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How it Works

How it Works

Healthy Tank.png
What is a leach field
Leach Field
Typical Layout

What Is A Septic System?

An on-site sewage treatment system commonly comprised of a septic tank and a leach field (absorption area).

What Is The Tank's Role?

  • Receives all wastewater from dwelling including toilet, bath, kitchen, laundry.

  • Separates organic solids (scum), fats, grease, and soaps; and inorganic solids (sludge). Scum floats to the top of the tank while the sludge settles to the bottom

  • Creates the most important middle section of clear wastewater (effluent). Only effluent should exit via the outlet baffle to the absorption area



What Is The Leach Field's Role?

  • Effluent enters the distribution box (D-Box) and then proceeds into the absorption area for further treatment by the soil.

  • The partially treated effluent is pushed along into the
    drain field for further treatment

  • Once effluent reaches the soil area, it percolates into the soil which provides final treatment by removing harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Now the cycle is complete and the water can re-enter the groundwater safely.




  • Keep a record of tank location and services

  • Keep tank cover(s) accessible

  • Pump your tank regularly

  • Be proactive with what goes down the drain/toilet

  • Repair leaky plumbing fixtures no matter how small

  • Divert drains and surface water away from the system

  • Minimize water usage after heavy rain

  • Space out your laundry washes to different days


  • Use a garbage disposal (limit use if you already have one)

  • Overuse bleach, disinfectants, cleaning products

  • Dump chemicals such as solvents, paints, paint thinner, or pesticides down drains

  • Flush wipes*, feminine products, cigarettes, plastics, or other inorganic material down a toilet

  • Park, drive, build, put plants with deep roots, or place heavy objects over the system

  • Use excessive amounts of water

      *This includes the so-called "flushable" wipes. Learn more

Septic tank location

Tip: If you don't know where you septic tank is, winter could be a good time to mark the spot where the snow melts first

Trouble Symptoms

Your septic system may be failing if one or more of the following conditions exists:

  • All of the drains from the house are slow

  • There is a persistent wet area over the leach field

  • Sewage is surfacing near the septic tank or distribution box

  • There is sewage seeping through the foundation

  • The liquid level in the leach field is at the top of the crushed rock layer, the chambers, or other underground structures

  • The vegetation over the leach field is greener and lusher than over adjacent areas in the yard

  • There is a septic odor in the yard at times or constantly

  • There is flow back from the leach field when the septic tank is pumped

  • The septic tank needs to be pumped very frequently

  • The septic tank outlet baffle is damaged or missing

  • Rainwater seems to take longer to disappear over the leach field than over adjacent areas in the yard

  • Well water is contaminated


Is your toilet paper septic safe?

Learn how to test your toilet paper for break down effectiveness in this video:

See which brands of toilet paper break down the best here:

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I pump my tank?

Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 2-4 years depending on size and usage. Smaller tanks, such as 500 gallons, may need to be pumped yearly.

Learn more

How big is my septic tank?

It is important to know how many gallons your septic tank holds.

Septic plans, pumping invoices, or an inspection report should all show tank gallon size. Usually, a 3 bedroom house has a 1250 or 1500 gallon tank.

There is gurgling in my pipes, what do I do?

If you are only having issues with one toilet or sink it may be a clog inside, which you would want to call a plumber for. If there is gurgling or odors in multiple locations it may be a clog near your septic tank. Give us a call at 603-772-3494.

What do I do when I am having a backup in the house?

You can open up the inlet baffle to check for a blockage. If you have an effluent filter in your outlet baffle, check if it is clogged. If it is an emergency situation give us a call at 603-772-3494. 

What if I don't know where my septic is?

Try to find the septic plans. Sometimes the town will have a copy of the plans,

so check with them. Past invoices or inspection reports may have the location.

We have the ability to locate septic 

systems. Give us a call at 603-772-3494.

How much does it cost to pump a tank?

Pricing is based on gallonage, depending on how many gallons we pump out.

Please give us a call at 603-772-3494 for a free consultation.

On average a septic tank pumping can cost between $350-450.

Bodwell’s Septic Service, LLC             Septic Service for Southern New Hampshire             East Kingston, NH Septic Company

"Great service. Tim and the rest of his crew are honest, knowledgeable, and reliable. They provide the best kind of service, without any drama. Great company!"

Drew H.

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