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Question DetailsAsked on 12/3/2014

How often should a septic tank be pumped out?

The septic tank is 1,000 gallons and has never been pumped out since it was installed 20 years ago.

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1 Answer

Voted Best Answer

Depends an AWFUL lot on local soil temperature (higher better for biodegradation), how much hot water you use (more better), how much grease goes down the drain, how many poeple are in the house, etc - many times houses with 1-2 residents but with a system sized much larger (3-4 bedroom) can go 10-15 years between pumping on a 500 gallon tank if they do not put much grease into the system, where a large family or a household putting grease down the drain regularly might need pumping every 5 years or so - so with a 1000 gallon tank you are really at the limit, and may actually be having solids and significant grease going into the leach field from the tank, which will eventually block it - so it definitely needs pumping at this point.

As for recurring pumping - I would have it checked for solids level and pumped at 8-10 years next time, and how full it is (relative to the height of the baffle, NOT total capacity) should let you pro-rate from there. Note that once the "solids" level reaches the mid-tank baffle and starts overflowing into the second chamber (assuming yours has one - many old ones do not), your removal efficiency goes way down and you start getting excess materials into the leach field, which is a bad thing. Usually, the effective capacity of a tank is about 3/4 of its total volume - so probably about 750 gallon in your case.

Pumping earlier rather than too late is not a bad thing - say about $300-500 typically (check on your local prices) maybe a few years early versus several thousand potentially for a new leach field - and that assumes your situation allows for a new field, and that your area still allows new field construction. It is not unsual for grandfathered leach fields to be banned from reconstruction because of local issues with water quality, requiring expensive hookup to city sewer, or even in some areas going to a new holding tank that has to be pumped every month or less - so letting your field block off by not pumping can be far more expensive than a bit of extra pumping cost every decade or so.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Depends on the size of house and tank and the general use of the system.

What and how much you flush affects the timeframe.

If you ever only flush liquids then it would general last longer than if you flushed solids.

2-3 years I would examine the tank.


Answered 2 years ago by Islandalex

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