The most often query we receive as a professional septic tank service provider is, “How frequently should I pump my septic tank? In addition, new homeowners unfamiliar with septic systems often need to learn how to manage them to prevent expensive complications. Although a septic system is distinct from a sewer system and requires particular care and maintenance, it is a safe, organic, and ecologically acceptable approach to managing domestic drain waste.
Septic Tank Pumping Needs to be Done as Needed For Your Home.
Although there are some basic recommendations that a septic system should be pumped every two to five years, the reality is that you should pump your system as frequently as your system requires. The amount of sludge and scum inside the tank is the primary determinant of how often a septic tank needs to be pumped.
Your septic system divides the domestic wastewater into these three components utilizing the power of gravity. First, the effluent, the water with dissolved and suspended materials, flows out of the septic tank into the drainage field. The scum is the layer of light solids that float on top of the sewage in the tank. Finally, the sludge is the heavier solids that settle at the bottom of the tank.”
The watery mixture discharges into the drain field while the scum and sludge remain in the septic tank under normal circumstances. To keep things running correctly, the septic tank’s sludge and scum must be cleaned out occasionally.
Sludge or scum will be pushed into the drain field with the watery effluent if the sludge level reaches unsafe heights or if it thickens to a significant thickness. In addition, the underground perforated pipes can become clogged when sediments and grease are forced through the drain. This can result in sluggish drains and even wastewater backup into your home. This may result in harmful microorganisms in your home and a costly repair.
How frequently a septic tank needs to be pumped depends on many factors.
The main determinants are:
- The household size.
- The type and amount of wastewater generated.
- The size of the tank.
- The presence of solids in the wastewater.
For example, an enormous household with more wastewater will require more frequent pumping than a smaller household. Likewise, if there is a higher concentration of solids in the wastewater, the septic tank will need to be pumped more frequently.
The Majority of Households That Pump More Frequently Than Necessary Are Overpaying!
If you pump your septic tank too frequently, there won’t be enough sludge and scum buildup to get the best return on your pumping expenses. So paying for the service more often than necessary is a waste of money with no added benefits, just like any other periodic maintenance.
The fact is that a certain amount of beneficial bacteria must always be present in your septic system. Anaerobic digestion is used by the septic tank to organically break down the waste for the subsequent level of filtration, much like the digestive system in the human body.
While pumping at the proper intervals is crucial, it does lower the biomass levels, and it may take 1-3 weeks for your septic system to reach its previous level of good bacteria. Every time you flush an organic waste item down the toilet, bacteria enters your tank and converts the waste into sludge and effluent. Over-pumping your septic tank will force the germs outside into the drain field, which can cause clogs and failures.
Thus, leaving your septic tank alone is beneficial unless the levels of sludge and scum rise to a specific point. That guarantees the proper bacteria balance to keep your system operating efficiently.
How will you determine how frequently to pump your septic tank, then?
As you can see, your septic tank’s sludge and scum levels and timetable are the two main determining factors. It’s time to get your septic tank pumped when the scum at the top of the tank reaches almost 6 inches thick or the sludge level at the bottom of the tank reaches 1 foot.
Contrary to widespread assumption, the majority of homeowners do not require annual pumping. Your tank levels alone determine this; a precise time frame is unnecessary. You have two options: either check the stories yourself, or we’ll be pleased here at Full Spectrum Plumbing Services to measure and record them for you as a quick and clean alternative.
Detecting the Fullness of Your Septic Tank
The septic tank lid must first be located and carefully removed. Never leave the open tank unattended; exercise extra caution to prevent the hefty lid from breaking or cracking. Also, if a person or a pet falls into the underground tank, which has 4-5 feet of water, it might be dangerous.
The next step is to determine the scum layer’s thickness by looking at the scum trap at the top. Generally speaking, you should pump out your septic tank when the scum layer is 6 inches deep.
The second and slightly more difficult stage is to gauge the amount of sludge at the tank’s bottom. A particular sludge level measurement stick can be bought, but you can also create your own. Simply start at one end of a seven-foot-long, sturdy post or two by four and attach an 18 to 24-inch velcro strip along the stick. The end inside the tank will be the one with the velcro.
The velcro end of your measuring stick should be slowly lowered straight into the septic tank, even through the thick sludge at the bottom, until you feel the stick contact the bottom of the tank while maintaining your upright position. Check the velcro strip after straightening the measuring stick out.
Because the thick, dark sludge will stick to the velcro, you may estimate the depth of the sludge at the bottom by counting the thickness of the sludge along the velcro strip on your stick. We advise pumping the septic tank when the sludge level exceeds one foot (12 inches).
Although the homeowner can perform this task, most would use our convenient inspection service to measure and pinpoint your home’s precise maintenance schedule.
Full Spectrum Plumbing Services will use photo evidence, in contrast to many other septic service providers, to show you exactly where your waste levels are and assist you in tracking how long it takes for your scum and sludge levels to rise to the appropriate criteria. In addition, we will provide you with a customized septic tank pumping schedule based on the information unique to your household so that you can maintain your system without overusing your budget.
Paying for septic pumping services that you don’t genuinely require is unnecessary.
Therefore, your best chance if you’re unsure whether it’s time to pump your septic tank is to give us a call or schedule a maintenance program test.
We will visit your home and handle all the measures for you for a reasonable fee. No need to deal with hefty septic tank lids or untidy sticks to dispose of!
We’ll take authentic images to document the state of your systems and provide a suggestion just for you. Since no two septic systems are alike, the interval will vary depending on various criteria, including the number of occupants in your home, the amount of wastewater you use, and the size of the septic tank.
The measurement service won’t cost you anything if we discover during the inspection that your levels need a septic tank pumping! While we are on the property, you only need to pay for the septic tank to be pumped.
So call Full Spectrum Plumbing Services today to get started! Not only will you be getting expert advice, but you’ll also be able to rest assured that your home is in good hands.