How Often should Septic Tank be Emptied?

Emptying a septic tank can lessen the possibility of hazardous spills that can leave a negative effect on the local wildlife and the environment. It can also diminish the risk of damaging the filtering system.

It is crucial to clean out your septic tank to eliminate any non-biodegradable sludge or solid material that can block and hinder the flow of wastewater away from your home.

You need to empty your septic tank to ensure its efficient and safe functioning. However, it would be difficult to carry out the task without professional advice. A team of experts that deals with the proper handling of the septic tank can help you with the task.

If you need your septic tank emptying, you will need to consult an expert. Below, we have put together all the information that you need to learn regarding the frequency of emptying the septic tank.

General Rule of Thumb

It is recommended to clean out your septic tank annually. If you live alone or belong to a very small household, you may choose to do the cleaning out once every two years if you want to save some money.

Does My Septic Tank System Need To Be Cleaned out


Many people have a common belief that a septic tank does not need to be emptied if it is functioning well, and you maintain it properly – this is a fallacy.

Indeed, taking extra care not to put any non-biodegradable material down your drains or toilet and conducting regular maintenance can help ease the pressure in your tank.

But, you still need to empty your tank as scheduled to keep it running efficiently and keeping it in tip-top condition.

Even though your tank is not yet full, you still need to empty it when the schedule of emptying arrives. You can do the emptying ahead of schedule, but not much later. You need to empty the tank before it creates trouble on your property.

You should not delay the emptying until you see signs of trouble and then decide to act. It might be too late by then.

How does the septic tank work?

Your septic tank should be able to maintain a flawlessly balanced pH scale in which the bacteria and microorganisms can thrive and work hard to break down the biodegradable waste for safe disposal.

If you fail to clean and empty your tank, the perfect pH scale balance within the tank will surely change and cause inefficiency in breaking down the waste materials. When this happens, it will give way to a slower system and allow build-ups and blockages.

The tests done by the accredited drainage experts have revealed that if the tank has 8% solid waste, you need to apply countermeasure to keep the efficiency of the tank’s ability to break down the waste materials.

In this regard, it is important to empty your septic tank frequently even if it’s not yet full.

Things to Keep in Check

  1. It has been suggested to clean your tank annually, but some circumstances could alter the frequency of having a professional team to empty your tank. The reasons for changing the frequency of emptying include:
  2.  Change in the amount of food waste, sanitary wear, plastic and rubber items, oils, and fats that may end up in the septic tank (if you can throw these wastes in a garbage bin, you have less problem to deal with).
  3. Presence of pesticides, bleach, and other cleaning agents being dumped in the sink. The cleaning agents could affect the pH levels of the tank.
  4.  The tank size, which may no longer be suitable for the amount of waste being dumped in it.
  5. Your water usage in your property.
  6. The number of persons who are using the facilities.
  7. Leaky cisterns or taps.
  8.  Presence of heavy snowfall or torrential rain that can cause drainage overload and stop the tank from emptying.
  9. The condition and age of the tank.

If you are planning to get your septic tank emptied or need some expert advice regarding the appropriate time to empty your septic tank, you may ask a local drainage expert to help you out.

Keep in mind that prevention is the key to keep tank problems away.

Choose a company that offers efficient, speedy, and high-quality septic tank cleaning, repair, and maintenance along with other professional services.

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