Your Guide To Septic Pumping

If you have a septic system, you need occasional pumping to remove solid waste and residue. Failing to do so can lead to an expensive, disgusting disaster if the tank overflows and/or breaks. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

Why Does the Tank Need Pumping?

A septic system consists of many parts, including the tank and the drainage field. The system sends waste from the house to the septic tank. There, it sits while natural bacteria break down as much solid waste as possible. This creates a layer of solid waste on the bottom of the tank and liquid above the solid waste.

The liquid waste leaves the septic tank and travels to the drainage field and becomes effluent. The drainage field allows the effluent to drain back into the soil. Over time, however, more and more sludge collects on the bottom of the tank, causing it to become too full. If left ignored, the system can overflow.

What Are the Signs Your Tank Needs Pumping?

Unfortunately, the septic tank doesn't have an alarm to warn you when it needs cleaning. However, you can estimate when to pump it based on:

  • The size of the tank
  • The amount of wastewater
  • The type of solid waste

If you've just purchased the house and septic tank, ask the previous homeowner how often they pumped it to give yourself a place to start. If your tank does start to get full, it may be harder to flush the toilet, or the drains may gurgle or drain slowly. In some cases, water may back up from the drain.

If the system overflows, you may notice lush green grass above the septic system as the waste works like fertilizer. In more severe cases, you may have a pool of wastewater and the smell of sewage.

What Mistakes Cause the Tank to Fill Fast?

There are a few mistakes that may cause the tank to fill faster than you anticipate, increasing the risk of an overflow. Naturally, if your kid flushes a toy or other item down the toilet, it can't break down in the tank. However, you may be putting certain problematic materials down the drain or toilet. These include:

  • Napkins
  • Kitty litter
  • Condoms
  • Coffee grounds

To help your tank, you may try to use special tank cleaners or drain cleaners. However, these harsh chemicals may damage the bacteria ecosystem in the tank, making them unable to break down waste fast enough, so the system fills up faster than expected.

If you have a septic tank, don't neglect it. Regular pumping can prevent many issues, including a smelly backyard. If you would like to know more, contact a septic pumping service today and ask about emergency septic services.