Be Proactive, Not Reactive
When your house is on a septic system it is always best to be proactive instead of reactive. Pumping your tank regularly can help prevent a messy or expensive situation in the future. Depending on the amount of people living in your house, the size tank you have, and your water usage, the time in between pumping can look different. Two people living alone in their home may need to only pump their tank every five years to properly maintain it. Where as a family of four may need to pump every three years to avoid an emergency situation. On the other hand, a bigger family may need it pumped as often as every one to two years. No matter how many people are in the home or the size of home, we recommend having the tank pumped at least every five years to maintain the septic system.
You may ask yourself, "What can happen if I don't pump my septic tank on a regular basis?"
The answer many people know and think about is that you can back up into your house. When a back up occurs, sewage has no way to get out and into the septic and it ends up coming back into the house, often times finding its way to a bathroom floor. In this case, you are left with quite a mess to clean up and a situation where you cannot use any of the water in your house until you find someone to come out and empty the septic. Although backing up is not ideal and can be quite messy, it is not worst case scenario when it comes to neglecting to maintain your septic system.
Many times instead of coming into your house, the waste will exit the septic tank in the opposite direction into the drain field. In this scenario, you won't experience any issues within your home for years making it seem like everything is fine with your system. This can go on for quite a while until one day the drain field has had enough. Once too much waste has found its way to the drain field, the drain field cannot work properly anymore. When this happens you tend to have a lot of problems anytime it rains a lot. The only way to fix this is by installing a new drain field or more drain field, which is very costly and disruptive to your yard. In oder to replace / extend the drain field, a good portion of your yard will have to be torn up.
However, to avoid any of these scenarios, all you need to do is regularly pump out your septic tank.