taking a shower or just cleaning the floors of your home, you need your drainage system intact to get rid of the dirty water. However, just like any other utility area in a home, the drain can also fall into disrepair. Sometimes homeowners may put up with clogged drains without sensing that they need some cleaning to retain their functionality. Septic Specialist Inc. outlines some signs to watch out for to tell when your drains need some professional cleaning.

1. Slow Drainage

If you notice that water takes time to drain off from the sink or bathtub, it is time to seek professional sewer service in Bloomington, IL to assess your drainage and clean it up. Sometimes after using your drainage for a while, some solid waste substances can cause obstruction in your pipes. This slows the water drainage. You might even start noticing that your dishwasher and the washing machine do not empty all the water. At this point, you must call in a professional to clean up the drainage.

2. Sewage Smell

If you notice the smell of sewage around your home, this is a clear sign that your drainage is blocked and it is not flowing, as it should. When the drainage pipes become clogged, all waste flushed or poured down the sink builds up and starts producing an unpleasant smell. Unless you wish to put up with the smell of sewage, you must consider septic pumping in Bloomington, IL.

Bad smell

3. Strange Sounds

When pouring water down the sink or flushing the toilet pay close attention to any sound produced. When the drainage pipes are blocked, the wastewater forces its way through tiny spaces. This may produce some bubbling and gurgling sounds. Immediately you notice this, contact septic tank pumping companies in Bloomington, IL, immediately dispatch professionals to your home to clean up your drainage system.

4. Backing Up of Water

Have you noticed water gurgling in the toilet bowl even after flushing, or stagnant water in the sink, showers, and bathtub? This is a sign that water is not flowing well in the drainage pipes. This could be due to the blockage of pipes. Whatever the case, you definitely need professional drain cleaning in Bloomington, IL. Do not wait until your compound starts smelling sewage all over.

5. Fruit and Drain Flies

When your sewage becomes clogged up, it leads to the accumulation of garbage, and waste, which attracts flies. An example is the tiny fruit flies, which apart from being an annoyance, they also cause a serious health problem when they are exposed to your food and kitchen in general. These fruit flies are attracted by the foul smell that comes from blocked drainage pipes.

Another insect that should prompt you to seek septic tank pumping in Bloomington, IL is the filter flies also known as the drain fly. Drain flies usually breed in sewers, septic tanks, and drains. They like living in a clogged drain. If you see any of these insects around your bathroom o any area around the house, take action and seek professional drainage cleaning.

It is good to maintain hygienic conditions in your home and, your drainage system should be your priority. While you may opt to do it yourself like pouring hot water down the drains to get rid of grease, you will consider professional services when you notice the problem is not going away. For professional drainage cleaning, contact Septic Specialist Inc.