Portland Septic Pumping Service
The EPA recommends that a septic tank should be inspected every two to three years, with mechanical pumping typically required every three to five years to empty the tank. Systems that are undersized or that see very heavy use may require pumping annually. Some systems have electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components, and these need to be inspected more often, typically once each year.
Pumping is the process of removing sludge from the bottom of the septic tank, and this needs to be done before the sludge builds up to a level where it blocks the outlet pipe through which liquids flow into the drain field. The frequency with which this needs to be done depends on several factors:
- Size of household: Larger households, predictably, generate more waste, and thus fill up the septic tank faster.
- How much wastewater is generated: The sheer volume of wastewater flowing into the septic tank can affect how fast the septic tank fills up.
- The volume of solids in the wastewater: Households with many toilets, or who make frequent use of garbage disposals, tend to fill up the septic tank quicker.
- Septic tank size: Larger tanks can hold more solid sludge, and thus will need less frequent pumping.
There are ways to help estimate about when you should have your tank pumped. As an example: an average four-bedroom house may have a 1,200 to 1,500 gallon tank and with a family of four, you should expect to have the tank pumped every 3 to 5 years with typical use.