Septic tanks are a common domestic plumbing feature for homes not connected to the city or municipal sewer system. The septic system usually consists of a buried tank connected to the home’s pipes. As part of the wastewater treatment process, the septic system allows solid waste to sink to the bottom of the tank to be periodically pumped out.

Even the best-designed septic tank will eventually produce an odor or cause sewage back-up into the pipes if not properly maintained, including regular cleaning and pumping. Therefore, it is critical to regularly have your septic tank cleaned. This article explores some things you need to know about septic cleaning.

Why is Septic Tank Cleaning Important?

Everything that goes down your drain, including all kinds of wastewater, ends up in your septic tank. Essentially, your home pipes directly connect to the septic tank. Consequently, a full tank can be a major health hazard for your household, with filthy water or sewage backing up into the house, including the kitchen sink, toilet, and bathroom.

A full septic tank is usually due to a need for proper and routine maintenance. Besides the risk of making your family sick, you don’t want the resulting mess, hence the need to routinely clean up your septic tank.

The Rules of Septic Tank Maintenance

  1. You should know the exact location of your septic system, including the drain field.
  2. You should not drive or park on your drain field.
  3. You should only treat your septic system with an enzyme/bacteria treatment specifically for septic tanks.
  4. While you can plant grass over or near your drain field, you should avoid planting trees or shrubs as their deep roots can grow into the septic system and disrupt its normal functioning.
  5. You should have a professional inspect your septic system every three to five years and pump or clean it depending on its condition.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Tank?

While how often you need septic cleaning depends on several factors, plumbing professionals recommend pumping your septic system every three to five years. Factors that influence how often you should conduct septic cleaning includes;

  • the size of your tank
  • household size
  • total waste generated by your household
  • whether there are foreign objects in the wastewater
  • whether you use chemicals, including enzymes, for tank maintenance

Even though you should pump your tank based on the recommended schedule or as needed, a septic tank maintenance expert can guide you on how frequently you need to pump and clean your tank.

How to Know When to Clean Your Tank

Besides the industry-recommended schedule, your wastewater system can be a good indicator of when to clean your septic tank. For instance, you might notice water puddles in the bathroom or water draining slower from the kitchen sink.

Additionally, you may experience the presence of odors where the tank is located or from your pipes. There may also be odor around your drains.

Another indicator that your tank is due for pumping or cleaning is when it begins to overflow. Septic tank overflow is usually characterized by pools of water and waste around the location of the tank. It is, therefore, critical to know the exact location of your septic tank to be on the lookout for an overflow.

If you suspect that your septic tank might be due for a cleaning, you can contact our septic tank experts at Curtis Plumbing. We are a leading plumbing company in Tucson, Arizona. We are committed to solving all your septic tank needs, including cleaning, inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Contact us today for an emergency fix, to book an appointment, or to ask about our services.