The septic tank acts as a waste treatment system for your home. Whenever wasted water is removed (by flushing the toilet, through the shower drain or the like), it enters the septic tank. Lighter materials float to the top while heavier ones sink to the bottom: leaving a large pool of relatively clean water called effluent in the middle. The effluent can then be released into a drain field: a series of pipes designed to spread the water into a field of soil, fertilizing it in the process. As you may imagine, that leaves a fair amount of sludge and scum behind, and unless the septic tank is pumped out, it can create serious problems in the septic tank’s ability to function. Here in Waynesboro, PA, septic tanks can be pumped out by the qualified plumbers at Larry & Sons, Inc. But how often should you have your septic tank pumped? Some general answers can be found below.
The exact timing depends on how many people are in your household and how often they use the plumbing. A vacation home, for instance, won’t see as much activity as a normal home, and houses with large families will require pumping more than those with smaller families. Add to that a thousand other vagaries, and the timing becomes very dependent on your individual circumstances. The best solution is to schedule a yearly inspection of your septic tank from a trusted service. They will measure the levels in your tank, check the pipes and other components of the system and make sure that the drain field is working as it should. From there, you can establish a reasonable schedule based on the amount of use involved and the particular needs of your home. According to the EPA, most septic tanks need to be pumped every 1 to 3 years. An inspection will establish that number for you.