Septic Tank Replacement

Repair/replacement services

Septic Repairs and Installation in Mooresville, NC

Does my septic tank need to be replaced?

If so, you will need a reputable septic repair service company, like Lentz Wastewater Management. 

Did you know….

Houses built before 1970 typically installed septic tanks constructed of manmade cinder block,rock (aka cesspools) or metal tanks. We quickly learned that we needed to use more durable material such as concrete or plastic.  

Although we still see these types of tanks today, they commonly need to be replaced due to deterioration.

The Septic Tank
  • The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container that’s usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The primary purpose of the tank is to separate the solids and greases from the liquid waste. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow heavy solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease floats to the top as scum. The septic tank contains anaerobic bacteria (these work without oxygen) which breaks down the solids and greases. Some undigested solids are left in the bottom of the septic tank (sludge). These solids must be pumped from the tank on a regular basis. This pumping prevents solids from being carried into the drainfield and preserves the effective capacity of the tank. Grease, scum, and hair float to the top. A typical septic tank holds 1,000 gallons of liquid, is watertight, and is usually made of concrete, but can be made of fiberglass or plastic. The tank has internal baffles at the inlet and outlet which controls flow patterns.

  • Systems constructed before 1980ish  usually are single compartment tanks. Those installed after 1980 are usually two compartment tanks. This is important to know when having the septic tank pumped, as both compartments of a two-compartment tank need to be pumped.

There are various types of septic systems including gravity, chamber, pressure distribution and many more.  Typically the difference in septic systems lies in the way effluent is carried from the tank to the absorption field.  The most common component of all the different types of systems is the septic tank, itself. 

How often does a septic tank need to be replaced? 

Septic Tanks will not necessarily need to be replaced after a certain number of years.  Homeowners should not wait until they have problems to think about tank replacement.  Maintenance is key when it comes to your system.  Older septic systems that have been maintained continue to function appropriately today.  

A licensed septic inspector can inspect the condition of your system. He can tell you which specific type of soil absorption system you have. If the tank needs to be cleaned/pumped.  If there is evidence of bacterial problems- such as overly thick scum or solids buildup inside the tank. Regular septic system maintenance combined common “ septic sense” should give you many years of trouble-free use. If not maintained, your septic system may fail, requiring excavation and repair or replacement. 

Your septic system should last a very long time if properly designed, installed, and maintained. Neglected systems WILL FAIL. 


Septic System Life expectancy

Life Expectancy of Septic Systems and Their Components. How long does a septic tank last? How long does a septic leach field or drainfield last? What is the life expectancy of septic system piping, D-boxes, septic pumps, and other septic system components

The  life expectancy of septic systems and common septic system components largely depend on the materials used during initial installation.  The life expectancy of the drainfield depends on type of system (conventional gravity, pump system, etc), maintenance of system and soil conditions. 

Breakdowns to a septic system can happen as a result of old age, lack of proper maintenance, negligence and abuse. Repairs can be costly. The average septic system can last up to 30-50 years or more. Your system’s lifespan depends greatly on how well you maintain it.


What to do if you just moved into a new home with a septic system?

If you’ve just moved into a home with a septic tank you may have a lot of questions.  It is important to contact a septic pumping company and have your septic system pumped.  Most companies will provide a septic system evaluation that will tell you where the tank is located, the size of the tank and any immediate concerns.  For a more in depth evaluation of your septic system, it is recommended to have the septic system inspected by a licensed septic inspector.   A routine Septic inspection typically includes some of the following:

  • Determines Type of System and location of tank, absorption field and distribution boys(if applicable)

  • Septic Tank observations

    • Risers and lids- functional or damaged

    • Tank – flakes, cracks, crumbled, depth

    • Sanitary Tee – present without deterioration

    • Effluent Filter – present and functional

    • Effluent Level- scum and sludge levels

    • Tank Material – concrete, plastic, etc. 

  • Pump Tank Observations

    • Pump Chamber – functional

    • Electrical connections – functional

    • Floats – activation for effluent

    • Pump location

    • Alarm – functional

  • Absorption Area

    • located

    • Flow – functional flow from house to tank without backups or effluent flowing to ground surface

    • Cleanouts – visual, functional and in tact

    • Saturation – lush vegetation, wet/soggy area

Tips for a Healthy Septic System
  • Reduce the amount of waste-water that your system must treat and distribute . For example, spread laundry out over several days a week to reduce the waste-water and take stress off your septic system.

  • Check faucets and repair leaky faucets or constantly running toilets to reduce the amount of waste-water that must be processed by your septic system.

  • Divert surface water away from your septic tank and drain field.

  • Address saturated soil above your drainfield that keeps the system from adequately processing waste-water.

  • Have septic risers installed when needed to keep your septic tank accessible for pumping’s and inspections.

  • Septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years, in general. Yearly inspections can insure your system stays in working order.  If your drainfield has been invaded by solid waste material,  pumping the tank will not return it to working order.

  • Keep records of all system repairs, pumping’s, inspections, and other maintenance. These will be very beneficial when selling your home.

  • Take care when planting trees and shrubs. Deep rooted trees and shrubs can penetrate your leachfield pipes and chambers and strangulate the discharge flow.

  • Do not drive over your septic system or build decks, pools, buildings on top of the tank or absorption field. 

Steps to Take for a Septic Tank Replacement in North Carolina
  •  Contact Lentz Wastewater to get put on our schedule as an upcoming replacement.  We will help walk you through the process, every step of the way

  • Complete your counties required septic repair permit application.  See below for links to applications for counties surrounding Iredell.

    • If you are not the homeowner, have the homeowner sign the “Authorization to Act as Legal Representative Form”

  • Take the application to your local environmental health department. Fee schedules by county

    • A county inspector will visit the site and complete the permit for the tank replacement.  

  • Obtain a copy of the completed permit.   

  • Once we have a copy of the new permit issued by the health department, a written quote will be provided by Lentz Wastewater.  

  • NC utility locate services may be contacted

  • The health department will dictate if the existing tank will be pump, crushed and filled or pumped, crushed and hauled off. 

  • The health department also determines the size, material and the location of the new tank

For more information regarding Permits and fees, contact your local health department.