FAQ: Southwest Florida Septic Tank Pump-Outs

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Septic tanks require pump-outs when the solids that accumulate in the tank begin to reach the tank’s storage capacity. The tank should be pumped when total solid accumulation is between 30% and 50% of the total capacity. Diversified Plumbing Services specializes in septic tank pump-outs in Lee County, Southwest Florida, and recommends the following septic tank pump-out steps.

Before Septic Tank Pumping

Note the liquid level of the tank in relation to the tank’s outlet pipe. A liquid level below the outlet pipe usually indicates a tank leak. A liquid level above the outlet pipe can indicate a problem with the pipe to the drain field or the drain field itself.

Septic Tank Pumping

  • We will pump the tank from the manhole. Pumping from inspection ports may damage tees and baffles. However, if pumping must occur from inspection ports, we will be sure to pump from both ports in order to pump all areas of the tank.
  • We will watch for backflow from the tank outlet pipe. Significant backflow indicates a drain field system backup. A small amount of backflow can indicate a sag in the pipe to the drain field.
  • We will pump the tank thoroughly and use a seepage spoon and back flush to loosen the sludge in the corners of the tank.

How Can I Reduce the Number of Septic Tank Pump-Outs?

You can save time and money by taking a few daily precautions that reduce the frequency of pump-outs your system will need:

  • Aside from wastewater, toilet paper is the only other thing that should be flushed. Using the toilet to dispose of sanitary products, paper towels, disposable diapers, cigarette butts, and even tissues will harm your septic tank and cause you to need pump-outs more often.
  • Don’t use a kitchen garbage disposal. Septic systems are not intended to dispose of food waste, coffee grounds, grease, or fat, and, in fact, they will harm the septic tank. Try using a compost pile; it will reduce the number of pump-outs your system needs!
  • Reducing water usage will protect your septic system. Repair leaky faucets and toilets; install low-flow water fixtures, and turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Water conservation reduces the load of wastewater your septic system has to handle.

Learn more at: http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/OWT/Factsheets/PumpoutPgd.pdf