A septic system can be a selling point for new homeowners, especially eco-friendly homeowners who prefer a self-sustaining homestead instead of a reliance on public water treatment systems. Septic tank owners will learn that they need to pump the septic tank regularly to clear out slime and sludge. However, how often does a septic tank require pumping?
There are numerous variables involved when it comes to septic tank pumping frequency, including the size of the tank, the contents of the tank, and the amount of wastewater produced.
Size of the Tank
The average residential septic tank falls somewhere between 30 square feet and 40 square feet in size. The capacity of residential septic tanks usually falls somewhere between 1,000 to 1,500 gallons. Smaller tanks will require more frequent pumping since they will fill up more quickly.
For a family of 4, you should pump every 2.6 years if you have a 1,000-gallon tank, 4.6 years if you have a 1,500-gallon tank, and 5 years if you have a 2,000-gallon tank.
Contents of the Tank
Your septic tank receives all of the wastewater that exits your home's drains, including sink drains, shower drains, and toilet drains. The items you allow to go down these drains end up in your septic tank. The septic tank won't be able to break down certain items, such as diapers, wipes, grease, oil, and fat. These materials accumulate inside the tank until you get septic tank cleaning. You can prolong pumping appointments by being mindful of the items you put down the drain.
Some of the items in your septic tank will alter the delicate ecosystem. Septic tanks rely on enzymes and good bacteria to dissolve the organic material inside of them. Certain chemicals can alter bacteria levels, making them less effective. When this happens, the tank will fill up more quickly and require more frequent pumping. Only use septic-friendly cleaners in your drains to prevent off-balanced enzyme levels.
The more wastewater you send down the drain, the more often you will need to pump the septic tank. The more people in the family, the more wastewater is generated. Therefore, larger households will pump the septic tank more often than smaller households.
You can reduce the amount of wastewater produced by using low-flow fixtures throughout your household and limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower.
Still, it's important to be diligent about septic tank pumping. If you suspect you're due for a pumping, contact a local septic tank pumping company to get a professional opinion.