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Local Articles in Galveston

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 Services in Galveston, TX

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

911 Restoration of Houston

6212 Evergreen Street

A-Dependable Plumbing

421 CR 3997

AAA Action Septic Service LLC

361 Bedias Drive

AAM & Associates

2950 Unity 572404

Ace Rock and Soil

12247 FM 1097 West

Ace Septic & Plumbing Co

20240 Old Sorters Rd

AES Septic, LLC

8215 FM 1488 Road, Suite 5

AK Utilities

310 Morton St

All American Septic

8514 Pines Place Dr

All Coast Home Inspections

9230 lee ln

All Star septic & lift stations

19343 Timberland blvd

Allspann Construction Services

119 Magnolia Blvd

American Plumbing Co.

3205 Windsor Street



B & C Plumbing

22780 Cypresswood Dr

Battle Plumbing Company

741 W 1462 S

Bay Cam Plumbing

Houston Metro
Deer Park


13807 CEDAR ST
Santa Fe

Big D Services Plumbing and Remodeling

902 Spring Heights Dr

Braz Construction

2511 Edgedale Dr
Missouri City



C&C Plumbing

13338 Scamp Dr

Ceaser's Septics

11414 Quietlane st.

Charlie's Plumbing

1309 Pennsylvania St

Clinton Plumbing Group

21414 Julie Marie Ln Ste 801

Elite Excavation & Bulkheads

20735 Squaw Valley Trl



J & L Fix It All

18482 Kuykendahl Road

J&D Total Home Care

21730 Park Brook Dr

J&G Plumbing

17326 Edsall Drive

John Moore Services

10005 W Sam Houston Pkwy N


12508 28TH ST.
Santa Fe

M&L home remodeling

12250 fm 3436

McFadden and Associates

PO Box 62229

Number One Plumbing

5335 Myrtlewood Dr

Pirate Plumbing and Renovation

9001 Glacier Ave
Texas City

Pleasant Plumbing

6319 West Creek Dr

Plumberman Services

600 Kenrick Dr. #B11

Plumbing Systems of Conroe

18272 walding rd

Quatro Builders Llc

2004 Mckee ST

RCC Group

1095 Evergreen Circle Suite 200
The Woodlands

Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Services

3403 N Sam Houston Pkwy W

ServiceMaster Restoration by Century

32014 Tamina Dr

Sewer Services of Texas

15024 Old Houston Road


P.O. Box 496




South Houston

U Gotta Guy

5315B Cypress Creek Pkwy

Zander Homes

P.O. Box 3453

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