If your home has a septic system and is not connected to a public sewer system, you need to be aware of the condition of your septic tank at all times. The tank will require pumping out from time to time but how do you know when to do it? While there is a schedule of sorts, there are times that you will see signs that the tank is not functioning properly and should be pumped out.
Pumping Your Healthy Tank
If your septic tank is healthy and functioning properly, it should only need to be pumped out to remove the solids in the bottom of the tank. The typical time frame is about 4 to 5 years between pumps but in tanks that are not properly maintained, that time could be very different. Keep your tank healthy by not putting things in the system that don't belong there and depending on the number of occupants in the house, you may be able to stay on a schedule that will only require the tank to be pump every few years.
Signs That Your Tank Needs to be Pumped
If your system is operating properly, there are no signs that the tank needs pumping. It will be on schedule and then not again until the next scheduled pumping. However, if your system is backing up into the home or the cleanouts, water is surfacing over the tank, or water is surfacing over the leach field, you need to have the tank pumped and cleaned. The tank should not do this but if it does, pumping can relieve it some. It typically indicates a larger problem so along with pumping, scheduling an inspection of the tank and system.
Septic System Inspection and Repair
If your system is not running properly, you can have it inspected to determine where the problem is. The tank will have to be cleaned and pumped first then the feeds in and out of the tank checked. If they are clogged, they will need to be cleared for the system to function properly. Another cause of system failure is tree roots growing into the lines or tank. If this happens, your septic tank contractor will need to dig up the system and cut all the roots out and it. Collapsed pipes can also cause limited flow if and out of the system. In all these situations, excavation of the system is required and can be very expensive. Talk with the contractor about the best option to get your system running properly again. Digging it up should be the last resort.
For more information, talk to a professional like All County Operations.