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Valv

Septic tank pumping

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I have a 7 year old mound system septic. Driving in the area I saw a newer house with a truck pumping theirs.

Do I have to pump mine once in a while ? And if I do, is it better fall or spring ?

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Late spring valv. Take a look inside the tank on the pipe farthest from the house that is on the tank. You can see how full it is. It's easiest near dark with a flashlight.

Did your roof turn out well?

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Its recommended to pump septic tanks,depending on use. To remove the solids that have settled to the bottom leaving less area for bacteria to thrive in suspended waste.

I believe every other year.online go to state health dept for info.

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I live in Anoka Cty and we are required to pump ours every 2 to 4 years, I can't remember. They send us a notice when we are due for a pumpimg.

I kind of like the idea of pumping when you need to. We are only 2 adults in a 4 bedroom house, but Anoka cty goes by bedroom size not occupants.

Mike

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We were put on a 3-year rotation. Not pumping your solid storage tank can be defastating to the system. If solid material manages to leak to the liquid side of your tank you could risk plugging the drain field and the result could be costly repairs.

Bob

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I've traditionally done mine every other year. I know some people who do it EVERY year...that is over kill, I think every 3 years is what they recommend.

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I pumped mine out every other year and never had any issues. I would also throw a pound of hamburger in the tank every so often to help keep the bacteria at a high level.

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We finally had ours pumped after 28 years last year. My wife and I bought our parents house, and they never pumped the tank.

The township sent out a notice that tanks are now required to be pumped and inspected every 3 years.

We own the house next door as well, and that tank hadn't been pumped since the mid 60's when it was installed.

So, we had ours pumped, and of course now our system failed and we have to install a new system.

Figures, don't fix something that isn't broken, right?

Anyways, I know the two don't coincide, but it's pretty ironic if you ask me.

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Bummer. I don't know where the idea has come from that a septic system needs to be "recharged" with bacteria. Correct me if I'm wrong but the bacteria will be there and will grow immediately when you start using the system. I believe a bigger problem is the chemicals many of us tend to pour down the drain that may be hazardous to the bacteria. Septic systems are not impervious to destruction and it's important to consider the system when purchasing things like chemical cleaners, tissue, etc. to be sure it's safe for septic systems.

Bob

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I agree, eat the burger Harvey. It will eventually end up in the tank anyways. grin

There is no need for chemical additives.

I have mine pumped every 2 to 3 years. This is good insurance.

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On a gravity one tank system your tank has an outlet, that is what the level will always be in your tank.

The idea behind pumping your tank is to get ride of the solids or sludge, not the water.

The ratio of liquid to solid: That has a lot to do with how the tank will be pumped or should I say how much work is involved. The water and solids will need to be agitated before it can be pumped.

If you have a lot of solids from years(decades of buildup)they have to liquefied in order to get sucked up. Here is where things can go wrong. Lets say your making a cake. If you have too much flour for the amount of liquid, you add more liquid. Thats fine as long as you have a big enough bowl.

So if you have too much sludge to liquefy your going to have to add water to the tank. What happens when you have to add so much liquid that you going above the outlet in your tank.

Agitating, pumping, and back flushing multiple times without plugging up the outlet.

There should be plenty of bacteria in your tank without having to add more. If your going nuts with household cleaners they can kill that bacteria.

How often to pump depends. Pull the cover off the tank, with a stick measure with the ratio of water and solids. The should be floating stuff, water, then solids on the bottom. While your there look to see what the outlet looks like. There should be a baffle or a T to divert the floating stuff.

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We are due to have ours pumped for the first time (notice from the county as well) what is the cost range to expect for a pumping? We have the 2 tank system with 2 people in the household.

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I have mine pumped every year. Is it over kill - perhaps. I spend 80 bucks and the guy does it right. He pumps and backflushes and gets the solids. Lots of guys just come in and pump the liquid. That is a waste of money IMO. I would rather spend 80 bucks a year than 5 grand for a new system.

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And if I do, is it better fall or spring ?

Like Roofer said, I would do it in the spring. I have heard that if you suck it out now, the bacteria may not build up enough for winter. Bacteria helps keep the system warm during a low snow/very cold winter.

If you do pump now, it might be a good idea to put some hay down over the system if it is prone to freezing. This I have heard helps insulate the system to help prevent a mid winter freeze up.

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I think there's too much concern about the bacteria. When they pump out the sludge tank, it's not like they suck it dry. There's plenty of active material still inside.

I believe the problem of freezing by pumping during winter could be more related to something else. A septic system is usually a single tank with two storage compartments. Waste enters into one compartment (what I call the sludge tank). As more an more waste comes in, eventually the sludge side will fill up to a level and overflow into the other side (what I call the liquid tank). There are baffles in between so that solids or sludge will not overflow into the liquid tank.

Bacteria in the system helps decompose the sludge. Every time we flush or drain water, we add more to the sludge side and the liquids can overflow into the liquid side. A float switch on the liquid side is used to control the fluid level. When it gets too full, the pump turns on and floods the mound drain field with a few hundred gallons.

When you have your sludge tank pumped out, it can take some time to refill it to the point where liquid begins to overflow into the liquid tank. Therefore, for a period of time after pumping, you mound is not getting flooded with fresh bacteria laden water and so it can begin to become less active and hence forth, cool down to the point where it can freeze.

I suspect that in most cases, if you have a system that is over-sized or under-used you have a higher risk of freezing. If you have a system that is undersized or over-used, you increse a risk of saturation. That is why they need to design the system to meet the needs of the home.

At any rate, the bacteria is there all the time.

Bob

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That is what I was told by the guy who installed my drain feild and is just one opinion I guess. Made sense at the time.

Hey, I am converting some VHS tapes to digital very soon. I have full video on VHS of them installing mine grin

If I get it done, I might just post some clips from the install.

I video taped it, so if I had any issues down the road I would know where things are at.

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