What Happens If You Don't Pump Your Septic Tank?

September 03 2020

What Happens If You Don't Pump Your Septic Tank?

If you are an owner of a septic system, then you are responsible for maintaining it. That is not to say that you must do the maintenance yourself, but you must at least hire a third-party septic company such as Septic Blue to do it. One of the most important, and probably the most important, is septic pumping. In general, you should have your septic tank pumped once every two years, but it depends on a variety of factors. We know that you should have your septic tanked pumped regularly, but what happens if you don’t pump your septic tank?

How The Septic System Works

Let’s begin with how a septic system works. A septic system is an onsite sewage maintenance facility. While 80 percent of homes in the United States are connected to a centralized sewer system that is maintained by the municipality or local government, the remaining 20 percent resort to a septic system.

A septic system is fairly simple in design, consisting of inlet and outlet pipes connecting the home to a septic tank and the septic tank to a drain field. Liquid and solid waste leaves the home and enters the septic tank, which is a storage facility for the waste. Waste is effectively divided into three layers in the septic tank: the solid waste at the bottom, the liquid effluent, and the scum that floats to the top. The liquids flow out to the drain field where they percolate through the soil as the solids and scum remain in the tank where they are broken down into sludge by microbes and bacteria housed in the septic tank.

What Is Septic Pumping?

Your septic tank has a certain capacity measured in gallons, generally between a thousand and two thousand gallons. While liquids can readily leave the tank and travel to the drain field, the tank includes a T-shaped outlet which prevents the sludge and scum from leaving the tank. After some time, however, the sludge and scum levels reach a point where they risk entering that region.

In short, the bottom of the scum layer should not get within six inches of the bottom of the outlet and the top of the sludge layer should not get within 12 inches of the outlet. Septic pumping is the process of removing that excess waste before the sludge and scum block off the outlet pipe designed for the liquids outflow.

The Risks of Neglecting Septic Pumping

You can probably now imagine the risk of not pumping your septic tank. Allowing the sludge and scum levels to rise will lead to a blocked outlet pipe. This will inhibit the flow of liquid waste and push sludge and scum into the drain field. After some time, the water will back up into your household drains while sludge devastates your drain field, clogging the perforated pipes. Your septic tank and pipes may crack and leak, releasing sludge and other waste into your yard and down into underground water sources.

Contact the Professionals

Septic pumping does not have to be a hassle. Septic Blue is your local septic company with competitive prices and quick response times. We are available with 24-hour emergency services as well so you can call whenever you need urgent assistance. Our friendly staff are ready to take your call.