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Having a septic tank is a basic necessity, so it’s very common to see more and more homeowners opting for septic tanks over traditional sewage systems.

However, few people understand the importance of regularly maintaining and pumping their septic tanks. Property owners who need to comprehend septic tank draining or how it functions may question the need to plan this essential maintenance operation.

Damages Pumping Septic

Understanding how septic umping works can help owners appreciate the importance of regular pumping. Keep in mind that failing to maintain your home’s septic tank can affect your entire neighbourhood.

This guide will go through the fundamentals of a septic tank system, how to maintain it, and the consequences of a neglected septic tank.

How Does Septic Tank Work?

Concrete Septic Tank Ground

A septic tank is an underground tank large enough to hold hundreds of gallons of wastewater. However, the size of the septic tank depends on your needs. For instance, the size varies from 1,000 gallons to 1,500 gallons.

The main sewage line connects the septic tank to the residence. This line transports all wastewater from your home, including sinks, toilets, showers and bathtubs, to the septic tank. And as the wastewater enters the tank, it separates into three different layers:

  • Scum: The top layer consists of oil and fats
  • Middle layer: The middle layer consists of wastewater
  • Sludge: The last layer consists of solids

A pipe at the top of the septic system runs to a shallow trench known as the drain field. When the sewage passes through this pipe, it goes into the drainage system and is filtered by the earth.

To explain the process briefly, the bacteria in the tank break down the sludge and converts it into liquid form. And the soil the wastewater passes through removes the coliform bacteria and viruses to avoid groundwater pollution in the area.

Why Should You Pump Your Septic Tank?

Regular use requires you to pump your septic system when it reaches capacity.

Pumping, like inspections and repairs, is part of the septic systems maintenance process. It aims to rid your system of wastewater by creating a way for more. The technique also helps extend your tank’s life, eliminates stinky sewage odours, and prevents other problems that might affect your family and neighbours.

When your garbage is pumped, it is eliminated from your premises in an ecologically responsible, safe and quick manner. It is then transported to a publicly operated wastewater treatment plant, where the water is cleaned and recovered for various uses.

Pump Septic

What Happens When A Septic Tank Is Pumped?

Sludge will accumulate in the bottom of the septic tank area over time. And although bacteria can assist in reducing the quantity of muck, they cannot decompose sludge quickly enough to eradicate it entirely and keep the tank clean. The filth is cleaned when the tank is pumped.

Septic Pumped

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank?

If the tank is not pumped, sediments will accumulate, and the tank’s holding capacity will get reduced. The sediments will eventually jam the conduit that flows into the drainage system.

When the drain field pipe gets blocked, homeowners may experience the following issues:

  • Sewage odour in the yard
  • Swampy places near the drain field
  • Bright green and robust grass near the drain field
  • Wastewater backing up into the house

Signs That Your Tank Needs to Be Pumped

Your tank cannot pump itself, and it will eventually fill up and need to be drained. This is a crucial component of your home that needs upkeep, like your HVAC, plumbing, or automobile. As such, you should pump your tank at least three times a year.

Look for the following typical warning signals to determine when your septic tank might require pumping:

  • You have stagnant water in your yard
  • You have a blocked drain or lavatory that won’t unclog
  • Your backyard smells like untreated sewage or garbage, especially around the manholes of your septic system
  • Sinks, bathtubs, toilets and other fixtures drain slowly
  • Nitrate levels in your well water are high.
  • Your septic system hasn’t been flushed in some years.

When Should You Pump Your Septic System?

As days pass, the solid elements that are not eaten by the microbes accumulate on the tank’s bottom, producing the sludge layer. Pumping or cleanup is required when the sludge layer exceeds 30% of the tank capacity.

Households with a larger family size might have to pump their septic tanks more regularly, whilst those with fewer occupants may be able to go longer between cleanings.

Final Verdict: When Should You Call A Professional?

You may prevent costly sewage repairs and potential property damage by arranging a yearly septic tank check with your local plumbing provider. Additionally, keeping detailed records of the period between cleanings will give you a reasonable timeline for future cleanouts.

WP Plumbing aims to provide high-quality plumbing services to Melbourne homeowners. Whether pumping your septic tank, clearing blocked pipes or fixing a leaking faucet, our plumbers can tackle any plumbing issue. So, give us a call!

After all, only authorised and experienced plumbing professionals should ever have access to your septic tank system since it contains dangerous and lethal gases.

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