All About a Septic Pump-Out

Septic pump-outs are required as part of routine maintenance for your septic system. These are performed regularly in order to remove the build up of compounds that can clog your system and keep it from working properly. It’s important to understand the kinds of materials that end up in your septic system and how a pump-out removes them. We also have a few tips to help you avoid habits that can negatively affect your system.

What is in your septic tank?

  • Sludge covers the bottom of your tank. This includes material that can keep bacteria from breaking down the waste inside of the tank.
  • Grease, soaps and materials from the kitchen. These items can become stuck and may require extra pressure to get them loose.
  • Synthetic material from washing machines.This does not break down and needs to be removed through pump-outs.
  • Cigarette butts, cotton swabs, feminine products and matches do not decompose. When disposed of through drains, they will clog up parts of the tank. These items should be removed before they build up and cause problems.

It is important that you properly dispose of waste; your drains are not your trashcan. Items that you dispose of through your drains will end up in your septic tank and affect how your septic system works. Here is a list of things that should not be disposed of through your drains.

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Non-flushable wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Dental Floss
  • Diapers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household chemicals, like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, paint, or paint thinner

Your septic system is full of important living organisms that process and breakdown household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can destroy them and harm your septic system. It is important to avoid using chemical drain cleaners and other toxic cleaners, there are other ways to clear a drain that won’t harm your septic system. Eliminating or reducing the use of a garbage disposal can prevent the buildup of oils, grease, and solids in your septic tank that can clog your system and drain-field.

While septic pump-outs are part of routine maintenance, the frequency of maintenance is determined by how well you take care of your system. You can prevent unnecessary clean-outs by being aware of the products you let go down the drain. If your septic is in need of maintenance, whether routine or emergency, be sure to call Miller’s Septic at 804-758-4314 for all of your septic, plumbing, drain cleaning and electrical needs.