You probably don’t give your septic tank much thought, but you should. Septic tanks save you money, keep your plumbing working well, and are good for the environment. But to enjoy those benefits you need to maintain them. On average you should have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. You absolutely should do it well before you see the signs of an overflowing tank, which include difficulty flushing toilets, waste backing up into the house, and standing water in the yard above the tank. Here’s what to expect when having your septic tank pumped.
Let’s assume that since this is your first septic tank “rodeo,” so to speak, you aren’t sure where the technicians will start, or even where your tank is. As mentioned, an overflowing tank will reveal itself through puddles in the lawn, foul odors, and the like. If the covers aren’t above ground and easily apparent, check your property site plan. It should show where the tank is currently resting. If the lids are underground, they may be one to four feet below the surface. You may use a metal detector to find yours if need be. Once they find and unbury the lid, the professionals will pop it open. Older lids may be rusted and corroded. Your technician should indicate this and recommend a replacement.
This is the main event! The technician will back up or otherwise set up their truck and lower a large hose into the hole. They’ll then activate a powerful vacuum to begin the process. The truck will suck out a large quantity of liquid and solid waste from the tank and store it in its cylindrical tank. The technician may not remove all the waste from the tank. While most of the solid waste needs removal to ensure drainage, a certain quantity of material that contains the helpful bacteria that break down waste remains behind.
“Clean” might seem like a relative term when it comes to your septic tank, but a basic washing will take place. A good high-pressure hosing down with water removes any solid waste clinging to its walls. Sometimes a filter needs cleaning as well. It’s also necessary to remove any solids that shouldn’t be in a septic tank to begin with, such as paper towels, personal wipes, and the like, with a rake or other specialized tool.
A professional septic cleaner will inspect the tank and note any issues or other details the customer should be aware of in their report. Once finished, they’ll close and secure the lid once more and then, if necessary, rebury the tank. Afterward, you should receive a receipt and report from the technician, as well as any advice they can give you on keeping your septic tank working perfectly.
That’s what to expect when having your septic tank pumped. Have further questions? Florida residents can contact us at Brandon Septic for a tank cleaning. We look forward to hearing from you!