One of the unique aspects of owning a rural home is they typically use septic tanks rather than public utility sewer systems to process wastewater. Unlike sewer connections, septic tanks require regular care and maintenance or they develop expensive problems.
One aspect of septic system care is having its tank pumped out and cleaned on a regular basis. How often this needs to be done is contingent on the following four factors:
Factor #1: The Size of Your Home's Septic Tank
Not all residential septic tanks are the same size. In recent years they have become larger in an effort to better accommodate the way modern families live. So, if your home was built many decades ago, then you can expect the septic tank is a lot smaller than one installed within the last few years.
The next time your septic system is inspected by a professional, have the tank measured so you know exactly how big it is.
Factor #2: The Number of People Living in Your Home
In addition to the physical size of the septic tank, the number of people living in your household also affects the required pumping frequency. The more people that live in your house, then the more wastewater that is produced.
Factor #3: The Amount of Wastewater Your Household Generates
The more wastewater your household generates, then the more often the septic tank requires pumping and cleaning. The reason is that wastewater doesn't only contain clean water, it also contains solid materials that create a scum and sludge layer inside of the tank. Since the only way to remove the scum and sludge is by cleaning and pumping, the more wastewater processed, then the more frequent the pumping need.
Factor #4: The Volume of Solids Collecting in the Septic Tank
Your septic tank needs to be cleaned and pumped out when the scum or sludge layers are too thick and thus too close to the outlet leading to the leach field. If the tank isn't pumped when it becomes necessary, then the sludge and scum can be pushed down into the leach lines and ruin the leach field by clogging it.
Finally, to determine the thickness of the sludge and scum layers, you need to have the tank inspected by a licensed plumbing professional. Due to the toxic gases that build up inside of a septic tank, it is not safe for you to perform the inspection yourself. Contact a company, like A-Bell Excavating Inc., for more help.