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How Often Should You Clean a Septic Tank?

For many residential homes, a septic tank is an essential system integrated into the property. When main municipal sewer lines cannot connect to the property, often in rural areas, a septic tank is what they need to collect all the sewage and water waste from the house. Without the septic system, the sewage would have nowhere to go.

Septic tanks are not bottomless. They can only hold a finite amount of sewage and wastewater before it needs cleaning. Wondering how often a septic tank should be emptied and cleaned is a common question for many homeowners.

How Often Should You Clean Your Septic Tank?

On average, you should have your septic tank pumped out and thoroughly cleaned once every three to five years. However, that number can vary greatly depending on the amount the septic tank gets used. For example, a family of two could get up to five years or more without pumping out the septic tank. But a family of six would need their tank pumped out more frequently.

Local health departments have recommendations along with charts to help you determine the correct frequency for your septic tank. The Cape Town Water and Sanitation Department can provide valuable information on your septic tank.

When the time comes to pump out your septic tank, you should have a professional do it for you. You want to ensure that the entire tank is pumped out. Not cleaning the entire tank is a common mistake. Plumbers Cape Town is a trusted company to pump and clean your septic tank thoroughly.

Why is it Necessary to Pump Out Septic Tanks?

One of the main reasons to pump out your septic tank is to prevent it from being overloaded. The main purpose of the tank is to hold sewage and waste. If the tank is full, you could end up with the sewage flowing back from where it came from into your yard.

If you neglect to pump out your septic tank, you’ll eventually be greeted with an unpleasant smell. That odor is more than being a smell, it could contain bacteria that can cause infections and diseases. You’ll smell the septic tank before you see the results of it being too full.

Lastly, all of the solid matter in the septic tank sinks to the bottom. Over time, everything in the bottom will form a sludge layer that can seep into the drain field. If this happens, you’re left with a terrible mess, along with clogged pipes.

Factors that Increase Pumping Frequency

Many factors will contribute to the frequency of pumping out the septic tank. If the tank is in a building in which there are multiple people dispensing waste into the sewage system, you’ll have to pump the tank more often. Basically, the heavier the usage the more often you’ll need to pump out the tank.

Using garbage disposals frequently will contribute to needing the tank pumped more often. When you use a garbage disposal, it is more than just water that goes down the drains. Food waste, even though it’s ground up into small pieces, still go to the septic tank, increases the number of solids in the tank.

Those who have a home business will likely need to pump out the septic tank more often. That is because there is someone at home continuing to use water and the bathroom, instead of the household being away for work. It may not be solid waste that you need to worry about. Rather it is the amount of liquid that flows into the tank.

Lastly, if you have more bedrooms than what your septic tank’s recommendation holds, you’ll need to pump it out more frequently. You’ll also want to keep in mind how often you have overnight guests, as they will contribute to an increase in water and waste usage.

Have Your Tank Professionally Pumped

Your septic tank can only hold so much. There will come a point where you will need to pump out the tank (usually between three and five years). Consider some of the factors that increase the frequency of pumping the tank, including the usage amount from guests or someone working from home.
Trust a professional to do the job for you. The tank needs to be completely pumped out to avoid any complications. Contact us to schedule your septic tank pumping today.

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