Maintaining a Safe Septic System

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Septic Pumping: Why It's Needed And What To Expect

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In rural areas across America, homes without access to a public sewer system typically must utilize some type of onsite sanitary septic system that the homeowner owns and manages. While there are some alternatives used in unique situations, the majority of rural homes utilize a traditional septic system with a septic tank and drainfield. 

Inside the tank 

The wastewater and solids produced in the home are deposited into the septic tank where it is held until it can be processed into effluent and released to the drainfield. As the wastewater and solids are processed, three distinct layers form inside the tank:

  • the heaviest components sink to the bottom to form the sludge layer
  • the liquid layer in the middle known as the effluent layer
  • the top layer of waste known as the scum layer

Colonies of helpful bacteria inside the tank work to process digestible waste components so that effluent can be moved to the drainfield and maintain a healthy balance inside the tank. Since septic tanks are directly affected by the amount of wastewater and solids produced in the home, periodic septic tank pumping may also be needed to prevent the tank from becoming too full to function as it should. 

Understanding why pumping is needed

While septic tank pumping is best done on a regular schedule, it can also be an important resource in emergency situations. Periodic septic pumping schedules are typically decided upon by considering factors unique to each residence, including the size of the septic tank, the amount of waste produced by the home, and the overall age and condition of the septic system. If problems develop with the septic system, emergency pumping is often needed to prevent damage to the tank and drainfield. 

What to expect during the process

As the septic pumping appointment nears, homeowners should make sure that there is plenty of access for the pumping truck to reach the area where the septic tank is located. If the access opening of the septic tank is covered with soil, the pumping technician will need to remove the sod to access the opening and will then restore the sod after the job is completed. While homeowners may notice odors during the pumping process, they will dissipate quickly once the job is completed. 

Homeowners who would like to learn more about the importance of the septic pumping process and get expert help in creating the right pumping schedule for their homes can contact a reputable septic pumping service in their area. 

For more information, contact a company like DWR Waste Removal & Septic.