How Often Should You Have Septic Tank Pump Out
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How Often Should You Have Septic Tank Pump Out?
How good is your memory? Do you remember important dates like birthdays and anniversaries? Do you keep your weekly schedule in your head or in a paper or phone calendar? And the big question – do you remember the last time your septic tank was pumped?
Ok, that last one might not be as important for your day-to-day living but it is a valid question for keeping your household’s plumbing system running smoothly. Having a septic system instead of being part of a municipal sewer system has its advantages but there’s also some basic maintenance to perform.
In this article, we’ll cover how often you should have septic tank pump out.
What Is a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are generally used in homes that aren’t served by city sewers — but, contrary to what you might think, they’re not found exclusively in rural areas. A surprising number of people living in urban and suburban areas utilize septic tanks, too.
Aside from managing a home’s wastewater, a well-designed septic system has benefits that can extend to public health and the environment. Instead of sending a home’s waste to a centralized wastewater treatment facility via a sewer system, septic tanks manage and treat wastewater independently by removing pollution while replenishing aquifers and groundwater.
Septic tanks work by allowing wastewater to flow into a large two-chamber tank where the solid waste settles to the bottom and the remaining liquid passes along through perforated pipes and into a drain field, where it’s absorbed into the surrounding soil.
Why A Septic Tank Needs to Be Pumped
When you flush a toilet or discard of dinner scraps down a garbage disposal, the wastewater travels down the drain, through underground pipes into the septic tank. Most of the water is released into the ground and the waste is held inside the tank. Eventually, the sewer solids will fill the tank. If it reaches max capacity, it can overflow and you can experience bad smells, a mucky yard, and plumbing issues inside your home. Luckily, there’s an easy fix – having the septic tank pumped.
Factors That Affect Septic Tank Pumping Frequency
There are a few factors that come into play when you’re deciding how often to pump a septic tank. These include:
- The size of your tank. Larger tanks can go longer without pumping.
- The number of people in your house. This is the number one factor determining when you need to pump your home septic system. The more people that use the system, the more often you will need to have it pumped. Keep in mind that visitors and guests count, too, even if they only stay for a few days.
- The age of your septic system. Older systems will need a septic system service more often than newer ones.
- Septic system additives. If you’ve added substances to your system, let us know. These can make your pumping needs more or less frequent, depending on what has been added.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Some people will tell you that your system needs septic tank pumping every 1-2 years. Others will say every 3-5 years. The truth is that you may need an expert’s evaluation and opinion to know for sure. We can give you that and help you make sure you don’t overload your system.
If you’re not sure when the system was last pumped, it’s a good idea to get it pumped now and start counting forward from here. That way, you make sure that the system won’t be damaged and you know exactly when you’ll need to call for septic tank pumping next time.