Tips For Caring For Your Septic System Before, During, And After Pumping

Pumping your septic tank is an unavoidable part of living in a home without a connection to a municipal sewer system. While your tank functions best with the thriving bacteria in the accumulated sludge at the bottom of the tank, too much sludge can negatively impact your system. In a worst-case scenario, enough sludge may accumulate to clog your system or damage your drain field.

You'll typically need to schedule a cleaning every 3 to 5 years, although you'll want to adjust this schedule based on your usage and other factors related to your home and property. While you won't need to do much other than schedule the appointment, you can do a few things before, during, and after your pumping to help ensure the best future for your septic system. 

Preparing for Your Visit 

The good news is that you won't need to do much to prepare for your visit, although you will want to have some information on hand. First, ensure you know the location of your septic tank's riser and inspection hatch. If you've never pumped your tank before, locating the inspection port before your pumping crew arrives can save time and lead to a cheaper visit.

You should also understand the best time to schedule a pump out. While you never want to wait too long, pumping your tank following heavy rain or while there's significant snow cover can create problems. If you have a plastic septic tank, avoid pumping it out if the lawn around it is too saturated since an empty tank can float to the surface.

Meeting Your Pumping Crew

Although some companies may agree to do tank pumping while you aren't home, you should always plan to be present for the job. You'll certainly want to be home if you're pumping your tank for the first time or working with a new company. Once the crew arrives, you'll need to show them to your septic location and tell them the safest place to park their truck.

The typical process will involve pumping everything out of the tank and rinsing to remove any remaining solids. Once cleaned, most septic companies will perform a quick inspection. This inspection can provide you with crucial information about the state of your tank and can also tell you if you should be pumping your tank more often.

Planning for After-Pump Care

Do you need to do anything after pumping your tank? The answer isn't always straightforward. You shouldn't need additives for tanks in good condition, as the necessary bacteria will naturally return with normal usage. However, you may want to consider some after-pump care if your inspection turns up any problems with your tank or drain field.

In some cases, additives can help kickstart bacterial production in the tank, which may be beneficial if your system runs slowly due to drain field problems. While additives generally won't fix severe problems, they can help correct minor issues or extend the life of a drain field that may be failing.

Contact septic services to learn more.