Why Pump Your Septic Tank?
You have a septic system and now you’re wondering why you need to have your septic tank pumped. Maybe it has been years since you have had it done, or you are unsure of how long it has been.
There are many critical reasons to have you septic system well maintained, especially with municipalities and provincial governments educating the general public on the subject and recommending more frequents septic tank pumping.
It is important to understand how your home waste water treatment system works before you can truly understand all the benefits of taking care of it for you and for the environment.
Septic systems are designed to recycle the wastewater produced in your home or business back into the environment. Without proper maintenance of your system it can be dangerous for your family, pose a threat to public health or the environment, and affect neighbouring property owners.
The two components of the septic system are a septic tank and a septic field which is sometimes called a leaching bed or a tile bed.
As shown in the diagram to the right, the tank is the central component of the system that separates all your toilet flushes, bathwater and laundry discharge into sludge, liquid and scum.
When the system is working properly the naturally occurring bacteria break down the sludge and the scum.
The solids in the system that cannot be broken down settle to the bottom of the tank and must be pumped out regularly to ensure that the system continues to function. Any liquid in the tank flows out of the tank into a network of underground pipes that drain into the septic field or the tile bed. Naturally occurring 'good' bacteria in the ground break down harmful chemicals and bad bacteria removing impurities and returning the cleaner water to the ground for further filtering by the soil.
Without pumping the tank regularly and having it inspected, you will have no knowledge of the condition of your existing septic system.
How often your septic tank should be cleaned depends on the size of the tank at your home or business and the number of people using the building. To determine how frequently you should be pumping the septic tank we adhere to the Ministry of the Environments guideline that generally speaking, tanks should be inspected regularly and pumped every 3-5 years as required.
The amount of water used and the volume of solids in the wastewater will also be determining factors. Pump My Tank will help you understand the pumping frequency based on all your criteria and the best part is you will only have to figure it out once.
The Government of Ontario’s document on maintaining your septic system, which you can download by clicking on the Ontario logo in the right column, recommends having your system inspected every two years.
Top 3 Reasons to Pump Now
A typical homeowners septic system.*
* Each system is unique, diagram from: http://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/sewage/septicSystems.stm
Click on the Ontario logo to download the Ontario Governments's PDF guide to maintaining your septic system.