How Often Should Your Septic Tank Get Cleaned?

Posted on: 28 September 2015

Many homeowners who are new to septic systems find themselves stumped by the question of how often the septic tank needs to be cleaned. Unfortunately, there's no straight answer for this. Many septic tanks need to be cleaned out at least every three years, but some need to be cleaned out more frequently. There are a variety of factors that can influence how often your tank needs to be cleaned.

Frequency With Which You Do Laundry

Running the washing machine on a daily basis can flood the septic tank with waste water, causing the water in the tank to be sent to the drainfield before the sludge can separate out of the wastewater. As a result, doing your laundry frequently can result in clogs and may require you to have your tank cleaned out more often than if you waited days in between your laundry cycles.

Waste Disposal

Your household's waste disposal practices have a big influence on how often your septic tank needs to be cleaned. The only thing your household should be flushing down the drain, aside from waste water and human waste, is toilet paper. Flushing non-toilet paper items down into the tank can necessitate more frequent cleanings.

Garbage Disposal

Homes with garbage disposals produce a lot more solid waste than homes without garbage disposals. This waste ends up down at the bottom of the septic tank, and can cause the septic tank to become overfilled with sludge well before other tanks of the same size. If you want to stretch out the time between cleanings, don't use your garbage disposal. If you don't have a garbage disposal, don't install one.


The size of the septic tank has a big impact on the frequency with which your tank needs to be cleaned. Hopefully, the size of your tank is well-matched to the gallons of waste water that your house produces. If it's not, this could result in more frequent maintenance. You may not know how many gallons of waste water your house produces on a daily basis, or how large your tank is, for that matter. A septic tank cleaning professional will be able to tell you if your septic tank is properly sized for your house and how often you need septic tank cleaning service.

In addition, your septic tank cleaning service will be able to asses your household's behaviors (like how often you choose to do laundry) and will be able to tell you if you need to clean your tank every three years, or more often.

Contact a service like Hemley's Septic Tank Cleaning for more information.


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