Septic Tank Pumping – Why and How Often?

Establishing a septic tank pumping schedule is one of the most important aspects of maintenance, and a well-maintained system will provide years of good service.

How often a company will need to be called will vary. Based upon the size of the tank and the number of people living in the home, you can make your decision on the frequency of pumping. Taking this information into consideration:

Typically, a residence occupied by four people with a tank capacity of 1,250 gallons would need to be pumped out every 3.4 years. These numbers are based on homes that are occupied throughout the year.

Other Factors Affecting Frequency

Helpful bacteria live inside the tank and continuously feed on the waste material. Even though they’re not able to digest all the material, they reduce the amount of waste material enough to reduce the pumping frequency. On the other hand, material from the garbage disposal is much harder for these bacteria to breakdown, so basically, every food scrap that goes down the drain will sit in the tank until its pumped.

However, simply cleaning the tank is not the end of your maintenance.

If you pay a little extra and have your system inspected at the same time it’s cleaned you can ward off potential problems. Many issues can be inexpensive to fix if caught early, but if they linger they can cause problems in the drainfield, then the repairs become much more expensive. For example, the baffles can come loose and allow grease to flow into the drainfield. If this problem is caught quickly, the only expense would be reattaching the baffle; however, if the baffle is not repaired, grease will eventually clog the drainfield causing it to fail. Removing and replacing the drainfield could literally cost fifty to a hundred times more than reattaching the baffle.

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