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Septic Tank Pumping
We strongly encourage regular septic tank maintenance in order to prevent major and expensive repairs or system replacement.   

Septic tanks with effluent filters (required on new construction since 2009) will need to be opened and checked at least annually, sometimes more depending on household use.  These filters protect the drainfield from solid material that will, over time, plug up the drainfield lines and cause them to fail.  Failure to regularly monitor the effluent filters will cause sewage backup into the home.  Therefore, septic tank lids should never be buried and forgotten.

Septic tanks should be pumped every 3-5 years depending on use.  If the sewage is covering the effluent filter, the tank should be pumped.  Pulling the filter before the tank is pumped down will cause an overflow of unfiltered sewage right to the drain field.   If the tank does not have an effluent filter, watch for signs it may be time to pump the tank such as odor, slow drains, and backups. 

  • Bird seed
  • Cat Litter
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Condoms
  • Latex Gloves or similar products
  • Cotton Swabs or Cotton balls
  • Cleaning Products in large amounts: bleach & anti-bacterial soaps should be used in moderation
  • Cooking oils, or other fats, oils (motor) and/or grease
  • Chemicals-paint, thinners, varnishes, pesticides
  • Cigarette butts
  • Diapers
  • Dirt
  • Dental Floss
  • Disposable wipes-even if they say "Flushable"
  • Drugs
  • Gauze or other bandage products
  • Hair or animal fur
  • Liquid Fabric Softener
  • Paper towels or facial tissues
  • Panty liners, tampons or any sanitary napkin products
  • Plastic bags
  • Swimming pool chemicals or back-wash water
  • Tampons
  • Toys
  • Underwear
  • Water in excess-Laundry should be spread out and not all done in one day. Water from roof gutters, surface water, floor drains, foundation drains, and water softeners should be directed elsewhere

This list by no means represents every product that should be kept out of a septic system.  If it won't dissolve readily in water, it doesn't belong down the drain. 

Never lean over a septic tank opening or stick your head into a tank to examine it's interior.  The gasses in a tank could quickly overcome you causing loss of consciousness, suffocation, and/or drowning.  Please leave tank cleaning and repairs to the professionals.

Septic pumping shall only be done by a DNR licensed Septic pumper.  A homeowner is allowed to pump their own tank and spread it on their own property (see land application requirements) but are NOT allowed to pump for anyone else without a license. 

Septic Pumper Rules-Chapter 68

Currently Licensed Area Septic pumpers:
E & F Custom Pumping     Templeton, IA          712-669-3724
Kasperbauer Service          Vail, IA                    712-677-2261
R & R Septic Service          Carroll, IA               712-830-4724
Kloewer Pumping               Defiance, IA            712-748-3961
Terry's Septic                      Onawa, IA              712-433-1662
Moores Pumping                Woodbine, IA          712-647-3117
Sloan Plumbing                   Jefferson, IA           515-386-8297