Do you know when it’s time to pump your septic tank? Proper maintenance is essential to extend the life expectancy of your home septic system. The simplest way to keep everything flowing smoothly is to know when to have your tank pumped and do it regularly.
Septic tanks need to be pumped periodically to clear out solid waste sludge that forms on the top and bottom of your tank. Left ignored, high sewage levels in a full tank will cause stress on the entire septic system and ultimately lead to plumbing backup, early drainfield failure, and costly repairs.
How often you should pump out your septic tank depends on several factors, including the size of the tank and the number of people in the household. The volume of solids in your wastewater can also affect the need for frequent pumping. A family using a garbage disposal (compared to regularly scraping food waste into the trash) will have a greater volume of solids entering the tank, so that household will require more frequent pumping.
Additives can help but have a limited benefit in breaking down solid wastes. Along with human waste, solids that make way into a septic system also include some sand, grit, plastic pieces, and other non-organic material. This stuff must be pumped out. Enzymes and bacteria cannot digest these substances. In addition, many organic solids fail to digest well, so they will accumulate.
Here are a few signs that pumping your septic tank is way overdue!
- Slow drain flow. If your shower water is not draining as usual, check for a clog, but also be aware of slow drainage happening throughout the home — including slow flushing toilets.
- Odors. If your septic tank is near full, gasses could very well back up into your home’s living area.
- Lush greenery over your septic area in the yard. The extra “fertilizer” is having an affect. If you see this or any pooling of water around the area, this is a strong sign not to be ignored.
- High nitrate level in your well water. It’s recommended that well water be tested at least once a year. If higher than normal nitrate levels are detected, it could be an indication that waste water is overflowing from your septic system and leaching into your drinking water.
Most tanks need to be pumped every 3 to 5 years on average. If you want to be sure you know what is advisable for your residential property, call Mark at Saviour Septic in Connecticut at (860) 425-0744 for a septic system inspection. That’s the best way to ensure your septic system is healthy to avoid an emergency situation that could be costly down the road.