When is Septic Tank Maintenance Needed?

septic tank maintenance

Living outside the city limits means you have a bit more privacy, and a bit more room to stretch out, but it also tends to mean you’re out of range for municipal sewer connections. While it can seem intimidating to the uninitiated, septic tank maintenance is relatively simple, and straightforward. Following a few simple guidelines and sticking to a routine maintenance schedule can keep your system running without issue for years on end.

What is a Typical Septic Tank Maintenance Schedule?

While the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates a range of three to five years between pumping, how well your system operates and for how long can vary dramatically, depending on your level of maintenance.

Septic tank maintenance includes the big things, like pumping the tank when it reaches capacity, but it also includes all the little day-to-day decisions you make between pumpings, too. Being careful what you flush or pour down the drains can have a tremendous impact on the health of your system, for instance. A tendency to flush things like cigarette butts or feminine hygiene products paired with a love of pouring strong antiseptic cleaners down the drain, for instance, will shorten the pumping cycle and introduce problems in short order. 

Maintaining your septic system is easier when you’re mindful about water usage, too. For example, choosing to do several loads of laundry on the water-hogging heavy soil setting while one family member showers and another does dishes puts a tremendous strain on your septic system. The more water flowing through the faucets at one time in your home, the more being emptied directly into your septic tank.

Your system does best when it can process large volumes of water at a slower pace. Doing laundry several times throughout the week as opposed to a single heavy-duty laundry day is one small change that can have a big impact on septic tank maintenance.

What Sort of Professional Septic Tank Maintenance is Required?

Adjusting your daily habits and being mindful of your self-contained system can go a long way toward extending the time between tank pumpings. However, you’ll still want to invest in regular professional septic tank maintenance. 

Ideally, septic tank maintenance should be part of an ongoing service arrangement that includes annual inspections. This is particularly true if your system features pumps, mechanical components, and electrical float switches. A professional inspection is the single best and most reliable method of staving off septic tank maintenance emergencies. No one wants the foul surprise that a septic tank is full and in need of attention; Sunset Septic can help with routine septic tank inspection services.

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