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FAQ's

This page is dedicated to answering the many questions received from consumers in the local market in regards to on-site wastewater septic systems.

Did you know...
  • That as a homeowner you’re responsible for maintaining your septic system?
     
  • That maintaining your septic system protects your investment in your home?
     
  • That you should periodically inspect your system and pump out your septic tank?
     
  • If properly designed, constructed and maintained, your septic system can provide long-term, effective treatment of household wastewater.
     
  • If your septic system isn’t maintained, you might need to replace it, costing you thousands of dollars.
     
  • A malfunctioning system can contaminate groundwater that might be a source of drinking water.
     
  • And if you sell your home, your septic system must be in good working order.
Frequently Asked Questions:

"How much does it cost to install a septic system?"
The answer to this question can vary as much as the costs of constructing a new home.

There are a number of different technologies that can be used. There are a number of different soil characteristics in our area from river sand to solid limestone, all of which will affect the cost of an installation. The size of your home, number of occupants and family water use habits also will have a major impact on the cost of your system.  At Jernan Construction, we prefer to build a system that suits you and your families living conditions. Simple design and installation of systems that “meet” state requirements is an injustice to you, the homeowner.  There is nothing more aggravating than spending a large sum of money on a new septic system that doesn’t meet your needs and causes more problems.


"Can I maintain my own system?"
Yes, TCEQ has adopted new regulations that allow homeowners to perform routine maintenance inspections on the wastewater system at their residence, with proper education and reporting requirements.

 
"I was told I never have to do anything to my septic system, is this true?"
No, avoiding regular maintenance on your septic system could lead to costly repairs, and could quite possibly shorten the life of the unit.  Pumping of the system should be performed every 2-5 years at minimum.

 
"Why do I have sewer odor inside my house?"
Usually this odor emanates from a dry drain.  Each drain in your house has a trap associated with it. The trap is the U-shaped pipe you see under your kitchen sink. The purpose of this pipe is to keep the gases from your septic system from being able to come back inside the house. The trap works because water sits in that U-shaped section of pipe, and therefore the gases can't get back up through the drain.

However, if the water in that trap should ever dry up, then the gases are able to escape. The water evaporates out of these traps if they aren't used for a period of time. Usually it's an unused guest bathroom, or basement shower stall, or some fixture that just isn't used very regularly. The solution of course is very simple: Add water to the drain!  Another place to inspect should this not work is around toilet seals.  Occasionally the wax ring around the base of the toilet can go bad and allow gases from the septic system to enter the house.
 

"What Kind of Toilet Paper Should I Use?"
There are not many toilet papers on the market, if any, that can't safely be used in a septic system. Toilet paper breaks down very easily and quickly, and that's the important part. However, toilet papers with lotions and multi-ply papers will not break down effectively and can lead to a more rapid solids build-up in the tank.  Also, facial tissue (Kleenex) and paper towels do NOT break down easily, and should never be flushed down a toilet.
 

"Can I build over my septic tank?"
This is never advisable and is against most municipal codes. Do not build any additions, pools, driveways, or undertake any other construction work near the repair area, septic tank or drain field.
 

"How often will I need to have my tank pumped?"
Not that often. An average family will need their tank pumped every two to five years.

But best advice is to pump it only when your tank needs it. There are many variables that will affect the needs of your system:
  • Tank size
  • System Types
  • System/Tank age
  • Family size
  • Family habits
Holidays, parties, events, cooking styles also have an impact on septic systems.

If there are no major changes in your household and your usage is stable, you may want to consider a regular pumping schedule for best results with the least worry.


"Can I use a garbage disposal?"
The answer is yes, sparingly.  The garbage disposal should not be used for the sole source of food scrap disposal.  Food scraps should be composted, fed to the dogs, or disposed of in the trash.  The introduction of food scraps can lead to rapid solids build-up in the system, leading to more frequent pump out intervals.  The gas produced by the decomposition of food wastes creates a sulfuric gas that will deteriorate the inside of concrete tanks.


"Where does the name JerNan come from?" 
The founder and owner of JerNan Septic and Rainwater Solutions is Jerry Snyder.  Since his wife, Nancy, is an integral part of the success of any business endeavor, Jerry chose a combination of their names: Jerry and Nancy.