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"We had a minor back up and Able was recommended by a neighbor. When I called, the folks I had contact with at the office were very friendly and helpful. The next" day, and showed up and these guys are the best. and really know their job. It is such a pleasure to watch real pros at work and it was such a wonderful learning experience for me. They were truly happy to share their knowledge with me so I could better understand how my system works and how to keep it working. Able starts with A and that is the quality of the service they provide.

-Douglas B.

"They did an excellent job at a reasonable charge. It took a long time to even find the septic tank, then he had to dig down to open. After finishing his work he" replaced the dirt and grass and cleaned up the area. I am very grateful.

-Kathy H.

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Local Articles in Asheville

Septic tank

How To Maintain a Septic System

A contractor describes how to properly maintain your septic system and drain field. Here are five tips to help.

man flushing septic system

Septic Systems

Septic systems are commonly used in rural areas and sometimes in areas not served by a municipal sewage system. Septic systems absorb household sewage and distribute the liquid waste into a designated leach field where natural processes can reclaim it. However, solid wastes and grease must be pumped out of the septic system periodically.

plumber lowering camera into sewer pipe

A backed up toilet, sink or shower can cause a homeowner to run to their computer for the first plumber’s number they can find.

Septic tank worker on the job

Don't ignore a foul smell coming from your septic tank. The problem will only get worse.

professional septic tank pumper cleaning residential tank

Follow these safety precautions when working on or near your septic system.

septic tank distribution box (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Do you believe these septic tank suburban legends?

Angie's Answers


In almost all areas, you have to get a permit from the county or city to rebuild a septic tank or leach field - permit cost typically $150-600, though can reach $2000 in some areas for a new installation. The reason is they will then come out and inspect the installation and review the test results from the civil engineer, from whom a design and soil percolation test and construction inspection report will be required before they issue an operating permit.

If you have a question on the process, the county or city most likely has a permit requirements info sheet on their website describing the process and requirements - googel your locale name combined with a search phrase like this - leach field test

The real reason a permit is required is to be sure an engineer designs the field, that the leach field is designed to match the existing soil conditions, and that it is built to the design so hopefully it will neither break through to the surface, contaminate the groundwater, nor contaminate nearby wells or waterways, thereby creating a public nuisance and health hazard.

The reason for the initial presale infiltration capacity test you had done is to provide some assurance to the buyer that the system is likely to work as needed, at least for the forseeable future, and is based on the number of bedrooms and sometimes number of bathrooms in the house as the basis for estimating the "load" the system is likely to see. There are different tests in different locales - some use a minimal criteria of 3 or 4 gpm flow for 20 minutes, other use the more common design guide of 150gpd (gallons per day) per bedroom in the house- some prorated for a 1 hour period, some far more strict by requiring a 24 hour test. 300 gallons in 45 minutes is an extremely stringent criteria - I would check with the buyilding department that this is right, because this adds up to a rate of 9600 gallon sper day - of about 64 bedrooms worth of capacity ! I am sure I have never ever seen that strict a criteria for a residential (as opposed to resort/ hotel/ commercial) septic system, so I would check that the tester did not somewhere add a zero to the volume to be pumped or something.

Also, returning water is not a viable basis for failing the test - the proper way to conduct a test is to pump the specified amount of water, and verify that the water level at the discharge pipe has returned to the original level by the end of the specified time - usually to the invert (bottom) of the pipe, but generally a conditional or "warning" approval will be given to one that does not raise the water table above the top of the 4" discharge pipe during the test time. You might discuss this with the civil engineer before going ahead with a new leach field construction - to me it sounds like the test may have been rigged to fail,, because in-service leach fields would not take 300 gallons of water without raising the water level to the top of the pipe for a period, even though they could take that flow for an extended period ot time.


I would guess that the wrong term was used to describe your problem. What was probably meant was that the leach field was saturated. This is to say that the soil around your leach field is saturated with solids from the septic tank and you may have to have it replaced. If you do not have the tank pumped often enough this can happen as well as just aging of the system. Many people ignore the septic till there is a problem do to out of sight out of mind or the false belief they are saving money. If you have a large family you may have to have the tank pumped every 2 or three years. Some of the towns around here have passed laws to that effect to avoid such problems.



There should be no growth other than grass on your leach field - for brush, bushes or trees use the kill-all Roundup herbicide to kill off the entire plant. For roots intruding from outside the leach field, use a root killer like RootX once or twice a year - I would do two treatments a month apart initially if you have root problems. Unfortunately, just killing the roots is not going to solve the problem you currently have, because they decay extremely slowly or not at all in a leach field due to the saturated and greasy conditions - they are almost embalmed in the sludge. If you have a significant problem, you may have to kill them, then get them routed out. This can be a $500-1000 job depending on how your field is designed and how accessible the inlets of the field distribution pipes are.

Septic Tank Cleaning reviews in Asheville


Their business card says "No job too small." That is a joke. They did well on the three week job last year but after they looked at the small job on my washed out driveway they never returned except to dump a large load of dirt at the bottom of my driveway which has there for 5 months much to the annoyance of my neighbors. ...More They were called numerous times. The same story every time. We are really busy or behind schedule or sick but we will certainly be there by next Friday. I have heard that same story over and over. At any rate, I have resorted to moving the dirt myself. If you have a big, big job, this guys may be okay. Anything else, leave them alone. They are very undependable!
- Joe M.

I first called about ten years ago when my septic tank backed up. They came out and repaired it. Ever since then when ever we have a plumbing problem I call at and she sends out someone and they get us going. About a week ago we found out from the water dept that we have a leak ...More between the water meter and the house. Then we got a very substantial water bill. Ouch. I called and she said with the freezing weather and so many customers she would try to get someone out asap. Meanwhile I thought I would try this site on the internet (just to see) how much they would charge to find the leak, that is apparently all they do. They wanted close to 700.00 just to find it! Fortunately Sr came out, found the leak and repaired it for $200.00! They are the very best family owned plumbers I have ever found. They are honest, hardworking and always try their best to save me money. You cannot find better plumbing company, anywhere.
- Lou M.

There were no 'ts to the experience. He was prompt, thorough and his report was clearly delivered.
He repaired the area he dug up and I would recommend him and his company.

Very prompt and professional- did what they promised at the agreed price and didn't try to sell us products or services we didn't need. Did a great job
- dawson M.

Of course, it was just before Memorial Day weekend that the toilet stopped up! I had called another plumber, and he was unable to come till the following week, so he gave me 's name. answered the phone, changed his schedule to come promptly, fixed the problem, and all the time was personable and helpful.
- Barbara N.

Told him over the phone that we were buying house and not sure where the septic tank was, so wanted to have it located and pumped/inspected. He showed up 45 minutes late, unapologetic. Found likely location of tank and halfway probed the area, but kept complaining about how dry and hard the yard was. Effort was so pitiful that I politely offered ...More to help. He then said that only way to find it would be to flush a small electric "beacon" down the toilet and then locate with a sensor in the yard, but the sensor would cost $150 if he was unable to retrieve. Feeling that we had no choice, we said okay. Beacon was flushed, then located in yard at stopping point. Again Mr. probed with little effort, complaining some more. Then he said that the tank was too deep (3-4'?) and too hard to hand dig, that we would have to pay for beacon (in addition to $250), and get a backhoe to remove dirt before he could pump/inspect tank, with additional charges for his return. The yard had grass, and the dirt was dry but not "harder" than any other yard, so I even politely offered to dig the hole for him. From the moment he arrived he was very impatient and irritable, but at this point he got very temperamental. I asked him why he would get so mad when I was offering to dig the hole, and it just escalated from there. He was very threatening and my female friend ended up giving him a check, despite my opposition, just to get him to leave. Because he had not accomplished anything, we tried to cancel check within 30 minutes, but he had apparently gone straight to nearest bank and cashed already. Afterwards checked with another business referral network and many complaints have been filed. He has a big yellow page ad with "guaranteed lowest price" but this is the bait - probably not much repeat business. Extremely rude and unprofessional.
- Sid B.

Aweful customer service. He complained about his back hurting while digging the access hole, then convinced me not to fill in the hole and leave the tank uncovered so we could drill an access hole into the top of the lid. He left the solids and sludge on our lawn, stinking up the outside for days until it dried up. Overall, the job felt rushed, like ...More he didn't want to be there, and his recommendations were more about getting my money and quickly getting out of there than objective recommendations. On the weekend while trying to make the hole safe for a party I discovered a 1/2" gap between the lid and the septic wall. Dirt kept falling into the tank through the gap. When I called, he told me it was normal for a homemade system and to just pack it with dirt. When I said any dirt I put in there just fell through, he kept repeating it was normal. I asked him to come out and put the lid on properly, but he refused. I wound up using several shovels to shift the lid into place myself.
- Trevor L.

There were four people doing the work and they did show up on time. The people on the phone when I called to get an estimate were very nice. They price was so cheap. I jumped at the opportunity for them to do the work for me after I asked them a few questions. They were able to answer all of my questions and they explained the process very well. They ...More seemed to know what they were doing. They ended up doing a good job for me.

Septic Tank Services in Asheville

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

A Rooter King Inc

PO Box 6235

A&D Construction

26 Hogan Dr

Aaa Septic Tank Cleaning Service

11 Cureton Pl



Ace Construction Enterprises

P.O. Box 244

All About Plumbing & Septic

PO Box 1041

Appalachian Excavations

30 Westgate Parkway

Blevins Construction, Inc

319 Roaring Spout Ln

Blue Ridge Construction

PO Box 2565

C & C Septic & Grading

722 Green Valley Rd

Carolina Construction and paving

30 Old 19 23 Hwy



CLJ Maintenance Inc

PO Box 2013

Darrell Burnette Grading & Excavating

20 campfire lane


18 Spring Hill Drive

Handy Home Helpers

112 Dollie Case Ln

Haywood Rockyard

2221 Jonathan Creek Rd



Larry's Handyman Services

3042 Holly Hill Rd



M & M Plumbing Company

3441 Bevard Road

MB HAYNES Corporation

187 Deaverview Rd

Mike's Septic Tank Service Inc

80 Harold Sluder Rd

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Haywood

130 Lopes Cir

Nemec Construction, LLC

2130 HWY 70

New Dream Renovations

10 Freno Dr

Pinnacle Grading Co Inc

11103 Pinnacle Mountain Rd

Price Well and Pump

914 Chambers Mountain Rd

Shipman's Handyman Svc

1195 Bee Tree Rd

T's Construction and Property Preservation

111 N Mapleton Dr
East Flat Rock

Tanner Plumbing LLC.

72 Chelsea Nix Ln

Total Home Maintenance

501 Dennis St

Weaverville Plumbing

PO Box 483

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