When Should You Replace Your Septic System?

Septic Systems Rocklin

Curious about septic system lifespan and how to determine when to replace it? The answer depends on the age of your septic system and the nature of the problem that has you considering replacement.

General Information

The average septic system’s lifespan is 25 – 30 years. The cost to purchase and install a new system ranges from $5,000 – $15,000. All septic solutions comprise two key parts: a tank and a drainfield (aka leach field). The tank is where waste settles to the bottom, and the drainfield is where the treated wastewater is dispersed. Interesting fact: 20 percent of US households use a septic system, and this number rises to 50 percent in southern states.

To Repair Or Replace

It’s common for your septic system to tell you when it’s time to consider repair or replacement. For example, you may wake up to discover a foul scent in your backyard. Or, your house might experience a sewage backup. When this happens, the first thing you should do is call NexGen Septics, serving California and Hawaii. Whether you have a residential septic system or a commercial septic system, our well-trained team will diagnose the problem and offer a solution.

Sewage in your home

If a backup results in sewage entering your home, the water level in your septic tank should be checked. It’s possible there’s a clog in the pipe connecting the tank to your house. This is something a plumber can fix. There’s also a chance that the pipe is broken. If this is the case, you’re probably looking at a few hundred dollars to remedy the problem.

If the problem lies within the tank itself, you should consider having the tank pumped – a project that runs $200 – $1000 depending on the size of the tank.

Drainfield issues

If the drainfield near your backyard smells bad or is soggy, a septic-tank pumping might solve the problem. Or, temporarily reduce your water usage and see if the drainfield returns to normal. A more serious problem is if the drainfield fails completely. This can happen if the septic tank isn’t pumped regularly, or it can occur when the septic system reaches a certain age.

When To Repair

Standing water in the drainfield, a foul odor in your backyard, or a backup in your home’s plumbing may simply be the result of a broken pipe. Or, depending on the complexity of your septic system, a part or two might require adjusting or replacing. For those people with a standard drainfield, it’s possible that the backup/soggy drainfield is due to a die-off of the bacteria that decomposes the waste because of the lack of oxygen. In this scenario, reducing system usage for a couple of weeks should facilitate bacteria growth and a return to normal functioning.

When To Replace

When a drainfield fails, there’s a good chance it’s beyond repair – which means a new septic system is in order. Whether you need to replace some or all of the system depends on the type of system you have, its age, and the condition of all components.

The passage of time is also cause for replacement. If your septic company provides periodic checkups and maintenance, they’ll tell you if the tank is developing cracks, piping is getting old, etc. Even the best septic systems expire, and eventually, a new setup will be required to ensure your safety and the value of your property.

For more information on septic systems, contact NexGen Septic. Our cutting-edge septic solutions deliver terrific fiscal and operational benefits to homes and businesses in California and Hawaii.

Why Proper Ventilation is Important for Septic Systems

Proper Ventilation for septic system in California

Proper ventilation is vitally important with any septic systems. Unfortunately, almost every homeowner has at some point smelled the “rotten egg” odor associated with the seeping septic gases that result from improper ventilation. Fortunately, NexGen Septics are here with some ventilation advice to help you avoid this discouraging situation.

Septic Tank Overview

Most septic tanks consist of a large concrete, steel, fiberglass, or poly container of around 1,000 gallons in volume. They are traditional buried underground near a house or commercial building. Connected to this tank are the pipes and toilets located in the nearby structure. When someone in the building flushes a toilet, the waste travels through the pipes and into the tank, where it settles at the bottom and decomposes. Meanwhile, the water flows to the local water treatment facility or a drain field.

A Septic Tank’s Vent

When empty, the septic tank is nothing more than a huge underground cavity that’s comprised mostly of air. The tank and its plumbing system are sealed, which means the air inside is trapped. However, as the tank fills with waste and water run-off, the air needs somewhere to go – otherwise, the pressure it creates will halt the flow of waste and back up the toilets, etc. in the adjacent home. This is why proper venting of a septic tank and the system are crucial. All of the gases are to be vented back through the house and out of the vents in the roof. Eliminating the odors that are often associated with a failing system or lack of ventilation.

Ventilation Speed

Since septic tanks function using gravity and nothing else, the frequency and speed with which air is ventilated depends on how fast the tank fills up – or on the flipside, dries out. But as long as the air has somewhere to go, flowage from the structure to the tank will continue like clockwork (absent some other form of blockage).

Odor Control

Since the odor coming from a septic tank is usually not a chronic problem, some people living or working in the vicinity of a tank are content to deal with periodic foul odors, as long as the system works. However, there are just as many people who would rather not indulge the smell, ever. For this group there are a few odor-control options:

Increasing The Vent Pipe’s Height

As mentioned earlier, the ventilation pipe is responsible for ventilating the air and gases from inside the septic tank. Increasing the height of this pipe makes it possible to release the odors at a higher level, one that ideally sees the ventilated air blown over the structure on a windy day.

Pruning Nearby Trees

Homes and buildings located in wooded areas can sometimes see this natural beauty work against them, in the form of the trees blocking dispersal of the ventilated air and gas. The solution to this problem is to prune nearby trees to open up better “ventilation paths” around the septic system.

Charcoal Vent Filter

This inexpensive solution involves attaching charcoal vent filter to the top of the existing ventilation pipe. A charcoal filter allows air and gases to continue passing through but removes the odor that accompanies them. This vent can also be attached to the home/business’s rooftop ventilation pipe, which serves as a secondary septic ventilation system, pulling odors up and out of the home and doing so above the roof line.

Contact NexGen Septics

For all of your septic system needs, contact NexGen Septics in Rocklin, CA. As a provider of some of the industry’s most advanced septic systems, our experienced team provides insight into septic system installation, maintenance, odor removal, and much more.

NexGen Customer Testimonial Video

Client Reviews about NexGen Septics

NexGen Customer Testimonial


“We needed to get a new system because we were pumping our septic tank about twice every couple months during the rainy season. We found out about NexGen from Gene Graves our contractor and we’d actually looked into a different system initially before we heard about Presby. I had to just read about it online. I went over to the other property and saw this Presby System going in.

You need to get something that you can forget about and that you are confident that’s going to work. It is your waste from your house and so you want to have an assurance about that system. I really hope that other people who need it, that they will use it because the benefits are great and we don’t have to worry about it anymore, which is huge.”

NexGen Septic System Products

septic system products

As a company at the forefront of innovative water treatment solutions, NexGen Septics provides some of the market’s most innovative septic system products. Let’s look closer at a few of the products that have established us a key player in eco-friendly septic systems for municipal, commercial, and residential applications.


EnviroFin is an inexpensive, easy-to-install, low-maintenance septic system solution that stands as one of the most cost-effective wastewater solutions currently on the market. Whereas the other Alternative Treatment Units available utilize mechanical devices and consume a considerable amount of electricity, EnviroFin’s passive, non-mechanical filtration for wastewater treatment and dispersal operates at a far more economical level in terms of install cost and ongoing maintenance/repairs.

The EnviroFin’s 10-stage treatment process confirms this system’s incredible durability, with the process being repeated over and over with close to zero maintenance needed once the EnviroFin is up and running. Comprised of just five core components, EnviroFin is one of the simplest water treatment solutions ever conceived, and yet its groundbreaking design positions it as an effective system for a huge variety of applications. In fact, EnviroFin’s simplicity renders it especially effective for tough projects such as those in difficult environments or with a zero lot line.

EnviroFin surpasses the water treatment standards established by NSF/ANSI 40, which is no surprise considering that it treats effluent by using passive cleaning technology and naturally-occurring bacteria. The system has already been green-lighted for Maine, Alabama, and New Hampshire, and is already running in California.

Advanced Enviro-Septic System

Similar to EnviroFin, the Advanced Enviro-Septic System from NexGen Septics is adaptable to a variety of needs across commercial, residential, and municipal sectors. And like EnviroFin, this progressive solution utilizes naturally-occurring bacteria to decontaminate effluent before releasing it back into the soil and into the water table.

For evidence of the Advanced Enviro-Septic System’s unparalleled cost-effectiveness, consider that a standard water treatment solution takes 2 – 7 days to install, whereas the Advanced Enviro-Septic System can be setup in as little as eight hours. And while standard solutions almost always require ongoing maintenance (and by extension, ongoing investment), with the Advanced Enviro-Septic System you don’t have to worry about maintenance or monthly fees, or electrical and additives for that matter. The result is an actual cost that’s less than half the expense of a standard water treatment system.

Simple yet sophisticated, the Advanced Enviro-Septic System provides superior longevity and durability while removing up to 99% of wastewater contaminants.


Why Only Professionals Should Install a Septic System

Rocklin Septic System Ditch

DIY projects are all the rage these days, but one job that NexGen Septics does not recommend for DIYers in and around Rocklin is septic system installation. Almost every facet of septic installation has some risk attached, including the ongoing maintenance required once the system is installed and that is why only professionals should install a septic system. Here are some of the key reasons why you should rely on an experienced septic installation company.

Risk of Pollution

Big pollution risks are attached to septic tank installation, and these risks can multiply if a non-trained person tries to tackle installation themselves. An improperly installed septic system is liable to leak sewage that could pollute nearby water sources: and not just the installer’s water, but the entire neighborhood. Collectively, these tainted water sources might affect hundreds or thousands of people. Heavy fines are levied against anyone who pollutes a municipal water source, accidentally or otherwise. Plus, even if an untrained installer is able to restrict the sewage to his own property, i.e. the sewage only surfaces above ground on the installer’s property, a fine is a distinct possibility.

Another thing to consider is that it’s very difficult to obtain a permit for septic system installation – and even if you do, it becomes a matter of public record. This could place you in a difficult position if a problem occurs.

Installation Complexity

Installing a septic system is a complicated process, even for a small home or business. Sure, there’s a single tank that requires accounting for, but there are many more parts and pieces to consider. The sheer complexity of just an average septic installation requires the kind of knowledge that’s only acquired through training and experience. For example, even with detailed instructions the average person would find it almost impossible to assemble the various control panels, pumps, blowers, floats, phone lines, electricity, and install them correctly so that there is no chance of leakage/pollution. Furthermore, once the system is installed, regular maintenance is also no easy task. There are water levels and bacteria counts to be concerned with, along with the creation of clear paths to the system so that maintenance workers can operate safely and efficiently.

Significant Investment

Everyone wants to reduce costs, especially homebuilders/homeowners who want to improve their homes without blowing their budget. Unfortunately, septic systems are expensive to purchase and install. With our Presby System, you are going to drastically cut down on your costs for your septic system. Moreover, the cost to repair an improperly installed/damaged septic system can be exorbitant, especially if waste pollution is involved.

A septic system’s components aren’t cheap, and they must be properly handled lest they become damaged before they’re even installed. The system itself takes many man-hours to install, which takes the DIYer away from family and work obligations. Maintaining the system – man-hours, chemicals, etc. – is another considerable cost to consider. When it comes down to it, the money a DIYer might save by purchasing and installing a septic system alone or with a few friends could pale in comparison to the investment required to fix problems that arise down the road. And believe us, without proper training, these problems are a very real possibility.

Experience, training, and professionalism makes NexGen Septics one of the premier septic system companies near Sacramento. Rather than assume heavy risk by trying to install a system by yourself, trust our team to do the job right the first time and prevent costly future headaches.

Adding Four Bedrooms, Doubling the Square Footage

Home Remodel Granite Bay

A mandatory onsite system upgrade came with a homeowner’s plans to add four bedrooms to his three-bedroom home in Granite Bay, California, and to expand the footprint from 3,640 to 8,500 square feet. The original 1979 trench-and-stone system also was in failure.

The homeowner hired his neighbor and general contractor, Gene Graves, for the remodel. Graves owns Excellent Construction and sister company, Sustainable Solutions, in Granite Bay. “I was in a quandary with this property,” he says. “Meeting setbacks for a creek, a large pond, a meandering swale, public utilities, and multipurpose easements ruled out a conventional onsite system.” The state also requires a reserve area.

Shell MacPherson, vice president of Sustainable Solutions, stated that septic plans for aerobic pretreatment with low-pressure drip and building plans had been submitted to the county. “It was a stopgap measure that enabled me to begin construction while researching alternative treatments that were more affordable and less maintenance-intensive,” Graves says.

Bob Crandall, then assistant executive officer for the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, introduced Graves to Advanced Enviro-Septic treatment-dispersal pipes from Presby Environmental Inc. (PEI). He also educated Placer County health officials about the technology. They approved it almost a year later in June 2017. By September, Graves installed the first Advanced Enviro-Septic system in the county.

Site conditions

Soils are sandy loam with a percolation rate of 14 minutes per inch. The 2.3-acre lot has a 9 percent slope.

System components

MacPherson designed the system to handle 1,050 gpd. Major components are:

2,000-gallon two-compartment septic tank, no effluent filter (Georgetown Precast)

1,500-gallon dose tank with model PF100512 1/2 hp effluent pump in Biotube pump vault (Orenco Systems)

Concrete distribution box with velocity reduction

360 feet of Advanced Enviro-Septic treatment-dispersal pipes, vented (PEI)

781 square feet of ASTM C33 washed concrete sand with no more than 2 percent fines passing a No. 200 sieve

Simplex control panel with alarm (Orenco Systems).

System operation

Wastewater flows by gravity 46 feet through a 4-inch ABS house lateral to the septic tank, then to the dose tank. (Graves will adjust the pump cycles and volume once the homeowners take occupancy.) Doses travel 55.5 feet through a 1.25-inch PVC pipe that rises 15 feet and ends in a 90-degree velocity reduction tee in the distribution box. Flow equalizers in the box distribute effluent equally to two serial 180-foot-long sections in an elevated bed. The first section has six 30-foot laterals, and the second has two rows of 30-foot laterals and three rows of 40-foot laterals. Spacing is 1.5 feet on center.

Each 12-inch Advanced Enviro-Septic tube has a corrugated, perforated plastic pipe where treatment begins. Ridges on the pipes increase surface area and circulate effluent uninterrupted, cooling it to ground temperature. Skimmers at each perforation help retain grease and suspended solids, protecting the three outer textile layers from clogging.

The inner first layer of white Bio-Accelerator develops the biomat, screens more solids, and evenly distributes effluent along the length of the laterals. The second layer, a mat of coarse green plastic fibers, traps more solids and creates a massive suspended growth area for aerobic bacteria. The third and outer layer of black geotextile fabric protects the inner layers and provides more surface area for nutrient uptake. As the sand bed wicks liquid from the fabric, it transfers air to the microorganisms. Third-party testing showed the system treats effluent to less than 2 mg/L TSS and CBOD and to 218 CFU/100 mL fecal coliform.


Graves, MacPherson, and chief executive officers Lance Bates and Jim Rentschler from NexGen Septics, organized the installation into a Field Day. Graves purchased all the onsite components, including the Advanced Enviro-Septic system from PEI distributor NexGen Septics.

In preparation for the event, Jim Malm of Malm Plumbing used a Kubota L35 backhoe to excavate the 15- by 20- by 10-foot-deep hole for the two tanks. The driver from Georgetown Precast set them on a 6-inch bed of decomposed granite. “This native material resembles coarse sand and is beautiful to work with,” Graves says.

His crew then plumbed the tanks, decommissioned the original septic tank, and prepared to install 80 percent of the drainfield between clusters of mature oaks and the home, side property access drive, and swale.

Drivers stockpiled 24 tons of concrete sand on an area Graves had graded below the drainfield. “It’s important to keep the sand clean,” he says. “I didn’t want it too near the dusty drive.”

The location for the 40-by-18-foot-wide drainfield had a 7.5 percent slope. Malm scarified the area, then workers staked it out with 2-by-6-inch form boards. After the crew brought in 6 inches of concrete sand, they dragged a screed board over the material to scrape and smooth the top layer, leaving a level profile.

“We set it up so people could see the concrete sand below and above the pipes, and we exposed some end caps,” Graves says. “This event was more about giving people a chance to see the system in cross section and understanding how it works rather than installing pipes.”

To that end, Graves also exposed connections to the septic tank, pump tank, and bypass vent line. “The system depends on passive air transport to support aerobic bacteria,” Graves says. “Convection draws air from the 4-inch screened low-vent PVC pipe in the drainfield, through the system, and out the roof vent on the house. However, the pump acts like a gate valve and interrupts the flow.”

To restore the flow, the system requires a 4-inch ABS bypass vent from the dose tank to the distribution box. The bypass also mitigates hydrogen sulfide corrosion by allowing heavy gases to escape.

Field Day

The event attracted 25 attendees including installers, engineers, contractors, officials from the Registered Environmental Health Specialist program, an architect, and community homeowners. PEI technical representative Mark Vander-Heyden from New Hampshire explained the details of the system. Graves, Bates, and Rentschler assisted during the Q&A session.

For the hands-on portion, Vander-Heyden encouraged participants to snap fittings and couplers together and lay geotextile fabric. Assembling the 10-foot-long pipes went quickly. Corrugations on them matched those on 8-inch-wide couplings that locked around the pipes like zip ties.

Graves made some plywood fixtures with a 4-inch spine to space the pipes on center and hold them in position during backfilling. “The spine enables us to screed off an even layer of concrete sand over the pipes before adding 6 to 9 inches of topsoil,” he says.

One neighbor hired Graves to replace his failing trench-and-pipe drainfield with the Advanced Enviro-Septic system.


No maintenance contract is required. Sustainable Solutions will respond to alarms and recommend when to pump the septic tank.

What Exactly is an “Eco-Friendly” Septic System?

Eco Friendly Commercial Septic System California

Septic systems have existed for millennia, but we’ve reached a point where an eco-friendly septic system is no longer theoretical, but practical and tangible. So what exactly is an eco-friendly septic systemNexGen Septics in Roseville, CA sheds light on the next generation of wastewater treatment

Eco-Friendly Septic System: Overview

Ideally, an eco-friendly septic system is one that is applicable to a variety of residential, commercial, and municipal needs. Using an innovative technology known as passive treatment, an eco-friendly septic system cultivates naturally-occurring bacteria. This bacteria neutralizes harmful contaminants found in wastewater and then returns the treated water to the environment, where it enters the soil and eventually joins the water table.


An effective eco-friendly septic system is typically comprised of the following components:

●A pipe that integrates ridges and skimmers. The ridges increase the central unit’s surface area, facilitate optimum bacterial growth, and improve cooling. The skimmers, which are found at each perforation in the central unit, have two responsibilities: 1) protect geotextiles and green fibers from clogging, and 2) keep grease and suspended solids from leaving the pipe.

●A special bio-accelerator fabric that sits along the bottom edge of the pipe. This fabric offers several advantages: it screens more solids from wastewater, accelerates and enhances water treatment, and offers additional protection for the outer layers surrounding the pipe.

●A green plastic fiber mat that covers the bio-accelerator fabric. With the fiber mat in place, a huge bacterial treatment area is created – one which not only protects the outermost covering (summarized in the next bullet), but also enhances filtration of suspended solids.

●The outermost covering is a black geotextile that offers yet another protected bacterial treatment surface, as well as a secure surrounding for the pipe and fibers.


The benefits of an eco-friendly septic system are many. Two of the biggest relate to installation time and ongoing maintenance and fees. A “standard” wastewater treatment solution for a four-bedroom home takes upwards of a week to install. This large upfront cost is then joined by required regular maintenance and fees, representing a sizable overall investment. On the other hand, an eco-friendly septic system can be installed in as little as 8 – 12 hours and requires no ongoing maintenance, no periodic additives, no electrical costs, and no monthly fees.

Along with its ability to remove up to 99% of wastewater contaminants, an eco-friendly septic system is considerably smaller than a standard treatment system. This compact size opens up a wealth of opportunities across numerous applications, especially in areas defined by rugged, difficult terrain. Also, the fact that an eco-friendly septic system operates without the need of any moving, mechanical parts equates to superior longevity and durability.

It goes without saying, but an eco-friendly septic system doesn’t rely on toxic chemicals or additives. This makes the system especially appealing to municipalities in the U.S. and Canada that have strict treatment requirements for their water.

The Advanced Enviro-Septic System solution represents the future of wastewater treatment, and few companies no eco-friendly septic systems like NexGen Septics in Roseville. Contact us today for more information on our novel approach, and a free consultation.

The EnviroFin Septic Solution Officially Coming to Hawaii

septic system in hawaii

First launched in New England, the EnviroFin® Septic System is one of the most robust passive onsite wastewater treatment systems on the market. And as more homeowners and businesses discover the financial, environmental, and maintenance advantages of this patented septic technology, EnviroFin’s popularity has continued to spread nationwide.

And this growing interest isn’t just limited to the continental United States.

A few weeks ago, we wrote an article about how the EnviroFin® Septic System would soon be coming to Hawaii. And after receiving the green light earlier this year, we’re happy to announce that we’ve launched in the Aloha State as of February 2018.

Given all that’s happening in Hawaii at the moment, the timing of this Pacific launch couldn’t be better.

Why Hawaii Needs the EnviroFin® Septic System

Across the country, states are beginning to phase out the use of traditional cesspools and older septic systems. And nowhere is this decommissioning more pronounced than in Hawaii – a relatively small state with surprisingly large waste management challenges.

Outdated cesspools not only continue to threaten drinking water for local residents, but they’ve also started to chip away at the state’s primary source of revenue – i.e. tourism.

And already, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started doling out hefty fines to those who continue to use antiquated septic and cesspool solutions.

To avoid these penalties, protect their citizens, and safeguard the tourism industry, Hawaii is now engaged in an aggressive push to upgrade its current waste management infrastructure with greener and more sustainable alternatives.

By 2050, in fact, the state hopes to phase out all 90,000 of its cesspools that have been identified.

And this is precisely where the EnviroFin® Septic System comes in.

Using a passive wastewater treatment technology, each EnviroFin® unit is able to transform wastewater into 99.98% contaminate free wastewater – all without relying on toxic chemicals or additives. This treatment process not only benefits area residents and vacationers, but it also protects waterways that might normally become contaminated using traditional septic systems or cesspools.

The ecological benefits of EnviroFin® are very clear.

But does it make financial sense to install this septic technology?

Hawaii Will Help Subsidize Your Septic System Upgrade

By mid-century, every residential, commercial, and municipal property throughout the state will need to replace its current cesspool with a more environmentally friendly alternative.

That’s a pretty large (and potentially expensive) undertaking.

The good news is that EnviroFin® is already more affordable than most traditional septic solutions. This is especially true when you factor in the maintenance and upkeep costs associated with non-passive septic technologies.

But there’s even better news.

The Hawaiian government is now offering generous incentives to help with this statewide transition. Under Act 120, the EnviroFin® qualifies for tax credits that can further drive down the already low cost of this powerful septic technology. Each septic system upgrade or replacement is eligible for up to $10,000 in tax relief, making EnviroFin® one of the most cost-effective secondary wastewater treatment technologies on the market.

To learn more about our upcoming Hawaii launch – or to ask questions about the EnviroFin® Septic System – schedule a free consultation with us today.