The Basics of Pumping Your Septic Tank in Knoxville, Tennessee
There is absolutely no doubt that your septic tank must be pumped at regular intervals to avoid the need for expensive repairs or an even pricier septic system replacement before its time for a replacement has actually come. In fact, the consequences of neglecting your septic tank maintenance may have serious consequences for your community in the form of widespread illness. So, how do you know the best septic tank pumping schedule for your system in Knoxville?
Why Pump Your Septic Tank Regularly?
- According to an article on the website for HowStuffWorks, infrequent septic tank pumping can cause overflow leading back to your house. In this case, toilets and drains may “belch forth” contents that should remain in the septic tank. Not a pleasant scenario.
- Septic tank overflow may also result in sudden flooding of unprocessed waste into the leach field (drainfield). The consequences of this occurrence may affect more than just your property. Water overwhelming the leach field may seep above ground and flood your yard and then run off into nearby creeks, or other water bodies. This kind of contamination, possibly affecting the water people use and drink, may be hazardous to the health of many nearby communities.
The Best Pumping Schedule for Your Septic System
According to an InspectAPedia article, you can err in two different directions when approaching the septic tank pumping – too rarely or too frequently.
- If you do not pump your septic tank frequently enough, your leach field (drainfield) could fail early, leading to the need for costly remedies, among other consequences.
- Pumping and cleaning your septic tank too often is a waste of money. There is one caveat here … the cost of overly frequent septic tank pumping is less than the cost of needing a leach field replacement.
The InspectAPedia article offers a chart with detailed recommendations for a pumping schedule based on the size of your tank and your household size.
Aside from the guidelines in the chart, there are particular situations that should be considered instead of exclusively following the chart.
Review these exceptions to the guidelines for pumping your septic tank in Knoxville:
- The chart assumes the number of occupants are present in the household year-round.
- The chart guidelines don’t pertain to basic holding tanks that retain solid and liquid waste and have no treatment or effluent disposal systems.
- There is one state (Pennsylvania) and a few other jurisdictions that require a higher minimum tank capacity than the chart depicts. For instance, Pennsylvania code requires that a three (or fewer) bedroom home have at least a 900-gallon septic tank.
- The pumping frequency regulations in Ohio and Florida are more rigorous.
- Pumping guidelines for households with garbage disposals also differ from the chart because they generate more wastewater.
- Here is the formula for homes with garbage disposals, based on a three-bedroom home with six occupants and a septic tank size of 900 gallons, requiring pumping every 1.3 years.
1.3 – [(0.2) x 1.3] = 1.0 year
Standards also differ for summer homes that are only seasonally occupied.
*Additionally, if you are planning an event at your home that will significantly increase the number of home occupants for even a short period, it is wise to pump your septic tank prior to the event, and then afterward as well because a large influx of waste can create a back-up. After all, you do not want a stinky special event.
Septic Tank Pumping Costs
Septic tank pumping costs vary by region. One condition that could result in additional pumping costs would be a contractor’s difficulty in finding the septic tank when servicing it and needing to excavate your property to access it.
How to Find Help Pumping Your Septic Tank in Knoxville?
You may be pretty handy with Do-it-Yourself home maintenance and be an old hand at regularly pumping your septic tank in Knoxville. Or … you may not feel so confident in your ability to do a good job pumping your tank. If you feel more comfortable having a professional do that pumping, call Knoxville Plumbing. Our professionals are ready to guide you in all aspects of maintaining your septic tank.
It is our goal to provide the most innovative and highest quality plumbing services, providing peace of mind for you as our client and us as professionals, while we exceed your expectations of customer service.