Septic Tank PumpingSeptic tank pumping (also referred to as septic tank cleaning or septic tank draining) is a critical step in the maintenance of your septic system. A septic tank is specifically designed to separate solids (sludge) from liquids. The solids (sludge) reside on the bottom of the tank while the wastewater (commonly referred to as effluent) exits the septic tank through an outlet pipe and flows into the drainfield. The only other thing in the tank should be toilet paper, which rises to the top of the tank.
There really are no steadfast "rules" as to the frequency between how often you pump out your septic tank. Many factors determine frequency of pumping and system evaluation/inspection. Things like number of people in a home, how much water is used (showers, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.,) and insuring only water, toilet paper and... "number two's" are the only things going down the drains are all factors that go into pumping frequency AND the health/longevity of your system. Believe it or not, rain can also affect levels in your septic tank.
If still in doubt, a good rule of thumb would be to have your tank pumped every two years. If, of course, you notice problems or your drainfield is either slow or bad, it will need pumping more frequently.The main factors that influence septic tank pumping frequency are:
- The size of your household
- The size of your septic tank (also referred to as gallons/gallonage)
- Total amount of wastewater you generate
- The volume of solids in the wastewater
If you have other components to your septic system (I.e. electrical float(s), lift stations or other mechanical elements, you should have those evaluated/pumped on an annual basis