Septic Tank Pumping and Maintenance Just as it’s always prudent to maintain your car by changing the oil every 3,000 miles, the best practice for keeping your septic system operating safely at its best is to have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. There is a homeowners guide online that may help you create a maintenance program to make sure your system operates properly and safely for years to come. A regular maintenance program will also identify any potential problems early so they can be fixed with minimum cost and disruption.

A common misconception is the belief held by some homeowners that when the septic system is installed, the septic tank is empty. Then one day in the distant future, say 20 or 30 years, the septic tank will fill up. When the tank fills up you simply pump it out and the clock starts all over again. This myth could not be further from the truth and has led many such owners to unknowingly neglect their septic systems only to have them fail prematurely and to require expensive repairs that could have been avoided..

Actually, newly installed and recently pumped septic tanks are designed to fill quickly within a couple weeks and to remain full until they are pumped again, which should be about every 3 to 5 years. This is how they are designed and supposed to function.

Septic tanks work the best when they are full because when they are full they provide the largest possible home for the bacteria your septic system needs to function. The bacteria break down the waste coming into the septic tank and help purify and clean the water exiting the septic tank. The wastewater from the home or residence enters the septic tank from one side of the tank. When the wastewater enters the septic tank, an equal amount of bacteria-processed water is pushed out into the leaching system on the other side of the septic tank.

There are actually two solid layers inside the septic tank, the scum layer above the wastewater and the sludge layer below it. These two solid layers will accumulate and grow together over time without septic tank pumping. Once both layers have kind of merged together, the amount of both liquid and active bacteria in the tank drops measureably and untreated solid waste begins to enter the leaching system. When the solid waste enters the leaching system it can plug up and ruin the entire leach field, or drainage field, causing the need for very expensive repairs.

Regular septic tank pumping keeps your septic tank system in the best working condition. A regular program of septic tank pumping is the only proven method for prolonging the life of your septic system, providing you with a healthy home, and protecting your investment in this most important utility. Contact a local septic tank service company and get your septic tank inspected and get it pumped out if it has been over 3 years since the last time you had it pumped or don’t know when the last time was.