If you have recently purchased a house with a septic tank, you may be worried about how to maintain it. For example, did you know that there are several factors that can indicate how often you should get your tank pumped? Here are the basic things you should know about your septic tank, along with answers to specific questions you may have.
A septic tank is a tank that is buried in your yard which will collect all of the water that runs from your house. Most of the water that is semi-clean will then be drained to a drain field where it will someday become groundwater again. Sewage and oily water in the septic tank is another story, however. Anything that is more solid will collect at the bottom of the septic tank, forming a sticky sludge. Oily, greasy water will also collect at the top. This water will become a scum that floats along the top. Your septic tank will need to be pumped every so often to remove the sludge and scum, or else it will eventually seep into the drain field. This will make it so your lawn smells like sewage and compost, something that both you and your neighbors will find most unpleasant.
How often should you get your septic tank pumped? Here are a few guidelines for determining what is right for your household
A Garbage Disposal
If you think about it, a garbage disposal can actually be a real challenge for your septic tank. Instead of uneaten food bits being thrown away, they are sucked down the drain into the septic tank. Depending on how much food you throw away each day, you could get quite a bit down there every week! For this reason, if you use your garbage disposal regularly, most septic pumping service professionals recommend pumping your tank each year.
The Number of Residents
The more people you have in your home, the more you use everything in your home. That means more water for showers, more flushes of the toilet, more dishes to clean, and loads of laundry to do. A single person may be able to go nine or 10 years without having to pump out their tank, while a family of six or more may need a pump every two years or so.
Septic Tank Size
Ultimately, the size of your tank will greatly determine how often you should hire someone to clean it out. A home with less than 1000 sq. ft. will likely have a tank that will hold 750 gallons of water, while a larger home may hold 1,000 or 1,250 gallons. This information should be in your home building plans and should be taken into account.
If you have questions regarding how often you should get your tank cleaned, contact your local septic system pumping service professional.