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How Often Should I Pump Out My Septic Tank?

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Septic tanks should be pumped out at least every three to five years to prevent sewage from backing up into the home. If the tank is not pumped out regularly, solids will build up and eventually cause the tank to fail. Homeowners should also have their septic systems inspected every three to five years to ensure that the tank is functioning correctly. Smaller tanks may need to be pumped more often, while larger tanks can go longer between pumpings. Regular maintenance is the key to keeping a septic system functioning properly. Homeowners who are unsure how often to pump their septic tank can consult with a qualified contractor or septic system specialist.



How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?

A septic tank should be emptied when the level of solid matter in the tank reaches 30%. This can vary depending on the tank size but is generally every 3-5 years. While some homeowners choose to have their septic tank pumped more frequently, it is unnecessary and can be harmful to the system. Pumping too often can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the tank, causing problems with wastewater treatment. Additionally, pumping may remove water from the tank, which can transport solids to the leach field. Emptying a septic tank is a big job, so choosing a reputable company with experience in pumping septic tanks is essential. A good company can safely and efficiently empty your septic tank, keeping your home's wastewater treatment system running smoothly.

Why Does The Septic Tank Need To Be Emptied?

A septic tank is an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment where waste decomposes through bacterial action. Solids settle at the bottom of the tank, where anaerobic bacteria break them down. Liquids rise to the top of the tank, where aerobic bacteria treat them. Effluent from the septic tank is discharged to a soil absorption field for further treatment.


Over time, solids accumulate in the septic tank, reducing its capacity. When the septic tank is complete, it will not work correctly, and sewage will go back into your home or business. That’s why it’s essential to have your septic tank pumped out every 3-5 years by a licensed septic system professional. The pumping frequency may be more or less often depending on the size of your system and the number of people using it. A simple way to remember is one bedroom = one pump-out per year, two bedrooms = two pump-outs per year, and so on. Wastewater flows into a holding area called a septic tank. The time needed for wastewater to decompose into effluent varies from 3 days to 6 weeks, depending on temperature, type of bacteria present, and amount of solids in the wastewater. Anaerobic conditions must be maintained for proper decomposition in the septic tank. Conditions become aerobic when too much solid material accumulates and clogs the anaerobic process. If this happens, effluent backing up into toilets or slow draining drains can result in odors outside near leach lines or drain fields.



Emptying Your Septic Tank

Septic tanks are essential to many homes and businesses, but they can also be a source of frustration when they become full and need to be emptied. The good news is that emptying a septic tank is relatively straightforward. The first step is to locate the septic tank and identify the inlet and outlet pipes. The inlet pipe is typically more prominent than the outlet pipe and will be higher up on the tank. The outlet pipe will be located near the bottom of the tank. Once the inlet and outlet pipes have been identified, a pump can be attached to the outlet pipe. The pump will be used to suction out the contents of the septic tank and deposit them into a truck or other container. Once the septic tank has been emptied, it is crucial to clean the inlet and outlet pipes to prevent blockages from occurring in the future.

The Importance Of Your Septic Tank

Septic tanks are an essential part of many homes and businesses. They are designed to hold sewage and wastewater and help protect the environment by preventing pollution. Septic tanks are usually made of concrete, and they are buried underground. They have a series of compartments that allow the solids to settle to the bottom while the liquids flow to the leach field. The leach field is a series of trenches that helps to filter the water before it is released into the environment. Septic tanks need to be regularly maintained in order to function correctly. This includes pumping out the solid waste and ensuring the tank is not leaking. When septic tanks are well-maintained, they can last for many years and provide an essential service for homes and businesses.



Contact Us Today

A septic tank is a great way to process sewage without harming the environment. However, it is vital to maintain your septic tank to prevent any problems. If you need help cleaning your septic tank or answering any questions, contact one of our expert plumbers today. Our Daniel and Donna Plumbing Service team has the knowledge and experience to ensure that your septic tank is properly maintained. We also offer various plumbing services so that we can help you with any other needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

We look forward to serving you.




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