Drywell Maintenance Tips


The Monsoon season is a crucial time for giving dry-wells a quick check-up.

See, without proper maintenance, it’s only a matter of time until your backed-up lawn water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and fungi.

We’d like to help you avoid that scenario.

Drywell Types

While most drywells rely on perforated walls to disperse water, the types of things that clog them up depend upon what you use your drywell for.


  • Septic Drywells – Not to be confused with seepage pits or cesspools, and never to be used for sewage, septic drywells can be used to lessen the load on your septic system by taking care of your graywater, or the relatively clean water that comes from your washing machine, baths, and sinks.


While effective, over time, materials like soap scum and lint can start to build up on the walls of the drywell and begin to plug up the holes.

Investing in a graywater filter and keeping it clean can go a long way in discouraging buildup but, depending on how much graywater your household produces, you may still need to clean the inside of your drywell.


  • Runoff Drywells – If your drywell is solely used to take care of excess water from downspouts, storms and surface runoff, you won’t have to worry about soap scum, but you will have to worry about natural debris.


It’s always a good idea to make sure that the cap of your drywell is free from any brush, dirt or lawn debris, and keeping both your rain gutters and the area around the drywell clean will also help to ensure that less junk is finding its way in.

But, just as with septic drywells, the amount of water your well is expected to handle, as well as its age, can make an internal cleaning a necessity.

Cleaning Your Drywell

Once you’ve cleaned your drywall’s surrounding area, you’ll remove the cap and assess the situation. If standing water is making it hard for you to get to a clog, you should be able to rent a pump at any local home improvement store, but make sure that you have a safe and legal place to divert any water you pump.

Otherwise, simply reach in, remove any debris, scrape/scrub the walls and clear the perforations of gunk.

I Pumped and Cleaned, But I Still Have Standing Water . . .

Like anything else, drywells aren’t forever. Whether it’s simply a case of soil compaction or an actual wall collapse, you’re now going to need a professional to either fix things (if possible) or drill and install a new well.

Beyond this, drywells should be regularly checked, particularly during monsoon season here in The Valley.

Paradise Septic offers a FREE INSPECTION of your drywells, headwalls, catch basins, culverts, etc.

And we don’t just inspect, clean and maintain drywells, we also design, drill and install them. Whether you’re building a new structure or need an old drywell replaced, Paradise Valley Septic is there every step of the way, with:


  • Perc testing
  • Subsurface characterization
  • Registration assistance
  • Aquifer Protection Permit Application (when needed)
  • Best Management Practices Program (when needed)
  • Investigations/Sampling
  • Abandonment/Clean Closure


Reach out today and let Paradise Valley Septic take care of drywell headaches before they even start!

Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly

Stop Problems Before They Start: Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly



When your septic system is running smoothly, it’s the unsung hero of your household system. You probably don’t even think about it most of the time. But, that doesn’t mean you should neglect it until something goes wrong.

Let’s look at some things you can do to prevent problems with your septic system:

Prevent Problems Before They Start

There are several things you can do to keep your system in tip top shape:

  • Space out your laundry chores. Doing all your laundry in one day puts tremendous strain on your drainfield. Gray water will go into your system all at once, and the ground won’t have time to absorb it.
  • Opt for liquid or gel detergent for your dishwasher and washing machine rather than powder. It has inert fillers that are bad for your septic system.
  • Throw your grease in the trash. If you put it down the drain, it can clog up the holes in the leaching field.
  • Don’t flush materials like tampons or wet bathroom wipes. You may think these are both considered flushable, but they add to the solid waste that’s hard to break down in your septic tank. Toss them in a garbage can instead. Feeling grossed out? A lidded garbage can is a good option.
  • Avoid parking on the grassy region where your septic system is located because it could damage the pipes.

Know How Your Septic System Works

All the waste that goes through your plumbing system ends up in your septic tank, and then is safely broken down. This is thanks to the design of the system and the microorganisms that live inside it. The materials are broken down into liquids that can be moved through the system to your leaching field where the nutrients are put back into the ground. Problems start when things that go down the drain or get flushed remain solid. When these things can’t be broken down, your system gets sluggish.

Keep Your Septic System Professionally Maintained

You can stop problems before they start by doing the things listed above, however there’s still a need to call professionals in on a regular basis. They are needed to pump the septic tank and they can also spot problems you may not see.

A Professional Touch

Paradise Septic offers the professional touch you need for annual maintenance and when something goes wrong. We’ve been serving the Phoenix Valley area since 1958. You can count on us to help keep your system running smoothly. When a breakdown occurs, call us and we’ll get your septic system back up and running in no time.

Contact us today if your septic system needs a professional touch.

A Brief History of the Modern Septic System


For those of us who live in developed countries, it’s easy to forget about the formidable dangers and unpleasant aspects that come from exposure to raw sewage. Indeed, mankind has been struggling to cope with waste materials since ancient times and, because it’s so important, the subject has been widely studied.

Although early human civilizations had been experimenting with “flush” toilets and crude sewage systems as far back as 3000 years ago, for the greater part of history country dwellers had to make due with utilizing bushes or digging shallow holes and then burying the contents.

The very first outhouse-like “water closet” was known to have been used in China around 206 B.C., but the first “modern” outhouse wasn’t in use until around 500 years ago, when Europeans first started realizing the benefits of sheltered elimination and the luxury of not having to constantly hunt for fresh ground.

Even though the outhouse was life changing for many, it was still subject to extreme temperatures, insects and odor, as well as the fact that a new latrine had to be dug every time one was filled up. But a better solution wouldn’t be in store until the mid-19th century.

Jean-Louis Mouras and the Septic Tank Prototype

Around 1860, a Frenchman named Jean-Louis Mouras, who had been hard at work trying to design a method of waste disposal which would allow him to take care of business without having to go outside, built the first concrete “septic tank” prototype.

He ran clay pipes from his house to the tank and used it successfully for ten years, after which he decided to dismantle it and see what had become of the contents. Both Mr. Mouras and his neighbors were surprised to discover that it contained mostly liquid with a layer of scum on top.

After that, Mr. Mouras contacted a scientist and began work to perfect his design so that in 1881, over 20 years after he’d built his prototype, he was able to successfully apply for a patent and begin sharing his invention with the rest of the world.

Septic Systems Take Hold in the U.S.

Although the French are credited with developing the septic tank, Americans are known for perfecting it. The first septic tanks began appearing in the U.S. in 1883 and the idea soon proliferated. Early American septic tanks were made of concrete or steel and emptied into drainage fields, following Mr. Mouras’s original design.

By the 1940s, septic systems were relatively cheap to build and were popular nationwide, but by the 1960s, it was obvious some big changes needed to be made.

First, older concrete and steel tanks were failing due to cracking and rust. It was imperative to find new materials with which to build new tanks, especially since urban areas were growing faster than new sewage treatment plants could be built, causing an increase in the need for new systems.

Second, concerns over the leaching of drainfield sewage into ground water caused local governments to begin regulating placement of drainage pipes.

The Modern Septic System

Today’s septic tanks are typically made of fiberglass, precast concrete, polyurethane, PVC or other plastics and, with proper care, are much more durable and functional than early septic tanks.

Likewise, modern drainfields are have been improved through the use of highly durable plastic pipes, as well as the practice of ensuring that drainage pipes are never too close to ground water. In states where water tables are higher, drainfields are often required to be built in aboveground mounds in order to maintain proper distance.

When it comes to septic systems, no one has more comprehensive knowledge and skill than the team at Paradise Valley Septic. Whether you need something as simple as tank pumping all the way up to a complete system installation, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us today with questions or to set up an appointment.

How Long Will Your Septic System Last?


It would be nice if septic system owners could just flush waste down the drain and not worry about what happens afterwards, but alas, that is not the case.

If you want to get the most out of your septic system investment—and prevent flushing cash down the drain—you must research how to properly treat and maintain your system before problems arise.

There are many steps to be taken to help your system live up to its full potential and reach its maximum intended lifespan. How long your septic system will last depends on many factors, specifically the type of system you have and the conditions surrounding it.

Sludge buildup - pump septic tank

How Much will it Cost to Have My Septic Tank Pumped?


If you know even a little bit about septic tanks, hopefully it’s that having them pumped at regular intervals is as necessary as having your car’s oil changed or keeping your roof in good repair: ignoring any of them will inevitably result in serious expense and hassle.

In fact, replacing a septic system can run between $5000 and $10,000. The good news is, depending on system type, tank material and soil quality, well-maintained septic systems can last 25, 30 or even 50 years.

6 Ways to Keep Your Drainfield Healthy Paradise Valley Septic

6 Ways to Keep Your Drainfield Healthy


A septic system is a complicated beast. It’s in our best interest to keep that beast happy, healthy and in good working order.

In a septic system’s elimination process, the drainfield serves as the beast’s digestive system. What goes in, must come out. Everything that goes down the drain gets sorted and eventually makes its way to the drainfield, where nature takes over. It’s really an amazing process.

But, in order to keep things working smoothly, we must keep the drainfield healthy. Here are six ways to do just that:

7 Signs You Need to Pump Your Septic Tank


photo credit

When you are taking care of your home, you’ll find that some things have a way of telling you when they need something. Your ceiling leaks if your roof needs a patch, your lawnmower starts chugging if it’s clogged with grass, your hinges squeak when they need oil and your septic tank . . . well, let’s just say it works harder than most when it’s trying desperately to tell you it needs to be pumped.

And that’s a good thing, because the repercussions of a seldom-pumped septic tank can be severe. Septic tanks need to be pumped periodically in order to get rid of solid waste deposits that form on the bottom and top of your tank and put life-shortening stress on your entire septic system.

Many times septic tank additives are marketed to homeowners as a solution or substitute for pumping your septic tank. They are composed of bacteria or enzymes that claim to help soften or break down waste. Unfortunately, sometimes the the bacteria can cause more harm or add to your septic tank problems by delaying or masking problems. Research has shown there is no substitute for getting your septic tank pumped. Septic tank maintenance should become a part of your regular home maintenance.

Septic tanks are often neglected by homeowners because they are underground and out of sight. Just because you haven’t had any septic tank problems, does not mean you should neglect the maintenance schedule.

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