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Caring for your Septic System PDF Print E-mail

Septic systems are often overlooked, but need a regular checkup to prevent problems and continue functioning properly. The septic tank (which holds the solids) should be checked to determine whether it is time to be pumped out. The baffles should be checked to be sure they are intact and prevent solids from flowing into the absorption field, causing failure of the leach system or absorption field. The absorption system should be checked for sogginess or flooding, which indicate improper drainage. With proper maintenance a septic system should function for many years with no real problem. How often you need to pump the solids from your septic tank is determined by the number of people in the household and the flow of wastewater. The use of a garbage disposal will increase the amount of solids in the holding tank by about 50 percent. You can determine when it is time to pump out the solids by checking the depth of solids and the level of scum buildup on the top of the water in the tank. You should have your system checked by a professional every 2 to 3 years.

Tank Size
(gals.)
Household size
(number of people)
1
2
3
4
5
6

500
5.8
2.6
1.5
1.0
0.7
0.4
750
9.1
4.2
2.6
1.8
1.3
1.0
900
11.0
5.2
3.3
2.3
1.7
1.3
1000
12.4
5.9
3.7
2.6
2.0
1.5
1250
15.6
7.5
4.8
3.4
2.6
2.0
1500
18.9
9.1
5.9
4.2
3.3
2.6
1750
22.1
10.7
6.9
5.0
3.9
3.1
2000
25.4
12.4
8.0
5.9
4.5
3.1
2250
28.6
14.0
9.1
6.7
5.2
4.2
2500
31.9
15.6
10.2
7.5
5.9
4.8