Septic Tank Maintenance Essentials   Share

by Greg Smith, Roto-Rooter of Mobile

While it’s likely that your septic tank is one of the last household systems that you want to think about, it’s a fact that taking the time to have it maintained regularly can help you save time, money and hassle in the long run. After all, when you have a septic tank system, you basically have your own little sewer treatment plant in your yard. You need it to work constantly and consistently and it needs to be maintained in order to do so.

Properly Maintaining Your Septic System

While a septic system doesn’t require constant maintenance, it does require some care. Proper septic maintenance simply involves having your system pumped by a licensed hauler every few years, something that costs only a few hundred dollars if done regularly by a qualified professional who performs a thorough septic pumping and inspection service.

If, however, you wait until you begin seeing signs that there might be a problem with your system, chances are that you’ve gone too long in between getting it pumped – and you’ve gone beyond a simple maintenance situation to one that requires costly repair work that is much more disruptive to your household that simple pumping and can easily cost two to three thousand dollars – or more, depending on the severity of the problem.   

Maintenance Schedule Based on Household Size

The frequency with which you should have your tank pumped depends on the size of your household. Generally speaking, for households that have four or more people living in them, septic tanks should be pumped every three years. For households with less than three residents, it’s likely that pumping every five years is sufficient. Professional septic system pumping typically costs about $300.

Maintenance Matters

Keep in mind that your situation is very different from that of homeowners who have city sewer systems. They pay monthly utility service fees to have their waste treated. Those who have septic systems don’t have monthly sewer treatment bills – instead, your cost comes in the form of maintenance and repairs to your system.

Proper maintenance isn’t expensive, but repairs to a system that has been neglected are quite costly. Don’t put yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to spend a significant sum of money on septic repairs that could have been avoided simply by following an appropriate pumping schedule. If it has been several years since the last time your system was pumped, it’s time to look for a licensed hauler in your local area to take care of this important task for you.

About the Author
Greg Smith is President of Roto-Rooter of Mobile, Alabama. The company provides industrial, commercial and residential plumbing repair services, including video pipe inspection, throughout Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties in Alabama.