Pumping the septic tank on your property is not something that people think about every day, but no matter how healthy the system is, the tank will need pumping eventually. When to pump the septic tank can depend on the health of the septic system and how you use it.
Healthy Septic Systems
The septic system that handles the wastewater and solid wastes from your home works because of the bacteria that live in the system. Most systems are anaerobic systems in which the bacteria in the tank break down the solid wastes, and the water in the system rises and runs out through perforated pipes into the leach field.
When the system is working correctly, the solids that are not consumed by the bacteria sink to the bottom of the tank and become sludge. Even in the healthiest system, the sludge will accumulate over time, and the only way to get it out of the tank is to pump it out. Under normal conditions, if your tank is the right size for the home and is working correctly, pumping once every three to five years is normal.
In some situations, the septic tank can fill up and start to back up into the home or seep out of the ground outside your house. The system should not do either, but if there are too many solids in the tank and the water is not leaching off fast enough, the system can become overwhelmed.
Common reasons for the tank to fill up are an improper use of the system and flushing things that are not biodegradable down the toilet. Often an excessive amount of toilet paper in the system, feminine hygiene products, or a lot of detergents can upset the balance of the septic system. If that happens, the solids may not breakdown properly, and the system can back up, requiring emergency pumping to get the system back on track.
Detergents and Chemicals
The fastest way to kill the bacteria in your septic tank is to put a lot of detergents or cleaning chemicals into the system. Killing the bacteria in the system will cause the anaerobic process to break down and the system to fail.
There are many cleaning products and detergents on the market that are organic and safe for the septic system, so take a look at the options and pick something that works for you and protects the system at the same time. You will still need to have a service, like those offered at http://www.southernsanitarysystems.com, pump out your septic tank in a few years, but once every three years is far cheaper and more convenient than having to pump the tank every few months because it is not working correctly.