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Local Articles in Wheat Ridge

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.

Gravel dumped on septic system construction site

Dear Angie: We’re looking to purchase a new home that will need a septic system. How much will it cost to buy and install one? – Robert S., Washington, Illinois

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.

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 Wheat Ridge, CO

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

$99 Rooter LLC

1694 W Hamilton Pl

911 Restoration

4590 Ensenada Street

911 Restoration

35769 Elkridge Run

A Mile Hi Sewer And Drain Cleaning Co. LLC

4655 South Julian St

A-Family Plumbing

56192 E Briarwood Pl

Absolute Diversified Services

P.O. BOX 622
Castle Rock

Absolute Diversified Services, LLC

P.O. Box 622
Castle Rock

Adams County Sewer Service

32 N 7th Ave

Anthony Biddulph Construction

5300 S. Greenwood St

Art's Septic Service

16373 County Road 28


1848 S YANK PL

Aurora Plumber

3131 S Vaughn Way

Ben Franklin Plumbing

2555 S Santa Fe Dr Unit J

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

363 W Evans Ave

Boise Plumber

950 Bannock Street

Brian Simons Inc

715 S Picadilly Rd

BulletProof Plumbing & Heating

995 S Field St

Colorado Construction Group

5411 W 97th PL

Colorado Custom Backhoe

9885 W Wesley Ave

Commercial Plumbing Co.

5255 Memphis St


5107 W 9TH ST

Denver Plumber

7900 East Union Avenue

Discount Plumbing Services

13046 County Road 8

Drain Genius LLC

1550 W 37th Ave

E&C Precast Concrete, Inc.

9608 N Moore Rd

Element Construction Co

921 Caribou Dr W

Everyday Solutions

707 Partridge Circle

Everyday Solutions

610 Meadow View Dr


PO BOX 1657
Wheat Ridge

Front Range Video Inspection

8060 S. Kendall Blvd

Greater Western Plumbing

4180 Ammons St
Wheat Ridge

HomeTeam Inspection Service

P.O. Box 64
Castle Rock



Jewell Custom Carpentry Inc

637 Voiles Dr


3879 E 120th


PO BOX 1176

Kim Bevill

9092 Kenwood Court
Highlands Ranch

Mr. Rooter of Denver & Northern Colorado

3801 Godding Hollow Pkwy



Peaks to Plains Construction

964 Mountain View Dr
Castle Rock


3003 Valmont Rd, Lot 221

Pro-Active Sewer & Drain

P.O. Box 7222

Quick's Hoe

1460 E 64th Ave

Ray's Backhoe Service

6698 McCall Dr


PO BOX 1697
Idaho Springs

Rocky Mountain Plumbers

2860 Steele St

Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Services

4615 Town Center Dr
Colorado Springs

Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Services

6701 E 50th Ave
Commerce City

sanford and sons

34708 paiute road

Sewer Scope LLC

885 Parfet st

Sewer Solutions LLC

992 S. 4th Ave #100/140




2106 E 115th Pl

Urban Plumbing and Heating LLC

8451 Welby Rd.

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