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Caring For Your Septic Tank: What You Need To Know About Pump Outs

Septic systems need regular maintenance to work properly. Without maintenance, your septic system can cause a costly mess. One of the procedures for caring for your septic tank is a pump out. Here are a few things you need to know about septic pump outs.

What Is A Septic Pump Out?

A septic pump out is the process by which waste is removed from your septic tank. By pumping out the materials in the tank from time to time, you can prevent backups that can bring waste materials into your home and your yard. While some people may rely on the use of additives to reduce the amount of material in a septic tank, this is not a replacement for a pump out. In fact, additives have not been proven effective in maintaining the volume of waste in your tank. Having the waste materials permanently removed from the unit is the way to effectively clean out the tank and remove materials that can lead to a backup in your system.

Who Should Perform A Pump Out?

Pump outs require the expertise of an experienced pumper to remove the materials from your septic tank. Just as with hiring any other contractor for work in your home, you should ask if the pumping company is certified, bonded and insured for added peace of mind. Be sure to ask about the rates for the pump out and any related services, such as locating your septic tank, so you can be prepared for the costs associated with the pumping.

How Often Should Pump Outs Be Performed?

The frequency for pump outs depends on the size of the tank and the number of people using it. One estimate from Penn State shows that it would take a single adult 5 years to fill 300 gallons of a 1,000-gallon tank, while it would take a family of four around 1.5 years. The industry recommendation is to prevent the tank from reaching more than 30 percent capacity, so you can use the Penn State example as a guideline for your family. If you are unsure of your tank size and have never had a pump out, you may want to consider scheduling one just to be on the safe side. Your pumping contractor can tell you your tank's capacity once it is located on your property, which will give you a better idea of the frequency your tank will need to be pumped out in the future.

Pump outs prevent messes and keep your septic system working properly. If you've never had a pump out, start interviewing contractors and schedule an appointment so you can avoid an expensive mess in your home or on your property.

For more information, contact Southwest Environmental or a similar organization.


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