As I have written several times in this blog, one the best things you can do for your septic system is pump it regularly. And every time I discuss the subject of septic pumping, my brain always thinks about one of my favorite SNL skits with Hans and Frans….I’m sorry, I’m just that weird. They wanted to PUMP…..YOU UP! I want to PUMP…YOU OUT!
It is recommended that you pump your tank every 3-5 years based on activity levels in your home. The more people you have living in your home the more solids you produce. When we come pump the tank even though we take all the water with us, what we are actually after are all the solids that collect over time (your poo, toilet paper and garbage disposal items). If too much of these build up they can seep out to your lateral field and plug it up.
The diagram above shows what an average septic tank contains on a daily basis. You will see sewage or wastewater comes in from the house, then liquid, sludge and scum get trapped in the tank, and finally wastewater that seeps to the laterals field.
Though you may find all these components completely gross, it’s actually important that each are there in their respective amounts. However, too many solids can become an issue.
Just like you change the oil on your car to get the bad stuff out, your septic system needs the same type of care. If the solids that collect at the bottom of the tank aren’t cleaned out from time to time, they can build up and seep out to the lateral field. You do not want this for your system. If you can think of your lateral field as being a sponge, the solids that seep out to the “sponge” can clog it up and reduce the life of your system.
As mentioned above, it is recommended that your tank be pumped every 3 – 5 years based on activity level. Therefore, the more people who live in your home, the more frequently you need to have it pumped. Families of four or more need to be on the 3 year side (maybe even 2 year if you entertain a lot). If it is just you and your spouse, you could probably go every 5 years. The main key is to remember it and make sure you do it regularly.
Until next week!