How Often Should You Empty a Septic Tank?

Did you know that 20% of American homes use septic tanks to manage their sewage?

Regular homeowners often take care of their septic tanks. A septic tank can handle a certain volume of sewage, but once it reaches the maximum capacity, it will start to overflow. That can be very dangerous and expensive to clean up.

In this blog, we will give the information about an empty septic tank.

Read on to learn more about how often you should empty a septic tank.


Consider the Tank Size

A small tank will need to pump more often than a larger tank because it will fill up more quickly. For example, if you have a 1,000-gallon tank, you should have it pumped every 3 years. For those with a 500-gallon tank, every 5 years is probably sufficient.

In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and have your septic tank emptied by a septic tank pumping company more often than is strictly necessary.

Amount of Wastewater

You should empty a septic tank when the solids in the tank reach 30% of the tank’s volume. This occurs when the wastewater volume and loading rate are greater than the septic tank’s hydraulic retention time.

The hydraulic retention time is the time it takes for the wastewater to treat in the septic tank. The septic tank’s loading rate determines by the amount of wastewater produced by the household. A typical loading rate is 0.5 gallons per person per day.

Type of Wastewater

There are three types of wastewater: blackwater, greywater, and clearwater. Blackwater contains sewage and is the most contaminated. Greywater contains fewer contaminants than blackwater, but more than clear water. Clearwater is the least contaminated and includes water from sinks, showers, and laundry machines.

For blackwater, you should empty the tank every one to three years. For greywater, the tank can go five to seven years between emptying. And for clearwater, the tank can go 10 to 15 years without emptying.


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Leakage in the System

If you have a lot of trees on your property, you may need to pump your septic tank more often because tree roots can clog the leach field. If you notice water pooling in your yard or a sewage smell, you may have leakage in your system and should contact a septic tank cleaning professional to have it checked out.

If the leakage is in severe condition, it is important to call a septic tank service expert to have it repaired as soon as possible. Empty your septic tank more frequently if necessary.

Number of Household Members

It is generally recommended that households with one or two people empty their septic tank every three to five years. Larger households with three or more people should empty their septic tank every two to three years.

These recommendations are based on average water use. Households that use less water may be able to go longer between pumping. Conversely, households that use more water may need to pump more frequently.

Get an Empty Septic Tank

How often to pump a septic tank? It is essential to have an empty septic tank every three to five years to prevent solids from building up and causing a blockage. Pumping also removes the scum layer, which can clog the drainage.

Emptying the septic tank depends on some factors like the tank size, amount and type of wastewater, leakage, and the number of household members. These factors will affect how you often you should empty your septic tank.

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