Simsbury Area: (860) 651-7060

Glastonbury Area: (860) 633-1117

Avon/Farmington Area: (860) 677-1902

Bloomfield Area: (860) 243-3500

Simsbury: (860) 651-0670


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Frequently Asked Questions

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- S. M. Glastonbury, CT

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Simsbury Area:



Glastonbury Area:



Avon/Farmington Area:



Bloomfield Area:








Our Mailing Address:

Christopher Bryant Co

PO Box 553

Simsbury, CT 06070

Contact Us

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1. How does a septic system work?

   There are six major components:

a) A house sewer line carries waste to the septic tank.

b) A septic tank allows the solids to settle and remain in the tank with the liquids

c) As of 2000, all septic tanks have been constructed with outlets baffle filters. The filters must be cleaned at the time of septic tank pumping. Filters may require more repeat cleaning if they clog frequently.

d) Distribution piping, which leads effluent from the tank.

e) A liquid distribution box may be used to uniformly distribute effluent through the leaching system.

f) A leaching system, which may consist of leaching fields, trenches, leaching pits (dry wells), beds or galleries which help purify the effluent by filtration through the soil.

2. How often should the septic tank be cleaned?

Every two years is an average interval for the average size family (4-5 family members). Larger families or homes with food disposal systems should have them cleaned more frequently.

3. Why do I need to have my septic tank cleaned?

  Solids settle down to the bottom of the tank and broken down by bacterial action.  However, eventually the remaining undigested material known as “sludge” accumulates and must be removed.  If solids are not pumped out regularly, they will build up to a high level and can be carried from the tank to the absorption field.  The solids will clog the pipes, stone and the soil surrounding them.

4. Does the number of bedrooms in the house impact the size of the system I should have?

  Yes.   1250-1500 gallon tanks are common for a 4-5 bedroom house.  The average use rate is 60 gallons per person/per day.  That means a family of 5 uses 109,500 gallons of water per year.  If the number of people in the house exceeds the average for the size of the dwelling (example: 5 people for a 3 bedroom house) or the septic tank is smaller than what is state regulated, the system should be cleaned every 2 years until experience indicates a longer period is allowed.

5. What are some of the causes of septic system failure?

  • Neglecting to inspect and clean the septic tank regularly

  • Lack of understanding on the proper use of the system

  • Poor soil conditions and/ or system design or installation

  • Sewage odor

  • Sewage discharging to the ground

  • Wet or muddy patches in your lawn

  • Lush green grass

  • Slow draining bathroom or kitchen fixtures

  • Back up of sewage into your house

  • Sewage running back from your leach field into your tank -- this can be seen at the time of cleaning the tank

6. What are the signs of Septic Failure?

  • Regular Cleaning

  • Avoid dumping the following down the drains:

        a) Grease

        b) Coffee grounds

  • Avoid flushing the following down the toilet

        a) Personal wipes

        b) Cigarette butts

        c) Feminine products

        d) Diapers

        e) Cooking fats

        f) Paper towels

7. What can I do to prevent any septic failure?

  • Contact the town sanitarian or health officer for instructions, as pumping and cleaning alone may not be the cure to the problem.

  • Contact a qualified septic repair company and verify that the cleaner/installer is licensed and comes well recommended.

  • We encourage you to check to see if the contractor is a member of the COWRA.  These contractors are dedicated to the encouragement of the highest standards of professional performance and integrity.  Members of COWRA attend continuing education programs so that they are kept up to date on state of the art methods and, where needed, innovative approaches to subsurface disposal systems.


8. What do I do if my septic fails and who do I contact?