If you've moved to a home with a septic tank, you'll want to understand local regulations for how often the tank should be inspected. If your tank has to be inspected every two years, you might want to have your tank pumped on the same schedule. Otherwise, you might wait until your tank starts to get full. Here are some things that affect how often septic tank pumping needs to be done.
The Amount Of Water That Goes Through The Tank
It's always good to conserve water when you have a septic system. If you send too much water through too fast, the solids may not have time to settle out, and the solids might clog the tank as the excess water flows out of the tank. That could lead to the need for unexpected tank pumping or repairs.
You'll want to avoid emptying a pool or hot tub over the drainfield or into the tank. You might want to use low-flow faucets and toilets. The longer the water stays in the tank before it is flushed out, the more solids and scum will separate, and the more efficiently your septic tank will work.
The Type Of Solids That Go In The Tank
The more solids that go in the tank, the quicker the tank fills up. However, the type of solids matters too. Some foods from the garbage disposal and certain types of toilet paper don't break down as fast as others. If you know something, such as wet wipes, doesn't degrade very fast, avoid putting it in your tank so you can go as long as possible between the need for septic tank pumpings.
The Size Of The Tank
Local codes regulate the size of septic tanks based on the size of your house. You shouldn't have problems with a tank being too small unless you have a large household with multiple people sharing bedrooms. If the tank isn't large enough, it will fill up faster than you might expect. However, if your tank happens to be larger than you need, you could go for much longer until the tank fills up.
Rather than wait until the tank gets too full, you can let a septic tank pumping contractor calculate when your tank should need to be cleaned out. They use the number of people in your home, if you use a garbage disposal, and the size of the tank to figure out the frequency your tank should need to be pumped out.
Since tanks can fill up slower or faster than you expect, watch for signs of a toilet that's slow to empty or sewer odors around your home. If you think your tank is getting full, have it pumped out so it doesn't back up, and so solids don't clog the baffles and cause problems in your tank.