Did you know that most septic tanks need to be cleaned every 3 to 5 years ?  It's true no matter the size or how much additive you put in the tank.  Household water usage, type of system and number of residents are the main factors to consider when determining when you should have your septic tank cleaned.  Regular septic tank cleaning helps to keep your septic system working properly and can help prevent costly repairs and replacement.
Most septic systems are simple systems that consist of one tank and lateral/filter field, however, this being said no two septic tanks are identical due to site characteristics, age of the tank and installer preferences.  This is why we prefer that you the homeowner are present when we clean your tank, that way if you have us uncover the tank we can show you the location of the tank and help you to understand how your system works. 

Uncovering Your Septic Tank

Many homeowners uncover, their tanks before in order to save time and money, or if there is any special landscaping over the area (we try to be as gentle to your yard as possible but we are not gardners).  If  you decide to uncover you tank, here are some tips to help:
1) The first thing to know is where it is, in some cases the yard may be different directly on top of the tank, look for an area that either the grass is growing much faster or has browned out  ususally in a circle pattern.  Finding out where the main pipe leaves the house is also a good tool in determing what part of  your yard your tank is in. 
2) The depth of the main pipe will determine the depth of the tank, the tank will be about 6"-12" above the pipe. 
3) The manufacturer of your tank will determine where you need to dig, but for most tanks the center is a good place to aim in order to find the clean out plug (the pictures show a few of the different types of plugs).  There should be 2-3 access plugs on your tank, one where the inlet pipe(from the house), one in the center, and one where the outlet pipe leaves the tank.  Your tank may differ, depending on the age and type of your septic system.   Some tanks have risers that allow access to the tank without any digging neccessary.