At Willey & Co we like to provide our clients with all the knowledge they need to make sure their Septic Systems and Wells are operating efficiently and properly.


1. How often should I have my septic tank pumped?

You should have your septic tank pumped at least once every 3 years for several reasons.

A. It will prevent the solids that build up in your septic tank from traveling out into your drain field and plugging it up. It will make your drain field last longer.

B. Your septic permit, issued by your regulatory agency, probably requires it. In Delaware, it says 3 years.

C. Any warranties you may have on the system could be voided if you do not get your system pumped as specified on your permit.

2. What are the things I shouldn’t flush down the drain?

Solvents, oils, grease, paints, excess water (like from water softeners and gutters), thinners, powder laundry detergent, pesticides, poisons, disinfectants, coffee grounds, napkins, shop towels, paper towels, baby wipes, tampons and other feminine hygiene products, diapers, thick or excessive amounts of toilet paper, heavy use of garbage disposal, condoms, cigarette butts

3. What should I do to make my septic system last as long as possible?

You should get it pumped every three years. Remember your septic system was sized in Delaware based on bedrooms. Each bedroom is assumed to have two people. Each person is assumed to use about 60 gallons of water a day or 120 gallons per bedroom. People sometimes don’t realize how much water they use in a day. Long showers or large tubs can use a large portion of a septic system’s designed allowance. The important thing about laundry is to try and space laundry out and only do a load a day so the gallons don’t add up in your daily allowance. The bottom line, understand that every drop of water you use has to go into your septic system.

Follow your permit conditions. Don’t drive on the septic system with anything more than a lawnmower. Keep the septic area planted with grass. Grass helps the system work better. Do not build any decks, outbuildings, or pools over the septic system.

If you really want the most of your septic system, contact us for a cost-efficient service contract.

4. What should I do if my septic alarm goes off?

Wait 12 hours. During that 12 hours use as little water as possible. The reason for this is to see if you had used a little too much water recently and had gotten ahead of the pump’s pumping allowance. Pumping systems generally are only allowed to pump so many gallons per minute so many times per day. If you wait 12 hours this will allow for 2 pumping cycles to go by. If your alarm is still on after 12 hours and you have used minimum water call a professional to service. Your tank is designed to hold additional sewage for 48-72 hours. The reason we suggest this is you may be able to save a service call by simply allowing the pump to catch up with the water use. If you’re positive you haven’t used too much water or it’s something other than water use call right away.

5. How long should my septic system last?

When Willey & Co installs a septic system, we aim for the install to last 25+ years.  The biggest influence of a septic system’s lifespan is how it is maintained and used. There is no flat answer to this question because there are so many variables. Every designer and installer are different and every homeowner is different. That being said, I would say 15-25 years would be a good expectation depending on the kind of septic system.

There are many things you can do to prolong the life of your septic system. Service contracts, pumping regularly, flushing the correct items, and the most important thing is water conservation.

6. My septic system was just installed by Willey & Co what should I do now?

You’re on our website. That’s step one. Check out your warranty. Make sure you have a copy of your septic permit and keep it for your records. Print your warranty. On your septic permit, look for what kind of septic system you have on the permit application page. Go to our septic information tab and read all about that kind of septic system on our website. Then go to the photos for that kind of septic system so you can get an understanding of what is under your ground. Also seriously consider a service contract, it will prolong the life of your septic system.

7. Do I need to add anything to my septic system?

NO. The only time you should add any chemicals to your septic system is if you have a problem. If you have a slow drain then use some drain cleaner. Other than that your septic system is designed to work by itself.


1. Will my new well run out of water?

Not likely. Well screens sometimes get plugged up with minerals but we can usually clear them out and redevelop them.

2. How often should I have my water tested?

Every year. Water quality can change and it’s important to know what your drinking. Water tests are fairly reasonable. Give us a call. Willey & Co handles all water testing.

3. Can I work on my own well if there is a problem?

No. It is state regulation and you can be fined by DNREC for working on your well or pumping system.

4. Will the farmers well near me affect my well?

DNREC is very careful about allowing farmers to place wells too close to residential wells. DNREC keeps track of all wells and they don’t let farmers wells get to close to any residential wells.

5. What kind of water quality will I have?

Delmarva is hit or miss. As well drillers, we strive to supply good water but it’s impossible to give homeowners anything different than what is under their property. The only thing we can do is decide where to stop the well. A lot of areas are bad all the way down. Some areas are bad shallow and not so bad deeper. Most areas are generally OK shallow but not so good as you go deeper. The bottom line is we use all the resources we have to get you the best water we can. Iron (staining), hardness, PH problems, nitrates, and the worst one of all is sulfur (rotten egg smell) are all issues we find on Delmarva.

6. What can I do with my wellhead?

Not much. Mulch around it, plant flowers and landscape around it. I would recommend not landscaping anything too valuable around the well as anytime there is service needed that area will need to be accessible by foot traffic and possibly be dug up. Never cut the wellhead down below the ground or closer to the ground. Placing decorative units over the well can cause issues if the well cap isn’t converted to an airtight cap, as most wells have vented caps. Placing decorative windmills or rocks over the wells creates a harboring environment for insects that can get into the well.

7. What should I do if my yard floods around my well?

If your yard ever floods around your well enough to cover the well you should call a well professional to make sure you don’t have a vent on your well. If you do you will need your well chlorinated before consuming it anymore.