Why Do I Need To Hire Someone To Pump My Septic System?

Did you know that as a home or business owner you are responsible for maintaining your septic system?

Did you know that maintaining your septic system is part of the investment in your home or business?

Did you know that you should periodically have someone inspect your septic tank and pump it out?

If successfully maintained, your septic system can offer long-term, successful treatment and disposal of wastewater. If you do not maintain your septic system, you might need to spend thousands of dollars to replace it.  A leaking tank can pollute groundwater that might be used for drinking water.  A failing drain field can cause sewage to surface and may spread disease, cause an awful smell, and become a breeding place for insects.  Sewage may back up into your house damaging carpets or floors.

Maintenance is required to keep your septic system in excellent working order and ensure the system lasts as long as possible.  This information will help you care for it and understand what it takes.  Knowing what actions you can take as a home owner to make sure your septic system functions properly is the first step.

Every 3 to 5 years the septic tank should be inspected and pumped.  The inspection should be opening the 2-foot access ports on each end of the tank to check the inlet and outlet pipes and level of water.  In older tanks, there may not be large access ports so the tank may need to be opened by excavating and removing a portion of the lid.  To prevent this in the future, an experienced company serviceman can add large access openings with watertight covers for future access.

If you have an advanced treatment system with pumps, blowers, tablet chlorination or other treatment systems, the equipment needs to be inspected more often, usually once or twice a year.  The maintenance company should check for leaks, unusual noises or voltage, and look at the quality of the treated water leaving the system.

electric pump

regenerative blowers

Pumping of solids and scum from a septic tank is recommended if the solid debris is within 12 in. of the middle baffle.  Four significant aspects affect the frequency of pumping:

  • How many people are in your family or building,
  • the quantity of wastewater created by each person,
  • the volume of solids and scum that end up in the tank – from grease and oil to the type of soap, volume of lint from clothes washing, and whether a garbage disposal is used, and
  • the size of the tank.

Stress from a large family or family  with many children or teenagers using more water may require pumping more often.  Dumping kitchen grease or garbage grinder waste can clog piping or build up in the tank.  Some items will not break down and are only removed by pumping.  Older septic tanks may have been sized before an addition was added to the house so the tank is smaller than recommended.

Some creators of additives for septic tanks assert that their product extends the time between pumping or eliminates the need.  This is not proven.  In fact, the wastewater in septic tanks contains the bacteria needed for anaerobic and aerobic digestion of organic material.  Regular pumping ensures that septic tanks function efficiently and offer many decades of service.  Regardless, every septic tank requires inspection and pumping.  Roots can clog piping and cause sewage back-ups or even crack tanks.   When a pumper identifies a problem, make sure to find a qualified contractor to fix the problem as soon as possible.

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