Some homeowners may not know how frequently they should have their septic tanks pumped and cleaned. Consequently, they may end up pumping and cleaning those tanks too infrequently or too regularly. This article discusses some of the factors that you can consider as you develop a tentative septic tank cleaning schedule.

Home Occupants



Septic tanks usually need to be pumped and cleaned more frequently if a household has many members. This is because the higher number of people means that more wastewater will be flowing through the septic system. The formation of sludge and scum will, therefore, take place faster. Frequent pumping prevents that rapid buildup from causing problems to the sewage system.



Tank Size



Closely related to the number of people in a home is the size of the tank. Smaller septic tanks fill up sooner than larger tanks do. As such, you may need to pump and clean your small septic tank more frequently than you would need to pump and clean it if it were larger. This arises when your home has many occupants that exert a strain on the capacity of the septic tank and system.



The Tank's Age



The age of your septic system also plays a role in determining how often the tank should be pumped and cleaned. Older septic tanks may need to be pumped and cleaned more frequently than newer tanks. This is because the older tank may have weakened and can be damaged if wastewater is allowed to accumulate to the full holding capacity of the tank. Frequent pumping and cleaning provide an opportunity to inspect that tank for any signs of damage so that remedial action can be taken in time. Newer tanks don't require very frequent inspections, so the pumping and cleaning intervals can be longer.



The Maintenance History



The maintenance history of the septic tank can also guide you on how frequently to have the tank pumped and cleaned. For instance, it would be unwise to have the tank cleaned every five years if that tank has been pumped and cleaned every three years in the recent past. It would be better for you to maintain the previous pumping/cleaning interval until advised by a professional to change the frequency.



It is evident that several factors must be put into consideration when determining how often a septic tank should be cleaned. Ask a professional from a business that offers septic tank services to inspect the system and recommend a cleaning schedule based on the condition of your septic system as well as the usage characteristics of your household.