Septic tanks require a little more upkeep than most homeowners with septic tanks realize. If you have just purchased a property where there is a septic tank, and this is the first time you have owned a septic tank, you need to know a few things. The following is a basic guideline for septic tank maintenance.
Septic Tank Pump-out Schedule Is Relative to the Number of Toilet Users in the House
Not all houses with septic tanks are going to be on the exact same schedule for pump-out service. This service should not be confused with a thorough cleaning service where the tank is emptied and then "scrubbed" clean. Rather, pump-out service empties the tank of the sludge that collects and won't drain to the drainage field.
That said, the pump-out service is scheduled relative to the number of toilet users in the home, and not according to the number of persons. For example, two adults and two children under toilet training age (i.e., one infant in diapers, one young toddler) will only need to schedule a pump-out once a year. Four adults or two adults and two older children/teens may need a septic pump-out service twice a year. If you have six toilet users in the house, the septic tank may need to be pumped out three times a year, eight to ten toilet users equals about four times a year, and so on. Ask your septic tank maintenance technician how often your tank will need to be pumped out in the future.
Septic Tank Full Cleaning Should Be Once a Year or Once Every Other Year
This service completely suctions out all waste, then blasts the interior of the tank to remove the hard buildup of waste on the interior walls of the tank. A second pumping follows to remove what was blasted from the internal walls. Then water is added to fill the lowest portion of the tank, along with healthy microbes to break up waste as waste is added. Once a year or once every other year works well, although some homeowners can let this go for a few years. Only your septic tank technician will know for sure.
Pipe Investigations Should Be Once a Year
The pipes that run from the house to the tank, and from the tank to the drainage field should be checked via sewer camera once a year. This is typically done during the annual pump-out, or when you decide to sell the property and need a certificate stating that the septic system checks out. Your septic maintenance technician will ask you if you need the certificate for any reason after completing the inspection.