One time, living in another town, we were quickly aware we had to do something – the septic field seemed to be bubbling on the surface. We had a lot of snow and that had finally melted and then we had a lot of spring rain – that was enough to cause a problem.
When the system is working properly the naturally occurring bacteria break down the sludge and the scum. The solids in the system that cannot be broken down settle to the bottom of the tank and must be pumped out regularly to ensure that the system continues to function.
Any liquid in the tank flows out of the tank into a network of underground pipes that drain into the septic field or the tile bed. Naturally occurring ‘good’ bacteria in the ground break down harmful chemicals and bad bacteria removing impurities and returning the cleaner water to the ground for further filtering by the soil. Without pumping the tank regularly and having it inspected, you will have no knowledge of the condition of your existing septic system. How often your septic tank should be cleaned depends on the size of the tank at your home or business and the number of people using the building. Generally speaking, tanks should be inspected regularly and pumped every 3-5 years as required.
Instead of waiting for your septic to come bubbling to the surface as ours did, try to set up a regular schedule with your septic pumping company, that way you will know everything is working well and you are not contributing polluted water to our town’s streams, river and beach and ocean area or a nasty pool in your yard.