If your home has a septic system, pumping the septic tank is a routine maintenance cost that most home owners budget for. But how much value are you currently getting out of your septic pumping service? Do they just show up, pump out your tank and then leave? Maybe you’ve never thought to question.
Whenever you work with a septic company to perform routine septic pumping services, needless to say you expect these to pump the solids out of your tank and bring them away. However when the tank is empty, this really is the perfect time to check for potential problems using the tank making recommendations to correct the issue before it causes the complete system to fail. You should conduct a three-point check every time your septic tank is pumped: Check the tank baffle(s), gray water to solids ratio, and soil intrusion to your tank.
Tank Baffles – The baffles in your septic tank are designed to prevent solids from flowing to your disbursement system, also known as your “leaching field.” Tank baffles tend to be the initial part to go inside the tank. If caught quickly enough, replacing a baffle is easy and costs significantly less than replacing a failed leaching field.
Gray Water To Solids Ratio – How many times you pump your tank is sometimes estimated by the number of bedrooms or specifically the number of people living within your house and how big your septic tank. Technically, the regularity of pumping depends on the solids to water ratio. A septic tank should never exceed 25% solid waste. This also can cause solids to get in the septic leaching field. By observing this, your septic company will be able to fine-tune your pumping schedule to get more life away from your leaching field.
Ground Water Intrusion – Another problem with septic tanks is groundwater intrusion, which shows as being a heavy rust discoloration in the top of the tank. This can be a sign that somewhere the concrete has worn or cracked. Excessive water entering your tank can overload your leaching system. In addition, it can point to a structural problem in your tank or sewage line that can be addressed before it becomes bigger.
Apart from these three checkpoints which are standard with most septic pumping services, in case your septic system has a filter or an effluent pump (should your leaching field is more than your tank you own an effluent pump) those needs to be cleaned as well. Black water is an additional flag to look for when pumping your tank. Black water means aerobic bacteria has died kqpmuy the septic tank will not be functioning properly. Quite often this points to some ventilation problem.
On the average, a four bedroom home with a 1500 gallon tank is normally pumped every 2 to three years. Proper septic system care and maintenance can extend the life span of the septic system five, ten, or even fifteen years over a septic system that is neglected. If you’re not sure how many times your tank should be pumped, give your neighborhood septic company a call. An established company should be prepared to send a person to go to your home and consult with you.