Septic & Holding Tanks

A septic system requires routine pumping every two to three years, or sooner if there are many occupants in the household. To ensure your septic system functions properly, it’s important to understand how it works. Unlike a public water and sewer system, your septic could stop functioning completely if the wrong materials are flushed into it. Whether you are experienced with septic systems or a new owner with little prior knowledge about system maintenance, we always recommend you start with a septic pumping followed regularly scheduled system maintenance.

Sanitary System Pumping

Routine pumping occurs every two or three years. Homeowners with numerous occupants might request pumping their tanks sooner. It’s better to service the sanitary system more often in this case. At AST, Ltd., we make recommendations by testing the system’s sludge/scum levels.

Pressure/Vacuum Jetting

As water passed through the system, small particles of grease, soap, hair, food scraps, etc. will be suspended in the water and eventually clog the waste laterals. Pressure jetting can remove these deposits and restore drain flow. We also unclog mound systems.

Baffle Repairs and Replacements

The purpose of tank baffles is to secure the waste solids which flow from the house. Due to the bacteriological process of breaking down the solids in the tanks, a corrosive gas is emitted that causes corrosion to the areas above the water line in the tank. Damaged outlet baffles cause backups, ponding and reduces the life expectancy of the dispersal zone.

State/County Inspections

The State of Wisconsin requires each County to maintain a log of the sanitary systems in its jurisdiction. Every two or three years, a reminder will be sent to the homeowner to secure a POWTS service provider, like AST, Ltd., to evaluate, pump the sanitary system and report the work performed.

Mechanical Augering

Augering is a means of removing blockages and debris from sewer lines. It’s ideal for older systems and tough clogs like rust and scale buildup.

Riser/Cover Repairs and Installations

Sanitary systems with several tanks may come with risers which allow the manhole cover to be brought to the surface. Periodically, the risers and covers will become cracked and worn causing groundwater infiltration. AST, Ltd. maintains a supply of risers and covers to fit most sanitary systems.

Aeration System Maintenance/Reporting

These ystems require yearly service and must have a Certified POWTS Maintainer, like AST, Ltd., secured to satisfy State/County inspections and reporting.

Home Sale Sanitary System Evaluations

If you are considering selling or purchasing a home in Wisconsin, it is required to secure a well and sanitary system evaluation. This critical to assess the condition of the water or sanitary system.

Camera Inspections

Takes the guesswork out of diagnosing issues. Cameras are used in sewer and drain lines, well casings, chimneys, vent pipes and crawl spaces. Most access restricted areas can be recorded for inspection and repairs.

Filter Cleaning/Installation

Today most sanitary systems are equipped with filters in lieu of baffles. It works so well that if not periodically cleaned, it can cause a backup much like a clogged pipe. Depending on water usage, filters should be cleaned and inspected every 6–12 months.

Confined Space Entry

Some sanitary systems develop internal issues that require confined space entry. Instead of digging up the yard, these pipes can be accessed from inside the tank to auger or pressure jet blockages.

Don’t Wait Before It’s Too Late!

Call 1.800.994.0500

Arnold’s maintains a 24/7 Staff Technician on call for any emergency that may arise. Many times, the Technician can assess the situation over the phone and determine if an emergency visit is necessary or can be serviced the following day.

Save the septic system.
Do NOT flush these items down your drain lines.

Cat Litter, Kitty Litter
NEVER


Chemicals – Ammonia, Bleach, Detergents (excess), Drain Cleaners (excess), Epsom Salts
NEVER


Cigarettes, Cigarette Butts, Cigarette Filters
NEVER


Clothes Dryer Sheets
NEVER


Coffee Grounds
NEVER


Cooking Oil
NEVER


Cotton Swabs, Dental Floss
NEVER


Diapers, Baby Wipes
NEVER

Dirt
NEVER


Drugs, antibiotics, Perscription Medicines
NEVER


Fats, Oil, Grease
NEVER


Food Scraps, Ground Food
NEVER


Hair
NEVER


Latex: Condoms, Gloves, Similar Products
NEVER


Laundry Detergent (excess)
Moderation


Motor Oil
NEVER


Panty Liners
NEVER

Paper Towels
NEVER


Pesticides
NEVER


Photo Chemicals
NEVER


Plastic Bags
NEVER


Sanitary Napkins
NEVER


Swimming Pool Chemicals
NEVER


Tampons
NEVER


Trash, Toys and Scrap
NEVER


Washing Machine Lint
Better Not


Water in large quantities
NEVER

Cat Litter, Kitty Litter: NEVER

Chemicals – Ammonia, Bleach, Detergents (excess), Drain Cleaners (excess), Epsom Salts: NEVER

Cigarettes, Cigarette Butts, Cigarette Filters: NEVER

Clothes Dryer Sheets: NEVER

Coffee Grounds: NEVER

Cooking Oil: NEVER

Cotton Swabs, Dental Floss: NEVER

Diapers, Baby Wipes: NEVER

Dirt: NEVER

Drugs, antibiotics, Perscription Medicines: NEVER

Fats, Oil, Grease: NEVER

Food Scraps, Ground Food: NEVER

Hair: NEVER

Latex – Condoms, Gloves, Similar Products: NEVER

Laundry Detergent (excess): Moderation

Motor Oil: NEVER

Panty Liners: NEVER

Paper Towels: NEVER

Pesticides: NEVER

Photo Chemicals: NEVER

Plastic Bags: NEVER

Sanitary Napkins NEVER

Swimming Pool Chemicals: NEVER

Tampons: NEVER

Trash, Toys, and Scrap: NEVER

Washing Machine Lint: Better Not

Water in large quantities: NEVER

Expect excellence and efficiency.

Scheduling Appointments

Don’t have time to make a call? We understand. Request our services with our online form.

Follow Federal and State Regulations

After a service, our certified technicians will then file a county maintenance report. AST, Ltd. always properly disposes of waste in Waste Water Treatment Facilities.

Online Billing & Payments

Take care of billing and view previous payments, services performed, and upcoming expenses to keep you ahead of the curve.

Lay down foundational planning with Arnold's

Sanitary System PumpingState/County InspectionsHome Sale Sanitary System EvaluationsPressure/Vacuum JettingMechanical AugeringCamera InspectionsBaffle Repairs and ReplacementsRiser/Cover Repairs and InstallationsFilter Cleaning/InstallationAeration System Maintenance/ReportingConfined Space Entry

Lay down foundational planning with Arnold's

Sanitary System PumpingState/County InspectionsHome Sale Sanitary System EvaluationsPressure/Vacuum JettingMechanical AugeringCamera InspectionsBaffle Repairs and ReplacementsRiser/Cover Repairs and InstallationsFilter Cleaning/InstallationAeration System Maintenance/ReportingConfined Space Entry

We offer our services to various locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

Brown Deer, WI

Burlington, WI

Cedarburg, WI

Eden, WI

Franklin, WI

Fredonia, WI

Germantown, WI

Grafton, WI

Greenfield, WI

Hartford, WI

Kenosha, WI

Lomira, WI

Mayville, WI

Menomonee Falls, WI

Mequon, WI

Milwaukee, WI

Mukwonago, WI

Muskego, WI

New Berlin, WI

Oak Creek, WI

Oostburg, WI

Port Washington, WI

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Racine, WI

Saukville, WI

Sheboygan Falls, WI

South Milwaukee, WI

Sturtevant, WI

Sussex, WI

Waterford, WI

Watertown, WI

Waukesha, WI

West Allis, WI

West Bend, WI

Whitefish Bay, WI

We offer our services to various locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

Brown Deer, WI

Burlington, WI

Cedarburg, WI

Eden, WI

Franklin, WI

Fredonia, WI

Germantown, WI

Grafton, WI

Greenfield, WI

Hartford, WI

Kenosha, WI

Lomira, WI

Mayville, WI

Menomonee Falls, WI

Mequon, WI

Milwaukee, WI

Mukwonago, WI

Muskego, WI

New Berlin, WI

Oak Creek, WI

Oostburg, WI

Port Washington, WI

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Racine, WI

Saukville, WI

Sheboygan Falls, WI

South Milwaukee, WI

Sturtevant, WI

Sussex, WI

Waterford, WI

Watertown, WI

Waukesha, WI

West Allis, WI

West Bend, WI

Whitefish Bay, WI

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important?

Failure to maintain a functioning septic/holding tank causes slow draining sinks, toilets, drains. You may also experience a sewage odor near the house and a mushy area near or around the drain field. Alleviate these situations and lengthen the systems proper operating life span by scheduling maintenance. Unsure? Schedule an inspection.

When would I know if it's time to schedule maintenance?

An accepted practice, developed by the University of Wisconsin is the levels should not exceed 1/3 of the tank volume.

I'm a new homeowner / I'm selling my home. Who schedules maintenance?

If you are considering selling or purchasing a home in Wisconsin, it is required to secure a well and sanitary system evaluation. This evaluation requires that both systems respectively be brought up to the current Code. The purchaser and or their lending agency will usually request this service. The cost of the testing and evaluation is usually paid by the purchaser but can be negotiated by either party. A thorough evaluation is critical to assess the condition of the water or sanitary system!

What are common signs of an ailing system?

Customers always ask, “How can I tell if my system needs service or if there is a problem looming?” There are a number of signs an ailing system will display such as; slow draining sinks, toilets, drains. A gurgling sound from a drain when water is being used. A sewage odor when outside or in the house. A soft, mushy area near or around the drain field. A green patch of turf over the drain field. Water noticeable in the vent pipes. As the sanitary system ages, all the above can be noticed at one time or another. With early detection, there are avenues of approach to help alleviate these situations and lengthen the systems proper operating lifespan.

What is a mound system?

A grease trap will contain animal fats and vegetable oils in kitchen wastewater that flow through your plumbing system before it reaches sanitary sewer lines. If grease is allowed to build up, your lines will become clogged and back up – not a pretty sight or smell! Maintaining grease traps in restaurants or commercial kitchens with heavy use will keep plumbing lines clear and help maintain an efficient and sanitary environment.

What kinds of cameras are used for inspections?

Cameras can be utilized in many different areas such as sewer and drain lines, well casings, chimneys, vent pipes, crawl spaces, etc. The camera head is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter and can negotiate 45 and 90-degree bends in the 3-inch pipe. This versatile tool takes the guesswork out of diagnosing problem issues such as broken tiles and pipes, cracked chimney and boiler flues. Most access restricted areas can be easily inspected and video recorded for inspection and repair purposes.

What are baffles? And what happens when they break?

The purpose of tank baffles is to secure the waste solids which flow from the house. The solids then break down in the septic tank and only the water should leave the tank to be further treated in the (dispersal zone) drain field. Sanitary tanks are equipped with two baffles each. One baffle is at the inlet and one baffle is at the outlet. Many sanitary tanks are constructed of concrete. Due to the bacteriological process of breaking down the solids in the tanks, a corrosive gas is emitted. This hydrogen/sulfide gas can cause corrosion to the areas above the water line in the tank. This process is usually more severe on the outlet side of the tank to include the outlet baffle. When the outlet baffle is damaged or broken off, the solid waste from the house can flow directly to the distribution tank and or to the drain field. This can cause backups, ponding and severely reduce the life expectancy of the dispersal zone. AST, Ltd. has the staff to repair and replace your broken baffles.

Are my manhole covers/risers up to Wisconsin code?

All sanitary systems are equipped with septic tanks. Some systems can have several tanks. Mound and at-grade pressure systems typically have two or more tanks. These tanks may come with risers (round rings, concrete or plastic) which allow the manhole cover to be brought to the surface. By Wis. Code, manhole covers must be either 2 inches above grade or 4 inches below grade and buried. Any cover above grade must be secured with a locking device (chain and lock) and warning label describing the dangers of entering the tank. Periodically the risers and covers will become cracked and worn. Leaks at the riser seams may cause groundwater infiltration. Your service provider should access the condition of the covers and risers upon visual observation and bring any defects to your attention. AST, Ltd. maintains a supply of risers and covers to fit most sanitary systems. Some buried covers can be raised to the surface to eliminate unpleasant digging. Cracked and broken risers can be removed and replaced to ensure the integrity of the sanitary system.

How does an Aeration System work?

An Aeration System has some similarities to a standard sanitary system. This system is used in areas where the soils are not ideal for filtration and treatment. An Aeration System will have the standard septic tank or tanks, sized for usage, and an aerator which pumps oxygen into the waste water to increase the bacteria. The bacteria consume the waste as a food source, clarifying the waste water in the process. The waste effluent flows to a pump chamber to be distributed to the dispersal zone, (mound, at-grade pressure, etc.). Some systems can be more complicated with recirculating sand filters, Ultraviolet disinfectant lights, alarms, dosing timers, etc. Aeration Systems typically require yearly service and must have a Certified POWTS Maintainer secured to satisfy State/County inspections and reporting. AST, Ltd. has these professionals on staff to inspect your system.

Need more help? Contact Arnold’s via email, call 1.800.994.0500 or start an online chat.

So helpful and friendly.

“Thanks so much for your great service. I just called less than an hour ago, and your driver is already here. I’m sorry I procrastinated about calling you earlier, so I much appreciate your ability to have someone out before the holiday! Everyone is always so helpful and friendly. This is why I choose Arnold’s every time.”

—Janet E., Homeowner

Arnold’s is thoughtful.

““So pleased that the driver was cautious and careful around my landscaping during the septic pumping. Not every company is that thoughtful.”

—Barbara, Homeowner

Appreciate the hard work.

“Arnold’s did everything possible to solve our issues. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Appreciate the hard work.”

—Jerry, Homeowner