No one will debate the fact that septic tank problems are irritating, stressful, costly and time consuming. But the worst part about them is who to turn to for honest, impartial advice?
In the case of your septic system, you may have turned to your local specialists—plumbers, pumpers, septic installers and government officials. Your expectations are high that one of these resources will provide you with sound, logical information that will allow you to make a prudent decision. Many people, however, are disappointed with what they hear.
Why does this happen? Well, at best, many of these individuals have only limited knowledge regarding wastewater treatment. The worst experiences are when you have your first encounter in an industry where most people have their own self-interests in mind; they are often simply looking to line their wallets with your hard earned cash. In some cases, following this advice will not provide you with a solution or even temporary relief. You may, in fact, end up with additional trouble and more serious and costly problems to deal with!
Out of frustration, you may have gone to the Internet and performed some research on your own. This is a reasonable action and one that most people do to verify information that have received. A quick “Google” search will lead you to hundreds and thousands of web pages that purport to effectively deal with septic tank and system problems. These sites make unreliable and unsubstantiated claims about their ability to solve your septic system problems. There are countless numbers of companies out there that would be more than happy to supply “magic bugs” or “chemicals,” that do nothing more than cost you money.
Lloyd Kahn, author of The Septic System Owner’s Manual, drew a similar conclusion about the industry you are or will be dealing with. Kahn served for a year on a county septic advisory committee and has followed the wastewater industry over the past 15 years, starting when his town was confronted with a corrupt $7 million treatment plan in the late 1980s. In 2000, he wrote The Septic System Owner’s Manual,, a basic owner’s manual for the average homeowner with a septic system. The new edition, published in 2007, remains the single best book about septic systems for homeowners.
The best advice for anyone dealing with septic tank and system problems is to talk to a variety of sources and be a skeptic. If someone claims to be able to solve your septic tank problems, contact them directly and get the facts. Is there independent testing or verifications of the claims? Are there existing satisfied customers that attest to the claims of the products? Is the business legitimate or certified by any reputable association or agency? Is there a guarantee offered with the product or service? Once you are comfortable and armed with facts, take action.