Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about our services, and what’s safe for your septic system.

Contact us
  • General
  • Septic System
  • Septic Installations
  • Septic Systems Repairs
  • Septic Tanks

What areas do you serve?

We provide services in Medicine Hat, Brooks, Cypress County, County of Forty Mile, County of Newell, just to name a few.

How much do your services cost?

We offer a variety of services starting at $299 for our septic system checkup, with prices ranging upwards based on the needs of your system.

Do you guarantee your services?

Yes, we not only support all manufacturer’s warranties on the equipment we sell and install, but we also extend our 20-year Workmanship Guarantee on all installations.

Can I wait to have this fixed?

No, septic system issues are progressive and have usually been happening for some time by the time they are noticed. Waiting to repair your system can lead to more costly effects, such as damage to your property, home, irreversible damage to your system, and even health risks.

Do you offer financing?

Yes, we have partnered with a financial services provider that can approve you within minutes, turning any repair into a low monthly payment.

Why is septic service so expensive?

When contacting various contractors, the far too often solution is a full system replacement, which can be very expensive. At Septic Medic, we find the root of the problem and offer repair and remediation services, which are far more cost-effective.

Are you qualified and insured?

Insurance is a complicated matter. We are fully insured for all tasks within our scope, proving it with every job. When hiring a contractor for your system, you have the right to ask them to prove their insurance. Hiring an uninsured contractor can leave you responsible for damages or in a lengthy court case. We attend certification and training programs through various organizations (AOWMA) and are certified through the Alberta Government (Department of Municipal Affairs) to provide you with the best solutions.

How long does a septic system last?

The average lifespan of an optimally running septic system is 20–40 years before requiring replacement. With advanced treatment technology and proper maintenance, the life of your system can be indefinite.

Are septic fumes harmful?

Yes, fumes and gases from septic systems, created from the breakdown of organic materials, can contain H2S, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, CO2, and methane. Entry into a septic tank should only be performed by qualified personnel with the appropriate equipment.

How does a septic system work?

A septic system collects household wastewater in a septic tank, separating solids, scum, and effluent. Effluent then passes into a drainfield, naturally filtered by soil bacteria before returning to the environment.

Are water softeners bad for septic systems?

Water softeners introduce a large volume of water quickly into the septic tank, causing unwanted mixing and reducing separation time. This can lead to pump failures and siphon blockages. Salt can also form restrictive layers in the soil, affecting infiltration rates.

Is drain cleaner bad for septic systems?

Where possible, use natural products. Enzyme-based cleaners are recommended, as harsh chemicals can damage septic tanks and essential bacteria.

Is bleach bad for my septic system?

Yes, harsh chemicals like bleach can kill essential bacteria needed for breaking down wastewater effluent.

Are laundry pods safe for septic systems?

The overall safety of laundry pods is currently unknown. The plastic material in pods may return to solid form in the drain field. If used, look for pods labeled as septic-safe.

What factors need to be considered when designing a septic system?

Consider local codes, household size, soil testing, septic system type, and client budget when designing a septic system.

What is included in septic system design?

Septic system design includes tank type and size, field design, pump sizing, piping specifications, accessories like alarms, and compliance with local regulations.

Can a septic system be repaired in winter?

Yes, but winter repairs can be more costly. Take preventative measures, such as pumping the tank in fall or having a health check in summer or fall, to avoid winter issues.

Why have I never heard of septic system repair?

Many companies focus on full system replacements, neglecting newer technology for repairs. Septic Medic prioritizes repair and remediation, staying updated with evolving wastewater management technology.

My pump failed, and I found one on sale. Will it work?

Pumps are complex and require proper sizing for factors like head pressures and lift heights. Installing the wrong pump can be detrimental to your system.

Do septic tanks freeze in winter?

Typically, no. Septic tanks are buried at a depth where temperature and flowing water mitigate freezing. Pipes leading to the tank and drain field may freeze, but can be repaired.

Will my septic tank work without power?

Gravity flow/siphon systems operate without power, but pump-style systems require power. Alarms also won’t work without power.

Why is my alarm going off?

The alarm indicates unsafe tank levels, caused by issues like pump failure, power failure, or blockages. Prompt attention is needed to prevent backups or tank overflow.

What are the most common septic problems?

Common problems include blockages from non-biodegradable materials, slow drains or backups, chemicals killing bacteria, float failure, and electrical failure. Prevent issues by avoiding non-biodegradable materials and harsh chemicals.

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Depending on the system’s size versus current occupants, we recommend pumping every 2–3 years.

What is the difference between a septic tank and a holding tank?

A holding tank simply holds wastewater and requires regular pumping when full. A septic tank includes processes, discharging wastewater to a treatment field and needing emptying every 2–3 years.