How Often Should You Have Your Septic Tank Pumped

How Often Should You Have Your Septic Tank Pumped?

In the United States, about 1/4 of the population relies on private septic tanks to dispose of the waste water from their houses. Septic tanks typically require very little maintenance, and most homeowners don't notice much of a difference between septic tanks and municipal sewage systems. The one key difference is that if you have a septic tank, you are responsible for having it emptied on a regular basis. Septic tank pumping in Atlanta, GA, is necessary to remove sludge and waste from the tank so it doesn't spill over into your home or yard. In most cases, you should have your septic tank emptied about every 2-3 years; however, this can change based on a number of factors. Here are some of the most important.

Size of Your Tank

Septic tanks come in a variety of sizes. Most have a capacity between 1000 and 2000 gallons. A smaller tank will obviously fill up more quickly than a larger tank, so you may have to have it emptied more frequently. With a larger tank, you may be able to wait an extra 1-2 years to empty it.

Size of Your Family

The size of your family also has a lot to do with how quickly your septic tank fills up. The more people are in your house, the more waste water is pumped into your septic system. It's important to remember this as you plan for the future. A married couple just starting out may be tempted to buy a small tank. However, as children are added to the house, the small tank will quickly become insufficient for their needs and may need to be emptied as often as once per year.

Extra Water Usage

Certain activities in your home use more water and fill up your septic tank more quickly. For example, if you run a home business such a hair salon, laundry, or pet washing, your septic tank will need to be pumped more frequently.

Children are also prone to using more water than adults, so you'll need to have your tank emptied more often if you have a lot of kids. Children usually require more laundry than adults and are more likely to accidentally waste water throughout the day.


How often you need to have your septic tank pumped depends on what you put into it. If you can reduce the amount of solid and liquid waste that enters your tank, you can go for a much longer time before you need to have it emptied. One of the best ways to do this is to find ways to recycle. Reuse water from your showers to water your plants or flush your toilets. Start a compost in your backyard to recycle food scraps instead of rinsing them down the drain.

Garbage Disposal Usage

Using your garbage disposal is one of the biggest factors deciding how often you need to have your septic tank emptied. Homeowners who use garbage disposals usually need to have their tanks pumped every 1-2 years. This is because solid waste in the tank breaks down very slowly, whereas liquid waste can be treated and released back into the soil much more quickly. Find other ways of disposing of your food scraps and you won't have to have your tank pumped nearly as often.

Frequent Septic Trouble

If you are experiencing septic system trouble, you should have your tank pumped no matter how recently it was emptied. Signs of a full tank include:

Bad smells coming from your drains

Toilets or sinks that are slow to drain

A soggy or foul-smelling drain field

If you notice any of these signs, schedule septic tank pumping in Atlanta, GA, right away. When it comes to your septic system, you don't want to wait and see what happens.

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