Frequently Asked Questions

We believe that educating the customer about their aerobic septic system is the best maintenance plan a homeowner can have. 


Do aerobic septic systems have to be cleaned out?

        Septic tanks should be cleaned before sludge accumulates to the point where it approaches the bottom of the outlet device, if sludge or scum accumulates to this point, solids will leave the tank with liquid and possibly cause clogging of the perforations in the septic system them resulting in sewage surfacing or backing up into the house through plumbing fixtures. Since its not practical for the average homeowner to inspect his tank and determain the need for cleaning, a regular schedule of cleaning the tank at two to three year intervals should be established. Commercial cleaners are equipped to readily perform the cleaning operation. Owners  of septic tank systems shall engage only persons registered with TCEQ to transport the septic tank cleanings. 


What do I do if an alarm and/or alarm light comes on?

       There could be any number of reasons why your system will go into alarm. Call your service provider to take care of it. 

Is my septic system supposed to run all the time?

       Yes, your aerobic system is designed to run on a continual basis. If your air compressor is not running contact your service provider.

Is my septic system supposed to be making a noise?

       Your air compressor will make a continual humming noise. However, if you are hearing a loud obnoxious buzzing noise; your septic alarm is on. Check  your breakers to ensure power is getting to your septic system. If your breakers have not been tripped, contact your service provider immediatley.

Why does my aerobic system smell?

        Verify that aerobic system mechanical/electrical components are working properly. If it is a mechanical problem, it is often due to a malfunctioning air  system. Contact your service provider immediatley.


I have a odor in my home, is that due to my aerobic system?

          Aerobic Systems do not cause odors inside your home. Your vent might be clogged or the wax rings in your toilet may not be sealed properly.


Should my alarm and sprinklers activate continually during and/or after rain?

           No if the septic is taking on ground water then it needs to be evaluated and repaired.

Do I have to add chlorine?

        Yes, it is a law that you must maintain chlorine in an aerobic septic system at all times. The exception would be if you have an aerobic system with sub service drip emmitters.

Is there a difference between pumping and cleaning the septic?

       Pumping and cleaning the septic system are one in the same.

What should I do if I'm purchasing a home with aerobic/septic system?

   When purchasing a home with any septic system it is recommended that you request to have the system cleaned and inspected. Cleaning will start you out fresh and inspecting the system will ensure that you know your septic system is in good condition when you move in. If the system is not up to code or performing well, the inspection will give you the opportunity to require proper repairs prior to closing on the house. To schedule your cleaning and inspection contact us today.

Can I use a liquid chlorinator?

        Yes, you can only use an approved NSF chlorination device. Call to get yours installed today.

 Why should my aerobic system be checked every four months?

To keep your system functioning properly, regular maintenance is required. If your system isn’t functioning properly, it may create a health hazard. All aerobic systems, no matter how perfectly designed, installed, used, and maintained, will have parts that will need to be replaced. Some are less expensive like diffusers, filters, etc. Some are more expensive items like the pumps, removing the sludge from the tanks, etc. Any aerobic system owner should expect to have parts replaced on their system, just as any vehicle owner should expect to change the oil, replace the tires, and eventually experience more costly repairs. Life cycles to each part of the system will depend how many people are using your system, how much water you use, what items you eat, medicines you may take, chemicals/cleaning products, what you flush down the commode (example: feminine products, condoms, baby wipes, etc.) and regular life cycles for each part, etc.

Some of the items we check during your regularly scheduled maintenance check will need to be repaired or replaced according to their life cycle. These items include (but are not limited to): aerator, aerator filters, filter pad, diffusers, irrigation pump, audio alarm, visual alarm, timer, control panel, electrical circuits, chlorine supply, spray heads, photocell, floats, diaphragm/veins, wires, junction box, lids, and sludge level from the tank(s).

Can I use swimming pool chlorine tabs for my aerobic system?

No! Only use calcium hypochlorite tabs that are for the specific use of treating wastewater. You can buy buckets of tablets from Home Depot, Callahan's or Lowe’s. If you are using swimming pool chlorine, make sure you clean out the chlorinator before adding calcium hypochlorite tabs. Mixing the two different types of chlorine could cause an explosion.

Can I use enzyme additive in my Aerobic System?

   Chemical additives or so-called enzymes are not necessary for the operation of the septic. Some of these additives may even be harmful to the tank's operation.

Can I use bleach if I have an Aerobic System?

  Soaps, detergent, bleaches, drain cleaners, and other household cleaning materials will very seldom affect the operation of the system. However, moderation should be exercised in the use of such materials. 

Do I need to use a special toilet tissue for my Aerobic System?

    Certain toilet tissues are not recommended  for septic system use. Read the labels or call us if you have any questions about your toilet tissue.


  • Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed.

  • Repair any leaking faucets and toilets.

  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Food waste, grease, etc. should be disposed of in the solid waste bin.

  • Divert down spouts and other surface water away from your septic system.

  • Keep your septic tank cover accessible for tank inspections and pumping.

  • Have your septic tank pumped regularly and checked for leaks and cracks.

  • Call us at Burgh's Septic and Wastewater when you have problems.

  • Spread wash loads out over the week. Your aerobic system needs four hours to recover from one wash load. 

  • DO check your chlorine once a week to once a month.

  • DO pump and clean your tank on a regular basis by a registered and licensed septic tank service company and dispose in a manner approved by TCEQ.

  • DON’T flush anything except toilet paper and wastewater. Things that may harm your system include: excessive use of a garbage disposal, grease, too many cleaners, soaps, bleaches, detergents drain cleaners, fabric softener, cigarette butts, diapers, wipes, feminine products, condoms, q-tips, paints, paint thinners, auto grease, antifreeze, unused medicine, automatic toilet cleaners, hair combings, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, gauze bandages, paper towels, etc.

  • DON’T dump solvents, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides, or poisons down the drain. They can disrupt the treatment process and contaminate groundwater.

  • DON’T dig around your septic system or build anything over it.

  • DON’T plant anything over your septic system except grass.

  • DON’T drive over your septic system or compact the soil in any way.

  • DON’T discard pharmaceutical medications

  • DON’T dispose of citrus products: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc...

  • DON’T connect other water sources to the system.

  • DON’T use pool clorine. Pool chlorine will deteriorate the coating off of all the wires and possibly cause corrosion in the control box. Use Aerobic System Chlorine Tablets only. The use of pool chlorine in aerobic systems is a violation of Federal Law.

  • DON’T use water softner.  Water softener discharge kills the micro-organisms in your aerobic treatment system and/or causes excessive water loading.

  • DON’T dispose of alcoholic beverages or home brewery waste.

  • DON’T use additives. Some additives may even harm the system’s operation by liquefying the sludge in the tank and carrying it out into the drainfield, causing system failure. Natural bacteria are present in the wastewater to decompose the waste.

  • DON’T drive heavy equipment over the components of the system. Heavy equipment can crush the components and lead to expensive repairs.

  • DON’T plant landscaping around the system. Keep vegetation mowed or trimmed around all system components.

  • DON’T build any structure over any portion of the system. The structure will prevent access to the system for maintenance, reduce the ability of water to evaporate from the soil and restrict air movement into the soil.