3 Things To Consider When Determining How Often To Pump Your Septic Tank

If your home isn't connected to a sewer system, a septic tank is a necessary component of your plumbing system. A septic tank is a watertight box that houses and treats your home's wastewater. Wastewater includes any type of water that goes down the drain, including water used for bathing, washing dishes, toilet needs, and cooking.

The process used to treat your home's wastewater results in a layer of sludge (any solids heavier than water) and a layer of scum (oils and fats that rise to the top of the septic tank). Both of these items remain in your tank until you remove them. To keep your septic tank functioning correctly, you need to have it regularly pumped. 

Conventional recommendations state you need to pump your septic tank every three to five years. However, the exact frequency varies based on the specifics of your household. Here are a few things to consider when determining how frequently to pump your septic tank. 

1. Whether Your Home Has a Garbage Disposal

The more solids you send to your septic tank, the quicker it fills up. If your home has a garbage disposal and you regularly use it, this will increase the number of solids that you send to your septic tank.

Make sure that your garbage disposal is compatible with septic tanks. These garbage disposals break food down into smaller portions than normal disposal units. 

2. The Number of People in Your Household

Households that have more people will need to have their septic tank pumped more frequently. The more people that are in your home, the greater the amount of wastewater generated by your household. Homes with a large amount of wastewater need to have their tanks pumped sooner than those with small amounts of wastewater.

Even if your family size is fairly small, keep in mind any frequent visitors and renters who might share your space. They also contribute to the wastewater that goes to your septic tank. 

3. The Water Efficiency of Your Home

All of the other details remaining equal, a home that is more water-efficient will need to have its septic tank pumped less frequently than one that isn't as water-efficient. Make sure that you promptly take care of any leaky faucets or constantly running toilets.

Discourage your family from flushing items like tampons, flushable wipes, and condoms down the toilet; not only do these items take up space in your septic tank, but the additional flushes add more wastewater. When possible, opt for energy-efficient laundry and dish cycles that use as little water as possible. 

To learn more about septic tank pumping, contact a company in your area like AAA Pumping Service.