Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

What Factors Determine The Frequency Of Septic Pumping?

by Melinda Crawford

Every septic tank has a limited capacity for treating the wastewater you produce in your household or commercial property. Over time, the sludge layer that consists of the broken-down solid waste increases, reducing the tank's capacity and efficiency. To avoid backflow and flooding, the sludge must be pumped out from time to time.

Most people assume that septic pumping is only needed after a few years, but that's not always the case. Many tanks need frequent pumping, and various factors determine this. This post will share critical factors that influence your need for a septic system pumping service.

The Quantity of Wastewater Produced

All households produce two kinds of wastewater, both of which need safe treatment. The first type is the gray water produced in bathtubs, washing machines, bathroom sinks, and showers. The other is black water from toilets and kitchen sinks. When these two forms of wastewater are combined, they contribute to the effluent in the septic tank. 

If you keep producing too much wastewater, the bacteria in your septic system will not effectively break down the wastewater due to work overload. This will cause the septic tank to fill up quickly, forcing you to schedule frequent septic pumping sessions. 

The Quantity of Solid Waste That Gets to the Tank

A septic tank is designed to break down the liquid and solid waste differently. Liquid waste is directed to a drain field, where it's absorbed into the ground. On the other hand, solid waste is exposed to anaerobic bacteria, and the broken-down waste remains in the septic tank. This waste forms the sludge layer at the bottom.

If a large volume of solid waste gets to the septic system, the sludge layer will increase significantly within a short period. Once it occupies a large space, there will be little or no room for the bacteria to do their work, and solid waste will start flowing into the drain field. The only way to create space to treat the wastewater effectively will be to pump out the septic tank.

The Size of the Tank

Septic tanks come in various sizes, which are usually determined by several factors during construction. These may include the size of the house, family size, and water usage. If you got a home that was owned by a smaller family (and they installed a lower-capacity septic tank), but your family is large, you may need to pump out the tank frequently. This way, you will ensure the wastewater is treated efficiently.

Contact a company that offers septic services to learn more.