Septic Tank Pumping: Do I really need to pump my septic tank every three years?


Septic Tank Pumping: Do I really need to pump my septic tank every three years?

When considering septic tank pumping, homeowners are often unsure how often they should schedule service for their home’s septic tank system. While the debate over how often you should pump your septic tank may vary and depends mostly on the number of household occupants and load on the system, the EPA “Environmental Protection Agency” recommends pumping and inspection at least every three years. The following post will outline the basics of septic tank care as well as inexpensive ways you can help to protect this vital component of your home’s plumbing system.

Pumping and Inspection
Regular septic tank pumping is crucial in maintaining the delicate system. As mentioned above, a good rule of thumb is to pump your system every three years. However, a lot depends on the size of the home, a number of occupants, the size of the septic tank and the volume of wastewater and solids introduced into the septic system. Your plumbing or septic tank contractor will inspect the system for leaks and determine if it is time to pump. Since septic tank systems often produce methane, a dangerous and flammable gas, only experienced and licensed plumbing or septic contractors should service the system.

Ways You Can Help
Septic tanks contain a delicate mix of microorganisms that break down the solids after they enter the system. What goes down your drains can have an adverse effect on these organisms. If they die, your septic system will fail, leaving you with an emergency plumbing situation and costly repairs.

  • Manage water usage. Excessive water entering the tank can upset the balance and affect the system in a negative way. You will benefit from household water conservation with improved septic tank operation and reduced chances your system will fail.
  • Septic systems are not trashcans. Everything you flush down the commode, grind in the garbage disposal or rinse down the drain will end up in your septic system. Never allow grease, hygiene products, diapers, dental floss, cigarette butts, cat litter, coffee grounds, household chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper towels or flushable wipes to enter your septic tank system. Since these products do not break down, they will eventually lead to premature septic tank failure.
  • Protect your drainfield. Your drainfield is the area where septic tank effluent drains back into the ground. If it fails, your tank will reach capacity rather quickly causing all of your household drains—toilets, sinks and tubs—to fail as well. Avoid parking cars and heavy machinery on your drainfield, which can compact the soil and reduce absorption. Never plant deep-rooted plants or shrubs in or near the area as the roots can damage the drainfield and reduce absorption.

Septic and drainfield replacement can be costly, protect yours with regular septic tank pumping and inspection.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.