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Why regular septic tank pumping is important for residential wastewater treatment

By June 8, 2023No Comments

Where properties are not connected to the municipal sewerage system, it becomes necessary for the proper treatment and disposal of household wastewater onsite. This is done through a septic system which includes a septic tank.

The septic tank is an enclosed tank where household sewage is treated. While fats and oils will float to the top in a scum layer, solids settle to the bottom of the tank to form the sludge layer. The bacteria in the tank will break down most of the solids and that which does not break down will start collecting at the bottom of the tank.

Over time, the sludge layer builds up and can block the outlet pipe amongst other problems that can lead to the septic system breaking down or not working properly. To prevent this scenario, it is vital to pump the septic tank regularly.

Benefits of regular septic tank pumping

Most people wait to pump the septic tank when it’s too late. Regular septic tank pumping is important to maintain the health of the septic system and here are four benefits to it:

A.    Preventing system failure

Tanks with too much build-up can cause septic systems to break down. Excessive build-up ultimately results in problems like drain back-up, slower draining, blocked drains or overflow of solid waste into the leach field, which can be a health hazard. Pumping the septic tank regularly ensures the system continues to work efficiently, without any costly repairs or breakdowns.

B.    Reducing odors and health risks

Blocked drains and back-up of sewage cause strange and toxic odours to enter your home. The back flow of sewage into your house, and the odours pose a health risk to members of the household, including pets. Sewage exposure can lead to a host of diseases because of the bacteria, parasites and germs it contains.

C.    Extending the lifespan of your septic system

A well-maintained septic tank should last up to 40 years. There are several things you can do to extend the lifespan of the septic system, and pumping the septic tank regularly is one of the main activities to ensure that.

D.    Ensuring efficient wastewater treatment

Pumping the septic tank ensures that the septic system is working properly. Even if you don’t see signs of blocked drains, strange odours, or leaks, the tank must be pumped on schedule so that wastewater treatment continues to work as it should. If you wait too long between pumping the tank, it can slow down draining and cause other inefficiencies in the system, which can disrupt your household.

How often should you pump your septic tank?

  • The general rule of the thumb is to pump the tank every three to five years. However, the schedule for your particular septic system will depend on a number of factors:
  • Size of household: More people living in the house leads to more waste in the tank, resulting in the need to pump the septic tank faster.
  • Wastewater generated: The volume of wastewater generated in the house will determine how fast the tank fills up and needs to be pumped. More wastewater than typical means accelerated pumping schedules.
  • Volume of solids in wastewater: Households with more toilets or those that are using garbage disposal systems will have solids filling up quickly in the tank, thus requiring quicker pumping.
  • Size of the tank: Larger tanks will hold more wastewater and require it to be pumped less frequently.

Signs your septic tank needs pumping

  • Look out for these telltale signs that your septic tank is in trouble and needs pumping:
  • Foul sewage odours near the septic system and even in and around your house
  • Wet areas, pooling water, or lush spots of vegetation around the septic tank
  • Slow draining sinks and toilets
  • Sewage back up in your home

Additional septic system maintenance tips

Follow these additional tips to maintain the longevity of your septic system:

  • Have your tank inspected by a professional at least every three years so that they can check that all parts of the system are working properly.
  • Do not flush solid objects like wet wipes, feminine hygiene products or chemicals and medicine. Here is a list of objects not to flush.
  • Use water efficiently as the more wastewater produced by a household, the quicker the tank will fill up. Long showers, excessive toilet flushing and running the washing machine often can load the septic system quickly.
  • Avoid draining excess water into the drain field as it can put a strain on the septic system. Divert run-offs from downspouts, gutters, and hard surfaces like driveways away from the drain field.

The importance of regular septic tank pumping for residential wastewater treatment

Regular septic tank pumping is essential to keep the septic system healthy and running efficiently. It also ensures that the members of your household are not put at any health risk from exposure to toxic odours, backed up drains, and sewage, which can occur because of a blocked septic tank.

Call a professional to pump your septic tank. Look for a reputable septic tank service who is not only well-recommended but provides environmentally responsible waste disposal services.

For a range of residential septic tanks, visit Hynds Wastewater.