15 Feb. 19

How Often Should You Pump Your Septic Tank?

If you’re like many Boise homeowners, a septic tank system often suffers from being out of sight and out of mind. You want your septic system to stay that way though! Many people don’t know they have a problem with their septic system until sewage starts backing up into the yard. To prevent that, you need to keep the septic tank drained. How often should you do that?

Septic Tank Systems

A septic tank is actually a complex environment. Each tank is composed of three basic layers. The solid waste in your tank settles to the bottom of the tank over time. Any oils in the tank rise to the top. The middle layer is wastewater. The wastewater is usually piped out of the septic tank and run through a drain field in your yard. Since the wastewater contains microbes, you’ll probably notice the grass around your drain field is actually healthier and greener than your other grass. The wastewater quickly composts out; that’s one way the septic tank maintains itself. However, the solid waste can eventually rise up high enough to block the drain; that’s when it begins to back up into your yard.

How Often Should You Drain a Septic System?

A general rule of thumb is that each adult in your house produces about 125 gallons of waste in a year. Typically, 900 to 1000 gallon tanks are the smallest you will find. So, if you have four adults in your home and you have a 1000 gallon tank, you’ll need to have it pumped once every two years.

If you have a 2000 gallon tank and four adults, you’ll need to have it pumped once every four years. If you haven’t been keeping track of how often you have had your tank pumped or if you don’t know the last time it was pumped, it’s a good idea to have it pumped and start fresh.

Drain Field Issues

If you allow the septic tank to go too long without being pumped, it will begin to clog up the drain field. Once the drain field is clogged up, pumping the septic tank will not help. You’ll have to have it dredged and repaired by a professional. That will likely tear up your lawn, tie up your plumbing for days, and generally cause problems. Avoid that with pumping as often as recommended.

Most septic tank issue are preventable if you are prepared and keeping track of how often it is being pumped. If you have a septic system in Boise and need help, call Five Star Service Pros today. If we can’t help you, we’ll refer you to someone that can!