In Septic Knowledge Center

How Often Should My Septic Tank Pumped in Florida?

A properly installed and regularly maintained septic system is the key to the answer to having your septic tank pumped. A properly functioning system protects ground water and is safe for the environment. Most septic systems are 2 main components, a septic tank and drainfield.

You house generates wastewater from toilets, sinks, washing machines and shower. This water that is discharged enters the holding tank or septic tank. We install 2 main types of tanks. Once is a precast concrete and the other is fiberglass. We install different types and sizes after considering the use and how the system was engineered.

How Does Your Septic Tank Work?

The septic tank separates the wastewater into three general components:

  • solids or “sludge”
  • floatables or the “scum layer”
  • A zone of relatively clear water

Solid or sludge build up in the septic tank over time. This is exactly what it is designed to do. It catches these items and does not allow them to flow out to, and clog up the drainfield. This means your system is designed to have its septic tank pumped on a regular basis. Regular can be annually or multiple years depending on the use or load on the system.

Anaerobic bacteria (able to live in an oxygen-free environment) perform the first treatment of the wastewater, generating gas that is vented through the vent stack of the building’s plumbing, and breaking the solids into a liquid form. The oxygen-free conditions inside the septic tank also deactivate some of the germs found in sewage.

From the septic tank, the liquid portion of the wastewater flows into the drainfield, which is generally a series of perforated pipes or slotted panels that are usually surrounded by a layer of gravel, tire chips, or other lightweight materials such as styrofoam pieces. The drainfield provides secondary treatment of the sewage by allowing aerobic (oxygen-using) bacteria to continue deactivating the germs that remain in the wastewater. The drainfield provides filtration of the wastewater as gravity draws the water downwards through the soil layers. In addition, evaporation of water occurs through the layer of soil covering the drainfield.

In other areas, such as flood zones near rivers or other bodies of water, traditional septic systems may not be sufficient to treat the wastewater. In these cases, advanced wastewater treatment systems that “aerate” or add oxygen to the wastewater may be required. Other advanced wastewater treatment systems may have chlorinating chambers or peat moss-based filtration chambers which neutralize the disease germs before they can reach groundwater levels.

So….How often should my tank be pumped?

As you can see from how a septic system works, there are many factors. The company that originally engineered your system should be able to give you and estimate. This estimate will be based on water usage and other factors including the soil and drainfield. If you live in a home you did not build, or you do not know who designed your septic system you’ll need to call in a pro. Give the experts at Martin Septic a call. We can inspect your tank, let you know of any needed repairs or noticed concerns. We can also let you know the size of the tank, and and estimate on when it should be pumped. Of course if you have your system regularly serviced by us, we will have all your records to help make sure your tank is always properly cared for.

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