How Often do Septic Tanks Need to be Emptied?

Septic tanks, usually made of concrete or plastic, are an essential part of residential sewage disposal. As such, they can handle only a certain amount of waste before they require emptying. As for how often to empty the tank, it varies.

While most experts recommend having the tank emptied every three to five years, it might need more or less frequent service depending on the number of people living in the house. For larger families, the tank might fill sooner, and for one or two-person households, it might last ten years before needing this service. If you’ve just had the tank installed, ask the installers to provide an emptying schedule based on projected usage and family size. They can also come out before scheduled maintenance to evaluate the tank and make sure the agreed-upon schedule makes sense.

Regardless of household size, it helps to keep a close eye on your tank’s emptying needs so you can design an appropriate schedule. If you live near other similarly-sized families with septic systems, you can also ask them for guidance.

Another option for determining when to pump your tank involves measuring the amount of solid material in the tank. It’s best to have a professional do this, as they have the necessary methods and sampling tools to get an accurate reading. Once technicians complete this step, they can recommend a time table for pumping.

Why Should Septic Tanks Be Emptied

If a tank overflows or clogs, it should be pumped as soon as possible to avoid backup into the home. By design, heavier material drops to the bottom of a septic tank, generating a layer of sludge that can rise to the surface over time. This brings hazardous waste into the drain field, clogging pipes and preventing liquid absorption. Eventually, these unsavory substances overflow into the home and surrounding field, causing a dangerous and unsettling situation for everyone involved.

Call a Professional to Pump the Tank

Whether you’re on a pumping schedule or need the tank emptied due to other factors, it’s always best to have experts perform the work. They are specially trained to handle waste disposal and have access to adequate equipment and facilities. Ideally, your tank should be emptied before obvious backup occurs, as repairing a damaged system brings high costs and more than a little inconvenience.

If you live in the Greenville or Anderson areas and need help with septic system installation, maintenance or repair, remember to call Palmetto Pumpers at 864-385-3933 and schedule an appointment today.

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