How Often Is Too Often To Pump A Septic Tank?


Septic tank pumpings are an expected thing when homeowners have a septic tank. Yet, how often is too often to pump a septic tank? Is there a valid reason to let the foul mess in the tank sit a while? Can you avoid the sewer gas smell in your yard? These questions and their corresponding answers follow. 

Answer: Every Week Or Every Month

Question: How often is too often? Septic tanks actually have quite a clever design. They are not only made to collect human waste, but to also break it down and liquefy it. Removing the waste every week, or every month, is too often. The aerobes in the tank, which are the organisms that "eat" the sludge in your septic tank and turn it into a liquid, cannot effectively do their job or even have time to reproduce if you are pumping out the tank every week (for a larger household) or every month (if it is just you and one or two others). (More on this below.) Septic tank cleaning companies recommend pumping a few times a year in order to get the most out of the biological break-down process in the tank. 

Answer: Yes, There Is A Valid Reason

Question: Is there a reason for leaving waste sit in a tank longer than one month? Aerobes are tiny microscopic creatures that consume fecal matter, digest it, and send it back out as a less harmful liquid. The liquid then is diverted to your drainage field, where it sinks into the ground and acts as a natural fertilizer.

Because the aerobes have done their job, the urine and waste in your septic tank will not harm the environment. (However, if you pour bleach down your drains, you will kill off the aerobes, and that becomes a major environmental problem.) In order for these tiny organisms to work their phage and digestive magic, the waste in the tank has to remain for some time. The waste in the tank also provides these creatures with the environment they need to reproduce, and keep their numbers high enough in the tank to accomplish their life's purpose. 

Answer: Yes, You Can Avoid The Sewer Smells

Question: Can you avoid the sewer smells? In reality, there should be no septic stink in your yard at all. The gases are released underground and are trapped by the soil, thereby dissipating this way over time. If your smell septic smells, there is probably something wrong with your tank, or the tank has become too full. Cleaning the tank out usually resolves this problem, if it exists.

About Me

Finding Issues With Your Septic Tank

Do you know how to find and address issues with your septic system? Neither did I until about three years ago. My wife and I had purchased this lovely home in the middle of the mountains, and it relied on an aged underground septic system. We struggled with problems like overflowing toilets and bad smells for a few months until we realized that it could be due to the septic tank. Fortunately, a friend of ours came out and showed us how to identify problems and get them addressed. I want to teach everyone a thing or two about septic tanks, so that you don't struggle like I did.

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