If you have a septic tank on your property, then it is wise to schedule a cleaning or pumping at least every two years or more. While you can sometimes wait depending on the size of the tank and the number of family members in your home, this is not always wise. Keep reading to learn why this is the case and to find out about some things that can happen if you wait to have your septic tank pumped out.
Your Septic System Can Back Up
You will have plenty of warning when it comes to your septic tank filling up. Your drains will likely slow and you may hear a gurgling noise coming from your drains. You also may notice a foul odor coming from the drainage system. The smell will not only come from the toilet, but your showers and sinks as well. Basically, any and all drains will smell and the ones closest to your septic system will likely smell the worst.
The smell will build and then sewage can back up into your drains. This is what happens when the septic tank is completely full and can no longer handle any more wastes. When the tank fills, the lowest drain, like the one in your basement wash basin or the one attached to your washing machine will back up first. An emergency call to a septic professional is required. While the situation is not completely dire at this point, an emergency pumping can cost a few hundred dollars more than that of a regularly scheduled one. A regular pumping will cost a little less than $400 on average.
If you continue to wait of if the backup problem also occurs at the same time that you are flushing a great deal of waste or water down your drains, you can end up with an entire system backup. You may be looking at a sewage cleaning of your home which can cost about $7 per square foot.
Your Tank Can Burst And Your Field Can Clog
Septic tanks do not always back up into the home. The waste does need to release somewhere though. If the solids make their way through the drainage field outlet pipe, then the wastes can make their way to the exterior of your home. At first, you may see a lush and green lawn over the field as the grass is provided with a great deal of nitrogen rich waste. Over time, more and more wastes will filter through the field and the small pipes that allow fluid wastes to release will start to accumulate with solid material and clog. Not only will you need a septic cleaning at this point, but you will also need to have a new drainage field installed.
Septic tanks can also burst and release wastes into the ground. This can cause groundwater contamination that can devastate the local ecosystem. You will also need to have your septic tank replaced. The good news is that you can purchase a plastic septic tank made from polyethylene. While this can help to reduce the costs of your installation, you can still expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for the tank.
Old septic tanks will need to be pumped to remove the leaking waste material, even if you need to have a new tank installed. This means that you are definitely not saving yourself money in the long run by waiting to have your tank pumped out.
If you have been waiting to have your septic tank cleaned, but you have not noticed any signs of the tank being filled, then speak to your septic professional to have the tank checked. An inspection can help to evaluate the level of the waste so you know approximately when a cleaning should be scheduled.