Tips for Maintaining Your Septic Tank and Keeping it Functioning Properly.

A septic tank is a key component of a home’s wastewater system. It is typically buried underground and made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. A septic tank pumps and stores sewage from a home’s plumbing system. The tank allows solid waste to settle at the bottom while allowing water and sewage effluent to flow out of the septic pumping and into a drain field. 

It is important to have your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years to remove the solid waste that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. If the solid waste is not removed, it can clog the tank and prevent it from working properly. In this article, we will cover the basics of septic tank pumping, including what you need to know before having your septic tank pumped and what to expect during and after the pumping process.

What You Need to Know Before Having Your Septic Tank Pumped 

Before having your septic tank pumped, there are a few things you should do to prepare:

Find out where your septic tank is located. This may seem like an obvious first step, but you would be surprised how many people do not know where their septic tank is located. If you are unsure of where your septic tank is located, you can ask your neighbor or contact your local wastewater treatment facility for help.

Determine how much sewage is in your septic tank. Most septic tanks have two compartments, each with its own inlet and outlet pipe. The size of each compartment will determine how much sewage can be stored in the tank before it needs to be pumped. A typical residential septic tank has a capacity of 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters). However, the capacity of your septic tank may be different depending on the size of your home and number of occupants.  To determine how full your septic tank is, you will need to contact a professional pump operator who can measure the level of sludge in your tank.  Once you know how full your septic tank is, you can schedule pumping accordingly.  It is generally recommended that you have your septic tank pumped when it is one-third to one-half full.                                                                        Wait for dry weather conditions before having your septic tank pumped. Pumping should not be done during or immediately after heavy rains as this can cause additional strain on your system and lead to flooding.  If possible, schedule pumping for a time when the ground around your septic system is not saturated with water. This will make it easier for the pump operator to access your septic system and minimize disruption to your yard.

Prepare for disruptions to your normal routine. Septic pumping typically takes 1-2 hours and requires access to all parts of your yard where the system components are located.  During this time, you will likely be without water as all wastewater must be diverted away from the system while it is being pumped. In addition, noise from the pumps may be disruptive so it is best to schedule pumping during daytime hours when people are less likely to be disturbed by noise. Finally, there may be some residual odor from the sewage so it is best to keep windows and doors closed during pumping if possible. 

What Happens During Septic Tank Pumping? 

Once everything has been prepared for pumping, here’s what you can expect: 

The pump operator will arrive with a truck that contains all of the necessary equipment for pumping including hoses, pumps, and tanks. 

The operator will locate all components of your septics system including the inlet and outlet pipes as well as any manholes or inspection ports that may be present.. 

The operator will connect hoses from the truck’s tanks to the inlet and outlet pipes of your septic system..  Wastewater will flow from your system into the truck’s tanks while solids are removed from the bottom of your septic tank..Once pumping is complete, the operator will disconnect all hoses and equipment from your system..All solid waste will be disposed of according to local regulations..Water that was removed from your system during pumping may be recycled and used again..After everything has been cleaned up, you should run water through all drains in your home to ensure that they are clear..You may also want to add water back into any dry areas in your yard..                                                      

What Happens After Septic Tank Pumping? After having your septic system pumped, there are a few things you should do: Inspect all components of your system for damage or leaks..   Have any damaged components repaired or replaced as soon as possible.. Schedule regular maintenance appointments with a professional pump operator every 3-5 years or as needed..