Septic Tank Cleaning & Pumping in Portland

To safely remove wastewater from your home, your septic tank stores waste until bacteria breaks it down and the liquid inside the tank goes into the drainfield (also called a “soil absorption field”). The drainfield—a series of perforated pipes that slope down from the septic tank—expels the liquid into the ground, naturally removing any harmful bacteria or viruses.

When inside the tank, the waste breaks down into 3 layers:

  • Scum: Oils and greases that float to the top of the tank and get trapped in a special compartment
  • Liquid: The remaining liquid waste (known as effluent) that gets expelled to the drainfield
  • Sludge: Solids that settle at the bottom of the tank

Like other systems in your home, septic tank systems need regular maintenance to prevent issues and efficiently do their job.

At Alpha Environmental, our professionals have the knowledge, training and tools to properly clean or pump a septic tank. View our septic tank services or contact us today to schedule a free estimate from one of the most reliable septic tank cleaning companies in Portland.

Importance of Septic Tank Maintenance

Regular septic tank maintenance does for your septic system what changing the engine oil does for your car: it helps the system run optimally and prevents problems.

Regular septic maintenance will:

  • Help your system run more efficiently. Routine maintenance ensures a healthy ecosystem in your septic tank, which allows the bacteria inside it to effectively break down waste.
  • Prevent buildups and backups. Routinely clearing out the waste inside your septic tank removes any scum or sludge that may have started building up inside your tank—and would have caused a blockage or backup.
  • Catch any issues before they become serious problems. When a professional inspects your septic tank, they can tell you if any problems exist so you can fix them before they get worse. They can also advise you on any unhealthy septic habits you may need to change.
  • Prevent expensive repairs or cleanings. By catching problems early on, you’ll prevent them from becoming massive issues that can only be fixed with expensive repairs or cleanings. Plus, you’ll save yourself from having to repair any damage to your property.

How to Maintain Your Septic Tank

The best way to maintain your septic tank is with regular septic tank pumpings. Pumpings will help prevent any serious issues that would have to be solved by a septic tank cleaning.

We’ll go over the difference between cleanings and pumpings.

Septic Tank Pumping

A septic tank pumping removes only liquids, scum and floating solids from the septic tank. This process helps improve your septic tank’s ecosystem, which consists of bacteria and enzymes that keep the system running smoothly.

We recommend a septic tank pumping every three to five years to prevent any issues that will likely require a septic tank cleaning.

Septic Tank Cleaning

A septic tank cleaning is a much more intensive process than a septic tank pumping. A cleaning involves removing everything from the septic tank, including the sludge (solids) settled at the bottom.

Septic tank cleanings are usually only done when trying to fix issues. A cleaning essentially resets the septic system, removing everything inside it and allowing it to run as if new.

Signs You Need a Septic Tank Cleaning or Pumping

Without regular septic maintenance, the sludge and scum inside your tank will build up and cause problems like:

  • Strong, foul odors coming from the tank
  • Gurgling or slow drains
  • Wastewater backing up into sinks or tubs
  • Standing water or muddy soil near the tank or drainfield
  • Exceptionally green grass near the drainfield

If you notice any of the signs above near your septic system, you likely need a septic tank pumping or cleaning.

Contact Us for Septic Tank Maintenance in Portland

If any of the signs above look familiar, you probably need a septic tank pumping or cleaning. Call Alpha Environmental at (503) 292-5346 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate.

Septic tank systems are tanks that use anaerobic bacteria to decompose and purify organic wastewater (or sewage.) It’s an airtight tank that, if not emptied on a regular basis, can cause sewage backup or leakage into the surrounding ground area or home. They’re an alternative to traditional sewage lines when it comes to disposing of your household’s waste.

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Why Choose Alpha Environmental

Our goal is to get the job done right while protecting our client. We are committed to ensuring you are safe in your residence, no matter what. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and here to help with all of your environmental needs.

Family Owned & Operated

We pride ourselves on strong company values that translate into service levels which go above and beyond average service providers

21+ Years Experience

For over two decades we've been doing the dirty work, serving residential and commercial customers in the greater Portland area

Care & Ownership

Our entire team is committed to ensuring your home or place of business is safe and every job gets done the right way

David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!
Kristen L.
Portland, OR
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Wow where do I even begin?? We’re absolutely thrilled by the work Alpha has done for us and we’re eternally grateful to them for ridding our house of asbestos tile! They’re polite, kind, professional — from estimator Filo to manager Dame to Jake, Melvin and the other two guys on the crew (so sorry we didn’t get your names) — you guys are awesome and we so appreciate your help. Our house looks amazing. The peace of mind you’ve given us is priceless. We can’t thank you enough. We’ll certainly be in back in touch if we ever need any of your services again. Thank you thank you!!!
Jeff S.
Salem, OR
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Alpha environmental's employees were punctual, pleasant to work with and there services are reasonably priced. I highly recommend them because I would use them again in the future.
Lea C.
Tualatin, OR
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Took a water sample in for lead testing and they were so fast and helpful. Rodolfo was so nice and informative in explaining the testing and what it meant! Would definitely recommend everyone to go there and will go to them for any future needs!
Claire B.
Portland, OR
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Alpha environmental was extremely helpful in navigating me through the process of testing some leftover construction debris for asbestos so I could take it to the dump. Their office manager spent time with me on the phone discussing the options for sample collection, and was extremely friendly in answering my many questions. Sample drop off at the office was easy and the results even came back a few days earlier than expected. Will definitely return if I need more sampling done!
Jeff C.
Tigard, OR
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I would highly recommend anyone wanting, quick efficient services relating to environmental testing to check out Alpha Environmental. Not only was the staff friendly and responsive, but also professional! If I could 6 stars out of 5, I would!
Jotham P.
Portland, OR
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We used Alpha Environmental Services to conduct our home inspection, radon testing, sewer scope and oil tank decommissioning. Every part of their service was really professional. They took so many great photos of the house during the inspection and offered lots of explanation on what they found. Great team. Highly recommend!
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