How Often Should You Pump Your Septic Tank?

If you are a new homeowner, you are likely unfamiliar with the septic system. Learning how to maintain your septic tank is crucial. It will help you avoid expensive repairs or replacements. A major aspect of septic tank maintenance is pumping. How often should you pump the septic tank? The pumping frequency depends on a few factors, including:

Septic Tank

  • The amount of wastewater generated 
  • The tank’s size
  • The number of people in the building

Many septic system installation services recommend pumping every three to five years. But this is just a general guideline. Sometimes, a tank can require pumping earlier or later than that. Several factors determine how often you should pump.

Sludge and grease

A major factor determining the tank’s pumping frequency is the scum and sludge level. A septic system works by separating the wastewater into solids, liquids, and grease. The solids and grease settle in the tank for the bacteria to work on them, breaking them down slowly. The liquid flows into the drain field. These sludge and grease need periodic cleaning. Otherwise, it rises to a level and starts to flow into the drain field with the water. This can cause clogging in the underground pipes, leading to slow drains. It also poses health risks.

For this reason, pumping when the sludge level gets to 1 foot at the tank’s bottom is recommended. The timeframe depends on the volume of wastewater generated in the property. For some, it is yearly. For others, it is less. In some cases, the sludge can take up to two or three years to rise to this level.

The Tank’s size

As mentioned, the tank’s size is a major factor in determining pumping frequency. Septic tanksha various sizes. Obviously, the larger ones can hold more wastewater. Therefore, pumping might not be required often. That is why a new homeowners should learn about the size of their septic tank. It enables you to find out the average pumping frequency for such a size. So that you can prepare and schedule maintenance when appropriate. 

The number of people in the home

Another major factor is the number of people in the household. If the tank is large with many people in the building, the pumping frequency might be higher than with a small tank with only one person in the household. 

The volume of wastewater generated

Another major factor determining how often you should pump is the amount of wastewater produced. This factor usually ties into the number of people in the house. But some people use water more than others. For example, if the property is a restaurant where you use much water for cooking and other stuff. You should pump more frequently than a household with a family of three. That is why you must be conscious of water usage. Avoid wasting water because it affects the septic tank.

The septic tank is an important component in the home or business. Regular pumping is essential maintenance to keep it working smoothly for a long time. The frequency depends on different factors. But if you ever notice a sign of a full tank, it is better to contact a professional quickly.