Pumping Your Septic Tank: What You Need to Know

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by megan No Comments

Septic tank pumping is essential to keep your system is proper working order. Basically, when wastewater enters your septic tank, it naturally separates into three different layers. Liquids settle in the middle of the tank and form a watery layer, while oils and fats rise to the top to create a layer of scum and solids sink to the bottom to form a sludge layer. The sludge at the bottom of your tank must be pumped out regularly – otherwise, it could impede the functioning of your tank, which can necessitate costly repairs.

How often should my septic tank be pumped?

As a general rule, septic tanks should be pumped every two or three years. The problem is that when you go too long without cleaning your septic tank, the sludge will start to build up. In an ideal world, the middle liquid layer should comprise roughly 90 percent of the space in your septic tank, with scum and sludge comprising the additional 10 percent. But if you go too long without getting your septic tank cleaned, the proportion of the tank taken up by sludge will grow and grow. This can strain a tank’s capacity, which can lead to waste backing up into the leach field or even into your home’s pipes. In a worst-case scenario, it could even cause tank failures.

How much will it cost?

In theory, you can clean your septic tank out yourself for free. However, you will need to store the sludge for transport and ensure you dispose of it safely, which can be a hassle. You can also get a professional to come and clean out the tank, which is advisable. Professional septic tank cleaners come with a tank truck that connects to septic systems and sucks out the contents. The truck will then safely transport the sludge off your property.

Getting your tank cleaned professionally doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. The good news is that if you get your septic tank cleaned at timely intervals, it shouldn’t be too expensive – typically, you can expect to pay around a couple hundred dollars. If left for too long, however, the cost can quickly balloon. That’s because the longer you go without cleaning your septic tank, the bigger the job becomes. It isn’t unheard of for a septic tank cleaning to cost several thousand dollars if the tank is not cleaned for a decade.

In conclusion, don’t wait to get your septic tank cleaned! If it is time for a regular cleaning, get in touch with a professional today.