What Is Septic Pumping And How Often Should You Get It Done?


According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 20 percent of American homes use onsite septic systems, not a public sewer, to dispose of and treat their wastewater. The vast majority of these homes are located in rural and suburban areas without access to centralized wastewater treatment facilities.

If you are part of the one-fifth of American homeowners relying on septic systems to treat wastewater from toilets, sinks, showers, and other household plumbing fixtures, then you're responsible for taking care of your private wastewater treatment system. That said, septic pumping is one of the key maintenance tasks you'll need to perform periodically to keep your on-lot sewage treatment working efficiently and reliably. Continue reading to find out what septic pumping is and how frequently you need to do it.

What Is Septic Pumping?

To better understand what septic pumping is and why it needs to be performed, it's important to first understand how a septic system works.

How A Septic System Works

A septic system has a large, watertight tank that is hidden in the ground. This tank is called the septic tank. The tank's job is to receive all of the raw wastewater and sewage that exits your home from the kitchen, bathrooms, showers, and other areas of the home that have plumbing fixtures.

The wastewater and sewage that collects in the septic tank are broken down through the process of biological decomposition. As a result, three layers of waste are formed in the tank. These are the sludge, scum, and effluent layers.

Sludge forms at the bottom of the tank. It comprises solid waste particles that are heavier than water. Scum is what can be seen floating on top of the tank. It comprises fats, oils, grease, and other floatable substances. Effluent is the liquid that leaves the tank and is deposited into the drain field through the tank's outlet pipe.

Why Septic Tank Pumping Is Necessary

If excessive amounts of sludge are left to accumulate inside the septic tank, they can cause the outlet pipe to become clogged, impeding the proper flow of liquids out of the tank. This can result in bigger problems like wastewater and sewage backing up in your home or yard.

Septic tank pumping helps remove solids from your septic tank to maintain the tank's storage capacity and ensure a smooth and efficient flow of liquids into the drain field.

How Frequently Should You Pump Out Your Septic System?

As a general rule, you should pump out your septic tank every three to five years. However, how often you should get a septic pump out depends on a variety of factors. These include the following:

  1. Your household size: If your household is bigger than the average household, you will need to pump out your tank at shorter time intervals.
  2. Your septic tank size: The bigger the size of septic tank you have, the less frequently it will need to be pumped out compared to a smaller one.
  3. Your household's average water usage per day: The more efficiently you use water in your home, the more you can delay the need for septic pumping.

Generally, the frequency at which your septic tank needs to be pumped depends on how fast solids build up inside the tank, not a particular time interval.

Undertaking timely septic tank pump-outs will help your private wastewater disposal system work smoothly and efficiently year-round. To schedule a septic pumping service for your home, contact a dedicated service provider near you. They can provide more information regarding a septic pump out.


5 October 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!