If you live in a rural area and depend on your septic tank for waste and water disposal, you have probably been informed by more than one person how dangerous it can be to skip or delay having that unit pumped on a regular basis. However, people do not always mention that having the septic tank pumped at the wrong time could also be very problematic. Therefore, before you plan to have the septic tank pumped soon after the area has flooded or in the middle of winter, it is best to consider the information discussed below.
#1-Reconsider Pumping The Septic Tank If Your Area Has Flooded Lately
Regardless of whether your septic tank is made of concrete, plastic or fiberglass, it is never a good idea to pump it too soon after a flood. If you do so and your tank is made of fiberglass or plastic, there is a very real chance of the tank actually floating several inches away from its designated spot in the ground. Primarily a problem if the water is still at a similar level as the septic tank, this issue could quickly result in a much higher bill than you are expecting due to the unexpected need for repaired pipes.
Therefore, you should wait until the ground around the septic tank has dried before initiating any work. In addition, you should be leery of hiring any septic tank professional who is willing to pump your septic tank under those conditions.
#2-Avoid Pumping The Tank In The Winter
Just as pumping the septic tank when the ground is still wet from flooding is not a good idea, you should similarly avoid having that work done in the winter whenever possible. However, if you must, there is information that you should know.
For instance, your tank should not exceed more than a 75% capacity during the winter or the expansion of the frozen fluids could be a messy and expensive oversight. If your septic tank is located on a remote area of your land or is otherwise difficult for the septic trucks to get close to, you might literally not be able to have it pumped when the ground is frozen. That determination will usually be made on a case-by-case basis. It may be necessary to contact more than one company to find someone who can provide the more expensive and complex work of pumping a septic tank during the winter.
#3-Do Not Pump The Tank If You Are Unsure Of Its Condition Or Construction
If you have recently bought your home and don't have access to records about recent septic tank pumpings or have just learned that there is an old and abandoned septic tank on your property, you might assume that you need to have that unit pumped or removed as soon as possible. However, the truth is that you need to do some research into the age, construction, and condition of the septic tank before it can be safely pumped.
For instance, if it is quite old and has not been used in a long time, it could break into pieces or do damage to the surrounding ground if it is removed without taking the necessary precautions. In some instances, it may need to be fitted with an external mold to prevent its disintegration upon being removed. Alternatively, it might need to be filled in with concrete and left in the ground. Until you have spoken with a professional and are sure what you are dealing with, it is best to leave the septic tank where it is.
In conclusion, it can be dangerous to have a septic tank pumped when the ground is still wet from recent flooding, during the winter or if the materials that make up the tank are unknown. As a result, it is imperative for every responsible homeowner whose home has or uses a septic tank to be familiar with the information shared above.
For more information, talk to a professional like Pete's Outflow Technicians.