Pumping a Septic Tank: One of the most common questions asked by homeowners is just how often their septic tank should be pumped. Usually, new homeowners that don’t have familiarity with septic systems then need to figure out septic system maintenance so it stays free of expensive issues.
Septic systems are a natural, environmentally-friendly, safe way to manage drain waste in a household. However, it is not the same as a sewer system and, as a result, needs special maintenance and care.
Pumping a Septic Tank: Timing Is Everything
Pumping a septic tank is not based on any fixed schedule; instead, it should be pumped as often as needed. The biggest factor affecting how frequently a septic tank needs to be pumped is the system’s sludge and scum.
How a septic tank works is rooted in gravity’s natural powers to separate household wastewater in the following parts:
- The tank’s top side – Grease/scum
- The tank’s middle part – Watery mix/effluent
- The tank’s bottom end – Solids/sludge
When operations are normal, the scum and sludge will stay in the septic tank. On the other hand, the watery mix will end up flowing into the drain field. Scum and sludge still need to be cleaned from the septic tank periodically in order for things to flow smoothly and in a consistent manner.
If the wastewater settles below the level of the drain field or accumulates in a thick, oily layer above the drain field, sludge or scum may rise into the drain field. This can clog the underground perforated pipes in the drain field and cause slow drains and even overflows into your home. It can lead to the home ending up with dangerous bacteria, which, in turn, will call for a pricey repair.
Pumping a Septic Tank More Often Than Necessary Is Expensive
Too frequent pumping of the septic tank leads to a buildup of sludge and scum to the point where the tank cannot be emptied fully. Furthermore, more frequent pumping means more income for the provider, so there is no incentive for them to stop. As a result, a balance must be struck between paying for too much or too little pumping.
Septic systems require a certain level of bacteria—the good kind, to be specific. A lot like the digestive system of the human body, the septic tank makes use of anaerobic digestion for waste to be broken down naturally for filtration’s next level to be achieved.
Pumping a septic tank with the right amount is absolutely vital; it reduces the biomat levels in a tank, which takes 1-3 weeks to replenish by itself. When a toilet is flushed with organic waste material, the septic system takes it and breaks it down into effluent, which is the water that passes through the drain field.
How Often Should You Be Pumping a Septic Tank?
When considering timing in pumping a septic tank, the key factors are the scum and sludge levels of a septic tank. When the sludge level hits 1 foot at the tank’s bottom or scum becomes almost 6 inches thick on top, pumping is necessary.
You need a Septic Tank Pumping Company
Septic tank pumping is necessary, but many people are confused when it comes to how often they should get it done. Some people are even under the misconception that it has to be done annually. In truth, timing is everything; it’s good to keep an eye on scum and sludge levels in order not to overpump.
Looking to get septic tank pumping? Reach out to A-1 Septic Tank Service today! We’re a pumping service provider in Alameda County and the surrounding areas.