Septic tank pumping is a standard part of keeping your septic tank running smoothly. But since it's a step that you only need to take every few years or so, (depending on how often you use your septic tank, of course) it's something that's often overlooked or put on a back burner. However, you could be putting your entire septic tank at risk if you forget to do this. Here's why you should never skip a pumping.
Understanding the Septic Tank System
Your septic tank is more than just an underground vat for holding wastewater and sewage. It's a complicated and complex system that's designed to drain away basic water waste and to hold onto the sewage.
Your septic tank has a series of small pipes that make up a component called a leach field, or drainage field. This is a system where the wastewater in your septic tank effectively drains out into your yard, underground, where it won't cause a problem. However, these pipes are only designed to deal with liquid and nothing else.
What Happens When it Isn't Pumped
When you don't have your septic tank pumped, the level of sludge that forms on the bottom of the tank will gradually begin to rise as more and more of it forms. The 'sludge' is basically anything that's solid waste that you flush down the toilet, for example. If this sludge rises high enough, it can start to drain out through the leach field pipes. This not only creates a disgusting smell coming from your yard but will damage the leach field pipes badly.
If this process goes on for long enough without getting someone out to fix the problem and drain the septic tank, it may be too late. The leach field pipes may be permanently damaged, and the entire system may need to be replaced. This will be an extremely costly endeavor, and you won't be able to use your sinks, toilets, or showers while you're waiting for the tank to be replaced. So if you don't want to have to rent a porta potty for potentially a week or more while waiting for your old septic system to be removed and a new one put in, don't skip septic tank pumpings. It's for the best.
Septic tanks are designed to be pumped just every few years. Make an appointment or write it down in your schedule ahead of time so that you don't forget. It could save you from making a very costly mistake.