Reactive Vs. Proactive – What's The Best Approach For Septic Pumping?

8 May 2023
 Categories: , Blog

If you own a home, you know that the cost of maintenance and repairs can vary substantially. While spending money on maintenance often means spending money on parts of your home that don't (yet) need repairs, the costs are typically much lower. On the other hand, waiting for things to fail can result in sudden, unexpected, and much larger expenses.

This difference between proactive and reactive approaches can apply to everything from your HVAC equipment to your roofing, and your septic system isn't any different. Some people take a more reactive approach and wait to pump their tanks until they experience problems. Unfortunately, this strategy can come with some surprising costs.

What Makes Proactive Septic Maintenance So Important?

A proactive approach to septic tank maintenance typically means scheduling a pumping every three to five years, depending on the size of your house and usage. Unfortunately, some septic system owners may think they can defer this critical maintenance task if they aren't yet experiencing problems. After all, why should you empty your tank if it's still processing waste without a problem?

The simple answer is that clogs resulting from overfilled tanks only occur after your system is so full that you may already be causing damage. Your septic tank needs to hold onto solid waste and grease because these materials can damage your sensitive and expensive leaching field. When your tank clogs, these waste levels may already be high enough to reach your leaching field.

Why Shouldn't You Let Your Tank Overflow Into Your Leaching Field?

Your leaching field can only perform a single function: disperse liquid effluent into the environment. The field's design allows liquid waste to filter slowly into the environment, where bacteria and soil composition will remove harmful pathogens before it enters the groundwater. This system relies on drain tiles with tiny openings to control the flow of effluent into the surrounding soil media.

Grease or solid waste can cause severe damage to your leaching field. At best, the solid waste can clog the drain tiles, slowing the system and potentially resulting in sewage backflowing into your home. At worst, the solid waste will disrupt the natural soil microbiome and create an anaerobic "sludge" field. This situation can ruin your leaching field and force you to replace it.

How Does Proactive Pumping Help?

By taking a proactive approach and pumping your tank regularly, you'll always keep solid and grease levels well below where problems can spread to your leaching field. Your septic pumping team can also inspect your tank for problems and help you understand if you need to pump your tank more often, helping you avoid clogs and costly repairs.

For more information about septic pumping, contact a local contractor.