septic pumping guide

Ever wonder what happens to the wastewater that goes down your home drains? 

If you live in an area without a sewer, you probably have a septic system that breaks down everything and filters the water back into the ground.

The septic tank is part of a larger underground system that treats wastewater from your tubs, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines. 

To maintain an efficient septic system, it’s important to regularly maintain and pump your septic tank. 

As a homeowner, how can you best take care of your septic tank? Take a look at our ultimate guide to pumping and maintaining your septic tank! 

Why Should You Do Septic Pumping? 

Just imagine the amount of food, grease, hair, and other organic wastes that get pushed down your drain. 

Over time, an overloaded septic system can cause major trouble and damages to your property. 

Even if you’re septic tanks don’t show signs of a problem, regular maintenance is necessary. 

You don’t want unsanitary water making its way back to your pipes because you’ve overloaded your septic system. 

When this occurs, you and your neighbors will smell it before you see it.

How Often Should You Pump Your Septic Tank? 

How often you pump the tank will depend on a number of factors, beginning with the size of the tank.

According to plumbing experts, there are a number of other factors to consider.

Is Your Septic Tank Due To Be Emptied? 

In general, you should have your septic tank pumped once every three to five years. However, it can depend on the degree of usage and how many people live in your house. 

Frequent pumping (about every 3 years) is necessary for households with 7 members. 

On the other hand, if you live alone, you can go as long as 10 years without having to empty out your septic tank. 

To avoid hefty repairs of your sewage system, you should have a regular inspection of your septic tanks performed by a plumbing professional. 

Occasionally, you may have to pump out your tank even if it isn’t due to be emptied to make sure it’s operating properly. 

Keep a note of when it gets cleaned so your plumbers can schedule your next septic pumping service accordingly. 

Take These Notes In Your Next Septic Pumping

Are you due to call for a septic service soon? Take note of the following:  

  1. Keep maintenance records on work performed on your septic system
  2. Track when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional

If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be emptied out.

maintaining septic tanks

How To Manage Your Septic Tanks

In most rural communities, septic tanks are an essential part of some home sewage systems. They’re usually installed in areas where municipal sewer lines are not available. 

If you have a septic tank, here are a few vital tips to keep your septic systems in tip-top shape! 

  1. Inspect and Pump Frequently

Have your septic system be checked and examined by a professional septic service at least once every 3 years. 

For alternative systems, like electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components, schedule them to be inspected more often, generally once a year. 

  1. Use Water Efficiently

On average, a household consumes about 70 gallons of water per day. 

Do you know how much water you waste if you leave your leaks untreated? As much as 200 gallons of water every day! 

This bulk of water consumption drains can have an impact on your septic systems as well. 

The more water a household conserves, the less water enters the septic system. Efficient water use improves the operation of a septic system and reduces the risk of failure.

  1. Dispose of Waste Properly 

Whatever you flush it down the toilet, grind in the garbage disposal, or pour down the drain, everything that goes through your pipes ends up in your septic system. 

Remember, your septic system is not a trash can. 

An easy rule of thumb: Do not flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper. 

Get Your Septic Tank Pumped By Professionals 

Septic problems aren’t a DIY job you can do on your own. 

To make sure your septic tanks are functioning to their full capacity, call on a professional septic service for regular inspections and maintenance. 

They are specifically trained to handle the waste and dispose of it at an approved processing facility.

If you need septic tank pumping services, The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it easy to find septic tank pumping companies in your area. 

Do you have questions about maintaining your septic tanks? Write us a comment below and we’ll answer your questions.