Septic Tank Functionality Issues? Understanding When to Pump


The functionality of the residential septic system is something that homeowners must take seriously. If this sewage disposal system is allowed to become sluggish or fail, the home is at risk of experiencing clogs and sewage backups that will be both unpleasant and expensive to address. 

While understanding and practicing good daily usage habits is an important part of proactive septic system management, it is also necessary to understand the size and capacity of the septic tank. Every septic tank, no matter how large or small, will eventually reach its capacity. If excess sewage is not removed, the entire septic system could be at risk of failure. 

Homeowners who want to ensure good septic tank functionality can do so by gaining a better understanding of when they need to schedule septic pumping to take place, both as part of regular maintenance and when heavy usage has occurred. 

Set up a regular schedule based on normal usage

Regular septic pumping for maintenance purposes begins with considering the basic information about the home septic system and the household's normal usage. According to general guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, septic systems should be scheduled for regular maintenance pumping every three to five years. 

However, homeowners should understand that these guidelines assume that the septic tank is properly sized to match the number of occupants and water usage in the home and that it is fully functional. Homeowners who have large families, an improperly sized septic tank, or developing septic system functionality issues may need more frequent pumping. 

Schedule additional pumping when high usage occurs

In addition to the need for regular maintenance pumping, homeowners should be aware that periods of high usage can result in a need for more frequent septic pumping. Some common examples of high septic usage situations often include: 

  • homes that host frequent large events, such as backyard weddings or parties, where toilet and water usage levels rise sharply
  • homes where unresolved plumbing leaks, such as dripping faucets and running toilets, could overload the tank
  • homes that are enlarged for more occupants without also enlarging the existing septic tank

In addition to high usage situations, homeowners may also need to schedule septic tank pumping more frequently when the system is used improperly. For instance, when nondigestible materials, like feminine hygiene products, paper towels, or grease is sent down the toilet or drains.

A good way to ensure that the septic tank is pumped on a safe, proactive schedule is to set up annual checkups with a reputable septic tank pumping service. By scheduling this type of annual appointment, homeowners can be assured that sewage levels are monitored regularly and the tank is pumped as needed. 


16 June 2021

Fast Facts and Deep Insights: Septic Edition

As you read the articles on this website, you will notice two things. First, they are all about septic services in some ways. Second, some go deep — and others are full of more surface-level facts. This is kind of like your septic system itself! The tank is buried deep, but the drain field is more superficial. You don't have to be an expert on septic systems, but as someone who owns one, you should at least know how to tell when something is wrong with yours so you can call for service. You'll get that level of understanding from this blog — and probably more!