How Often Should You Pump A Septic Tank?

In Northeastern Indiana, many homeowners and owners of commercial facilities rely on septic tanks to dispose of solid and liquid wastes water from their buildings. These tanks hold the solids and sludge while releasing the liquids into leaching fields to biodegrade naturally back into the environment. But septic tanks are not bottomless; periodically, they must be emptied out by a professional septic system cleaning company. Which brings up the question, how often should you pump a septic tank?

When Should You Pump Out Your Tanks?

Should your system be pumped every three years? Many professionals recommend you pump out your septic tank when the level of solids reaches one-quarter of total tank volume. This type of accumulation can take up to two years, but your tank may need to be pumped out more or less often, based on several different factors.

Number of home occupants and lifestyle

If you have a large family, you may be sending more wastes water and solids into the tank than normal. Also, keep an eye on your septic tank if you often invite houseguests over for extended visits because more toilet paper is being flushed, which may make it necessary to pump out your tank more frequently. If you add appliances onto your septic tanks lines, such as dishwashers or laundry machines, then your tank may fill up faster due to the extra water.

Size of the septic tank

Septic tanks come in a wide range of sizes and capacities. You may have a single tank for residential use or a double tank for commercial use. Understanding the capacity of your septic tank and the average use of the wastewater system will allow you to develop a septic tank pumping and septic tank maintenance schedule to ensure your septic tank runs optimally.

Amount of solids in the septic tank

Including a garbage disposal on your septic tank lines creates more solid waste that accumulates in the tank. To prevent overwhelming the septic tank system and clogging the pipes to the leaching fields with this non-biodegradable material, you may need to schedule your septic cleaning more frequently. Always limit the number of solids that enter the tank, whether it’s for commercial or residential use, by not introducing grease, paper towels, plastics, sanitary hygiene products, or cigarettes into your septic system.

Track Your Septic Tank Usage to Determine the Right Pumping Schedule

The best way to know when to pump out your septic tank is to understand how much it’s designed to hold. Your septic tank cleaning and repair company can help you calculate the capacity of your system and determine how long it should take your tank to fill up, based on your household size and daily usage. Be sure to ask your septic tank cleaning and repair company to inspect your system to spot any issues before they adversely affect your pumping schedule or cause your system to fail.