Septic: From A to Z

When And Why Your Septic System Needs Cleaning

Septic cleaning services are not something you need to consider regularly, but there are some times when you will need to have the tank pumped, and the system cleaned. Often these services coincide with repairs or inspections, but knowing when these things need to happen, is essential if you use a septic system on your property.

Septic Tank Pumping

When your septic system works correctly, the waste going into the tank is separated into solids and liquids. The liquids break down through the anaerobic process in the tank, run off into the leach field, and are reabsorbed into the soil.

The solids, however, begin to collect in the tank and break down into sludge that, over time, begins to fill the tank and require septic pumping services to come and remove it. This is a normal function of the system, and an appropriately sized tank will not need pumping more than every few years.

If the system is not working correctly or is too small for the home, you may find the tank filling much faster than it should and will need septic pumping services to come out more often to ensure the tank does not overflow. If this is the case, you should consult a septic system contractor because the system will likely need upgrading to stop this from happening. 

Septic System Cleaning

Some situations require septic cleaning services to clean the tank and other parts of the system. Septic system inspections should be a regular part of maintaining your system, but the tank needs to be pumped and cleaned before a comprehensive inspection can happen. 

The septic inspector will be looking for damage to the tank, like cracks or holes that could cause leaks, damage to the outflow system, and problems with the drain field that could cause the system to malfunction. To do this effectively, the system needs to be clean, or the sludge could hide damage from view during the inspection. 

Septic system inspections are often done every few years, but the exact timing is not set in stone. If you have the tank pumped out to clear the sludge, you may want to schedule the inspection for the same time frame for convenience and to save some cost. 

Most septic pumping services also offer septic cleaning services, so you can hire one company to pump and clean the tank, and you may also be able to have them inspect the system if they have a certified inspector on staff. There are independent septic inspectors, and most septic contractors also offer this service, so finding someone to look over the system is not difficult once it is clean and you are ready for the check-up.