How Often Do You Need to Pump Your Septic Tank?

by Team eLocal
pumping septic tanks from the backyard tank in the countryside

Your septic tank may be out of sight, but it shouldn't be out of mind if you want things to continue working properly.

Regular septic tank pumping is essential to keep the system functioning without a huge, stinky mess.

How Often Do You Need to Pump Your Septic Tank?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that the typical pumping frequency for a household septic tank should be every three to five years. However, the exact timing can vary significantly based on your situation. Septic tank pumping is always something a professional needs to do. Finding a reliable local septic tank company helps you develop a relationship and get an idea of how often your tank needs to be pumped.

What Factors Might Impact How Frequently You Should Have It Pumped?

Don't rely only on the number of years since your last septic tank pumping to determine when you're due for one. The following factors impact how often you should have your tank pumped:

  • Tank size: Septic tanks come in various sizes, so knowing the capacity of your tank can help you gauge your pumping frequency. If you have a 1,000-gallon tank, you'll likely need to pump it more often than a similar family with a 1,750-gallon tank would have to pump theirs.
  • Number of people: Your household size is another important factor. More people generate increased waste and wastewater, which fills up the system faster.
  • Water usage: Excessive water use can increase the chances of clogs, backups and leaks in your septic tank system. It can affect how well it functions and can require more frequent visits from the septic tank company.
  • General usage: Septic systems are only meant to handle human waste and septic-friendly toilet paper. If you flush other things down your toilets or let food go down your drain, it can fill the tank faster and cause clogs. Using harsh substances like drain cleaners can hurt the microorganisms that help break down the waste, which can require more frequent pumping due to a buildup of sludge and waste.

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