How Often Do I Need To Pump My Septic Tank
The septic system for your home or business is designed to operate efficiently on its own for many years. There are a few factors that will determine its effectiveness of operation.
What To NOT Do When You Have A Septic Tank
• Do not put any unnecessary “Septic Tank” chemicals down the septic – a septic system is designed to do the work itself.
• Do not pour any household chemicals down the drain or toilet – especially bleach, paint, solvents, paint thinner, nail polish remover etc. All of these will disrupt the natural chemical balance in the septic system.
• Do not pour oils, grease or fat down the sink or toilet.
• Do not put any Feminine products into your septic system.
• Do not use excessive amounts of water in one or two days – spread the use over the week.
• Do not leave leaky water taps or toilets – this can accumulate to gallons of water entering your system unnecessarily.
• Do not drive any vehicles or large equipment over your septic tank or pipes – this will cause major damage.
• Do not plant any trees or flower gardens in, on or too close to the weeping bed.
• Do not build over your septic tank or weeping bed – if there is ever a problem OR when your tank needs to be pumped this will cost extra and may need to be removed or damaged to do the repair/pump.
All of the above issues can lessen the effectiveness of your septic system and cause pre-mature blockages or backups.
Depending on how many people live in your home you should check your septic tank yearly to ensure there are no visible blockages going out to the weeping bed and to ensure the “sludge” level is manageable. As the sludge level “solids” increases in the tank, the effectiveness of the tank to breakdown lessens due to the smaller capacity. The septic system is designed to work as a system with the tank and bed by breaking down the biologicals before the liquid wastewater goes out to the weeping bed for proper drainage and treatment. .
The average time between pumps for a typical household of 4 people would be approximately 3-4 years. This is in ideal conditions where none of the above “What NOT to do’s” are being done.If you have more than 4 people in your home you will need to consider pumping more often, as well the opposite if you have less people you could get by a couple/few more years before needing to pump.
It is important in the Spring to keep an eye on water levels in and around your septic system. With snow melting this can cause excess water in the system. Excess water in the system will disrupt the natural abilities of the septic system to properly decompose before the wastewater flows out to the septic bed.
If a tank is left too long between pumps the sludge or solids, can begin to clog the outlet to the weeping bed or worse clog parts of the weeping bed. When this happens the water and solids have nowhere to go and this is typically when sewage back up’s occur in the home.
When in doubt always call a professional – ensure that when you do call and book a cleaning they are removing all liquid and solids from your tank!
A Royal Flush Is Better Than A Full House!
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“A Royal Flush Is Better Than A Full House!”
Did you know its World Plumbing Day!?
WPC mission statement is: “To promote the role of plumbing in improving public health and safeguarding the environment, by uniting the World Plumbing Industry, for the benefit of all.”
Join us in saying a great big THANK YOU to everyone (especially our hard working plumbers and technician’s) who work hard everyday to ensure we have clean, safe water and that our sewage continues to flow! It can be a tough and sometimes very tiring job!
As a part of World Plumbing Day and our appreciation for indoor plumbing, clean healthy water and safe sewage systems we must also remember the importance of water conservation in our daily use and taking care of our home and business plumbing systems.
A few things to remember to help conserve our water and plumbing systems!
- Shut the water off when not in use.
- Upgrade to a low water consumption use toilet.
- Install a new shower head.
- Ensure all plumbing leaks are promptly repaired.
- Upgrade old water lines to ensure clean, proper and efficient water flow.
- Only run your dishwasher when it is full.
- Replace old appliances with new energy star appliances (dishwasher and washing machine).
- Install a water softener which will clean your clothes better and rinse soap off your body, dishes and clothes easier.
- If you notice your drains are slow or not draining properly, have this investigated before it causes a back up into your basement.
- Space out your water usage rather than doing large amounts of laundry in one day (which can flood your septic system) space it out over the evenings of the week and only do a couple loads on the weekends.
- Use a rain barrel to catch rain water for use in gardens.
- Ensure you have a proper septic system – septic tank and weeping bed.
- Know the location of your septic system and weeping bed. When your home was built there would have been a septic plan.
- Ensure the septic tank lids are always accessible – this is especially important during the winter if you have a back up. There are risers and plastic lids that can be installed which are easier accessible at anytime of the year.
- Check your septic tank yearly to ensure it is draining properly and pump when the sludge build up is lessening the capacity of your tank. (Approx 3-5 yrs) When in doubt always call a professional.
- If you have a garborator in your home ensure your septic tank is pumped yearly – or if you are on a septic put your food scraps in a composter.
- Never put any kind of grease down your drains or into your septic system.
- If you have a septic system be careful what cleaners you use in the toilet – heavy bleach cleaners can kill micro-organisms important in breaking down and treating waste water.
- Do not flush paper towels, baby wipes, feminine products, kitty litter, condoms or anything other than toilet paper down the toilet.
- Do not pour any chemicals into the septic tank – the system is designed to work with the natural biological’s which enter the tank to break down.
- Never drive over, park on or build over top of your weeping bed. In the winter it is important to never plow the snow above your weeping bed, this will help insulate and prevent freezing in colder winters.
How does your Plumbing System Work???
Here are a few pictures to give you visual of the system!
This is a typical home septic system.
A colour coded diagram of a home’s basic plumbing system.
A home’s plumbing system coming out to the main sewer.
For those of you connected to town water and sewer,
If you have a Septic System, how do you care for it?
A Septic System is in fact very simple – yet it requires regular maintenance to ensure it can still perform every vital task it is designed to do. The septic system is a network of pipes which begin in your home, drain into one pipe which is underground and is connected to the septic tank where the liquids and solids flow. The sludge sinks to the bottom and the liquid flows out to the weeping bed. As solids break down they will then flow out to the distribution box and leach out into the bed as well.
The sludge is what can cause your system problems. As the sludge accumulates, this will decrease the volume of your tank which then also decreases the retention of liquid before it leaves to the bed. If sludge is left too long this can cause your bed to plug up as there will be less space for the solids to break down and could flow out with the water into the bed. Worse is when the sludge reaches the outlet level and begins to plug up the distribution box, or worse the pipes in the weeping bed. If the system is left too long, unfortunately the weeping bed and tank will need to be replaced.
How do you know if your septic is healthy?
- Do you know where your septic tank and weeping bed are?
- Keep track of when it was pumped last. Also ensure that when it is pumped that ALL of the tank is cleaned out – not just the water.
- Do not put any unnecessary “Septic Tank” chemicals down the septic – a septic system is designed to do the work itself.
- Do not pour any household chemicals down the drain or toilet – especially bleach, paint, solvents, paint thinner, nail polish remover etc. All of these will disrupt the natural chemical balance in the septic system.
- Are your drains draining slowly? If so there could be a potential problem.
- Is your grass exceptionally green or spongy to walk on near the weeping bed.
- Do not pour oils, grease or fat down the sink or toilet.
- Feminine products can also cause issues or clog a septic system.
- Try to space out all of your water usage. Doing all of your laundry excessively on just Saturday and Sunday all day both days could cause potential issues with excess water entering the system. By using your water as equally as possible during the week this will allow the system to properly treat all of the water that enters and exits.
- Repair any leaking taps or drains – leaking water – even just one drop per second can waste tens of thousands of litres of water per year!
- Do not drive any vehicles or large equipment over your septic tank or pipes – this will cause major damage.
- Do not plant any trees or flower gardens in, on or too close to the weeping bed.
- Do not build over your septic tank or weeping bed – if there is ever a problem OR when your tank needs to be pumped this will cost extra and may need to be removed or damaged to do the repair/pump.
- Have your tank checked at least every 5 years and pumped when necessary.
- When in doubt – ask a professional!