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Serving Santa Cruz, Watsonville
Soquel and Surrounding Areas
Serving Santa Cruz, Watsonville
Soquel and Surrounding Areas

Frequently Asked Question by Santa Cruz Residents and Businesses

Septic Systems

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank? 
The cost of pumping your septic tank varies. We offer flat rates for our pumping services in all the cities that we travel to. Additional services, such as uncovering the septic tank lids, are at an additional cost.
How often do you need to pump your septic tank?
It is recommended that your septic tank be pumped out every 3 to 5 years, depending on your family size, tank capacity, type of use and condition of your system.
Do you need access to the lids to pump the septic tank?
Yes. The lids cover the main access points into the septic tank, over the front and back chambers of the tank.
How many lids are there on the septic tank?
Generally there are 2 lids, one at either end of the tank.
What does it mean to have my lids covered or uncovered?
Most septic tanks are buried beneath the ground. In order to access the tank, we need to get into the lids of the tank and therefore need to dig up the ground around the lids to "uncover" them. The depth of the septic tank lids varies from tank to tank; there is no "normal" or "usual" depth. The lids themselves do not need to be removed prior to service; our technicians will take care of that at the time of pumping.
What are Risers? 
Risers are essentially a box or access port built over the septic tank lids, with a lid or access point at surface (ground) level. They provide easy access to the septic tank lids for future services, and remove the need to dig-up the lids every time, saving you money. With septic tanks that are exceptionally deep in the ground, risers can be a great investment.
Can you pump my septic tank from my neighbor's property for closer access?
Yes. However we do need to have permission from the property owner in order to do so.
Is it a good idea to pump my septic tank before a large function at my property?
Yes. We recommend pumping your tank before a large increase of usage on your system. If you do not, solids in the tank could be forced to the leach field with heavy use.
Is it true that if I put additives in my system I will not need to pump my tank? Ever?
No, solids will build up regardless. We believe that most additives do not offer much help in the breakdown process of solids in your tank, rather, they can cause harm to the natural biological processes that need to take place. The best way to maintain your system is to have it pumped out periodically to physically remove the solids. In some instances, the addition of natural enzymes may be beneficial, for example, if your household is strictly vegetarian.
There is a wet area in my yard near my septic system, what might be causing this? 
Your septic tank and/or leach field may be surfacing above ground. This is commonly an indication that your drainage system is not accepting under current usage.
My indoor plumbing isn't draining well, or not at all, what might be causing this?
There could be a number of causes for this, from a clog in your line to a septic that is overdue to be pumped. We recommend that you give us a call to discuss your specific situation and narrow down your options to fix the problem.
Do septic systems last forever? How long can I expect to use my system before replacing it?
Typically septic systems do not last forever, but you can prolong their lifetime with regular maintenance. Like a car, with regular maintenance, the system will run more efficiently and last longer.
Where can I find information and history on my septic system? 
You can obtain information on your system at the Environmental Heath Department at the Santa Cruz County building. Your septic history is public record and can be obtained in person at this office.

Real Estate Inspections

Is it a good idea to have a real estate septic inspection prior to purchasing a new home?
Yes. Having the septic tank pumped and inspected will not only offer valuable information about how that specific system operates and its current condition, it will also inform you of any costly repairs or replacing that may be recommended.
Does the tank need to be pumped in order to perform a real estate septic inspection?
Yes. The tank must be pumped in order for the technicians to get a good visual of the entire tank to observe its condition.

Grease Traps

How often do I need to pump my restaurant grease interceptor?
Service recommendations vary depending on the grease trap size and usage. Some grease traps need to be pumped on a monthly basis while others can be on a quarterly, biannual or even annual schedule. Our technicians, as well as the Santa Cruz County Inspector, can recommend an appropriate schedule to stay compliant and meet your business needs. We even offer computerized maintenance scheduling to help you keep up with your recommended service.
Can I put any chemicals/additives into my restaurant grease interceptor to reduce the frequency that it needs to be pumped out?
No. Santa Cruz County strictly prohibits the use of any additives/chemicals in your grease trap. The best way to remove grease from the grease trap is to have a licensed, approved, permitted, professional pump company clean your grease trap with a pump truck and dispose of the material at an approved sewage disposal plant. This is the only method that the County will accept.
Who mandates regular pumping of my grease interceptor?
Santa Cruz County has inspectors visit each restaurant to ensure that the grease trap is being pumped and maintained on a regular basis and following a recommended schedule. This is to prevent the grease from entering the main sewer line


Pete's Outflow Technicians
Soquel, CA 95073
Phone: 831-475-0959

Hours of Operation 

7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Payment Options

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