Proper Septic Tank Emptying

Regular maintenance is a fundamental necessity for any septic tank. Even the best constructed tanks need to be inspected and repaired regularly to keep them functioning efficiently, or to keep them functioning at all. Part of the maintenance that they require is regular emptying of all the contents that they have collected since the last pumping. Primarily that consists of the sludge that settles to the bottom of the tank and the any non-biodegradable items that have found their way in there.
Solid Sludge in the Septic Tank
Too much sludge in a tank means not only that there will be less space for the incoming waste, effectively reducing the capacity of the tank, but also that the incoming waste will not have enough time to be decomposed, before more incoming water pushes the solids into the pipes. And here the solids may even clog the pipes, which will completely grind the septic system to a halt – definitely not a scenario any homeowner would want to see.
The more the sludge a septic system contains, more of these solids will escape from the tank into the Soil Absorption System (SAS). In case the SAS is clogged by this excessive sludge, the unsanitary liquids will bubble to the surface and damage the surrounding soil and environment. This will inevitably lead to septic tank failure – also not a good scenario.
Emptying the Septic Tank
Removing the sludge then becomes important to stop the solids from escaping from the septic tank into the drain field. Depending on the size of the tank, the type of construction, and the use to which it is put, different tanks require different frequency of pumping. For houses that do not have their own garbage disposal system, experts advise that pumping should be done every 1 to 3 years. For the houses that have their own garbage disposal systems, the pumping should be done every year.
By judging the past instances when pumping was carried out, focusing on whether there was enough sludge when the pumping was scheduled, or whether the pumping was done prematurely, you will have a better idea of when your tank will need to be pumped again.
Hiring the Pumper
Professional pumpers have a license from the local Health Board and these are the ones you should be hiring. After pumping they will write up a receipt describing the pumping done, including the number of gallons of sludge removed, the time taken, etc. You should keep this receipt in your records for future reference.

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