For millions of people living in rural environments, pumping septic tanks is a fact. With the nearest municipal sewer connection miles away, a properly maintained and functioning septic system is vital and getting it pumped at regular intervals is part of that maintenance. In this article, we’ll look at why getting pumped regularly is so important, how it’s done, and how much you can expect to pay for this service.
But before we get into all of that, let’s take a quick look at what a septic system is and how it works. In simpler terms, a septic system is an underground wastewater treatment system for homes that do not have access to municipal sewage services. It typically consists of four parts; the house drain pipe, the septic tank, the drainage field and the ground. All of these parts need to work properly, but the tank itself is the most important part.
Pumping the tank at regular intervals makes it work properly and prevents clogs that can cause wastewater to flow back into the home and create disgusting odors. The main contributor to septic tank clogs are very biodegradable things. This includes cooking grease and oils that drain down the drain and paper products other than toilet paper; paper towels, sanitary napkins and tampons, cigarette butts and cotton balls eventually deteriorate but tend to get stuck in the inner workings of the tub and create clogs that get worse over time.
Another reason to have a septic tank pumped regularly is to check for damage that can impair its ability to function efficiently. Once pumped, it can be visually inspected for cracks and other damage. If damage is found, it must be repaired to prevent future problems.
The pumping process itself is pretty straightforward. A large truck, sometimes referred to as the “Honey Wagon”, with a large tank, a vacuum pump and large hoses will arrive at the property and park near the septic tank. The operator will remove the manhole cover from the tank, lower the suction pipes inside it and turn on the pumps, sucking the waste accumulated in the holding tank on the truck.
A good pumping service will also provide a thorough inspection of the septic tank once it has been pumped clean. They will inspect the tank, valves, and inlet and outlet ports for damage such as cracks or clogs. They will also inspect the soil around the tank for any signs of leaks. Any problems should be brought to the homeowner so they can be addressed to ensure the proper functioning of the entire septic system.
The cost to pump a septic tank varies and will depend on where you live along with some other factors. It will normally cost between $ 125 and $ 250 or more. The easier the job, the cheaper it will cost, but there are some circumstances that can drive up the price.
The first problem many homeowners run into is knowing exactly where the septic tank is buried. This is especially true for people who have bought a home with an existing system. If it’s buried and its location isn’t immediately obvious, your septic pump service can use a plumbing snake with a radio emitter attached to the end. The snake is fed through a cleaning in the house and out in the tub. A radio receiver is then used to find the end of the snake that provides the location of the tank septic tank pumping
Another problem is the lack of a septic riser above the lid that covers the opening in the tank. If the pumping contractor has to dig to find the lid, this can increase the cost of the service. This is also the perfect opportunity to install a riser to avoid this problem for future pumping outlets.