Septic System Maintenance Contract

1,485 Views | 17 Replies | Last: 15 days ago by goatchze
NFSwanson
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I'm paying $285 for an annual septic system maintenance contract that is required by the County. I use Heatth Septic. I'm happy with the service I get but I was home recently when they arrived to perform the last of 3 yearly inspections and it took less than 10 minutes. So, for $285 a year I get no more than 30 minutes of labor. The annual contract is for maintenance and inspections only. Doesn't include repairs or materials. Wondering how this compares with other providers.
Would ja 91
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AG
I pay $575 a year for what sounds like the same service through A.S.I.M. I think you have one hell of a deal.
Cola8d8
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Heath does minor repairs such as replacing broke spray heads for "free" (included in the contract price). They just did that for me on my quarterly inspection about a week ago.

Edit: I pay the same $285/year.
Animal Eight 84
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AG
You can take a 2 day course and get certified to do the inspections yourself.
Tailgate88
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AG
If nothing is wrong it only takes 10 minutes to make sure your tanks aren't full and the sprinklers are working. So congrats on having no problems with your system.

Go out and talk to David next time. He is a good dude and has taken care of us for 20 years.
AG81
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AG
Animal Eight 84 said:

You can take a 2 day course and get certified to do the inspections yourself.


Yep, this. Easy.
jello123
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I'd like to have a link to the homeowner training. I've search but cannot locate it.
NateDog
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AG
Tailgate88 said:

If nothing is wrong it only takes 10 minutes to make sure your tanks aren't full and the sprinklers are working. So congrats on having no problems with your system.

Go out and talk to David next time. He is a good dude and has taken care of us for 20 years.
Although I don't do my own inspections & testing, I have completed the A&M AgriLife training, and am certified to do so (for my own system only). There is much more to a proper inspection than tank levels and sprinklers.

One thing that stands out to me is there should be a grab sample taken from the aeration tank, and that sample is supposed to be allowed to settle for 30 minutes, at which point the suspended solids level can be determined. There were multiple other tests such as pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorine level, etc. Plus the physical checks of things like sludge levels, air pump, diffuser...it's a pretty long list, going "by the book."

Maybe when you've been doing these inspections professionally for a while, you can "just tell" within a few minutes if the grab sample looks like it's going to be a problem. IIRC, there is also a fairly wide range of what's considered acceptable - only if it's really low or really high is it something that needs to be addressed.

Anyway, all that to say I don't see how everything we were trained on can be done properly in 10 minutes, but I do think a professional could absolutely tell within 10 minutes if your system has a serious problem or not.

Oh and after the training I quickly decided these inspections were the kind of "dirty job" I'd gladly pay someone else $300-400/yr to do
backinbcs
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We have used Heath for 14 years. Completely satisfied. We had an issue last night, close to an emergency issue. They were here at 9 this morning to take care of it. Done. Can't thank them enough.
histag10
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AG
Would ja 91 said:

I pay $575 a year for what sounds like the same service through A.S.I.M. I think you have one hell of a deal.


Sounds like you are getting ripped off. We pay $285 to Christian Wastewater. Every company we checked with was $285
maddiedou
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NFSwanson said:

I'm paying $285 for an annual septic system maintenance contract that is required by the County. I use Heatth Septic. I'm happy with the service I get but I was home recently when they arrived to perform the last of 3 yearly inspections and it took less than 10 minutes. So, for $285 a year I get no more than 30 minutes of labor. The annual contract is for maintenance and inspections only. Doesn't include repairs or materials. Wondering how this compares with other providers.


Well I guess if he was your neighbor and walked out of his house and checked your septic 285.00 a year would be alottle extreme

But the fact that it probably takes at least 30 min to drive to your house and then 30-44 to next job
Gas ,car insurance, taxes ,liability insurance ,secretary , just a whole list that goes on and on
Animal Eight 84
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AG
jello123 said:

I'd like to have a link to the homeowner training. I've search but cannot locate it.
Texas Engineering Extension Service TEEX coordinates it.

https://teex.org/class/www301/

Most recent class in a Brazos County was October 2021.
agdad01
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I use Jay Porter with A-Tex. Cost is $225 per year. Contact 281-541-9564. Have used for 3 years and he does a good job. Have had to have a few repairs and he has been very reasonable.
InMyOpinion
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Tailgate88 said:

If nothing is wrong it only takes 10 minutes to make sure your tanks aren't full and the sprinklers are working. So congrats on having no problems with your system.

Go out and talk to David next time. He is a good dude and has taken care of us for 20 years.
This times 1000. David installed and serviced my septic for 14 years. Made minor repairs as needed without charges. Always willing to answer any questions and very prompt on the 2 occasions I needed immediate help.

Abbyag06
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Another + for Heath. Been using them for over 10 years. $285 for annual contract, always comes out same day or next and minor repairs are free. David is super nice and his staff are good. I'm completely happy with their service.
befitter
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Yup. We have used Heath since 1999. Fixes minor things and always shows up first thing when there is a problem.
goatchze
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AG
NateDog said:

Tailgate88 said:

If nothing is wrong it only takes 10 minutes to make sure your tanks aren't full and the sprinklers are working. So congrats on having no problems with your system.

Go out and talk to David next time. He is a good dude and has taken care of us for 20 years.
Although I don't do my own inspections & testing, I have completed the A&M AgriLife training, and am certified to do so (for my own system only). There is much more to a proper inspection than tank levels and sprinklers.

One thing that stands out to me is there should be a grab sample taken from the aeration tank, and that sample is supposed to be allowed to settle for 30 minutes, at which point the suspended solids level can be determined. There were multiple other tests such as pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorine level, etc. Plus the physical checks of things like sludge levels, air pump, diffuser...it's a pretty long list, going "by the book."

Maybe when you've been doing these inspections professionally for a while, you can "just tell" within a few minutes if the grab sample looks like it's going to be a problem. IIRC, there is also a fairly wide range of what's considered acceptable - only if it's really low or really high is it something that needs to be addressed.

Anyway, all that to say I don't see how everything we were trained on can be done properly in 10 minutes, but I do think a professional could absolutely tell within 10 minutes if your system has a serious problem or not.

Oh and after the training I quickly decided these inspections were the kind of "dirty job" I'd gladly pay someone else $300-400/yr to do
The 30 minute settleable solids test is not required, so omitting doesn't mean you're not going "by the book".

As previously stated, an inspection should only take 10 minutes or so. If it takes longer, it's because you're addressing an issue or performing maintenance, not because you are inspecting.

That said, James Heath is who installed my system; they're good people and who I would recommend if someone wants a service contract.

If someone is interested in doing their own inspections, just contact the County Health Department. That's who regulates it and they can provide you with the steps and forms. You'll have to take a basic maintenance provider course which runs about $500 bucks now. I recommend TOWA.
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