How Fast Does A Septic Tank Fill Up?
How fast does a septic tank fill up? Whether it is routine maintenance that you are wondering about or you have got a new septic tank recently, you will need to understand how the tank and the whole system function because you will have to be prepared for the day when the tank gets full.
This brings a question to the mind, how fast does a septic tank fill up? Surely it is not the case that you will not have to empty your tank ever, once it is installed. While most of us would like that to be a reality, unfortunately, there is no policy that standardizes the when and how of pumping the underground septic tank of your house.
On average, it will take up to 5 years for a run-of-the-mill, regular septic tank to completely fill up. Having said that, this can be a very subjective outlook towards the problem.
How fast a septic tank fills up depends on so many factors like the amount of waste produced, the lifestyle of the family, the size of the tank being used, the number of solids in the wastewater flowing in, how much water is used every day in the house and much more!
Understanding the tank system
It goes without saying that the waste your family produces is related to the amount of food consumed. Adults produce 90 gallons of waste every year however not all of it will fill your septic tank. It gets reduced roughly to 60% of its original amount.
As per the regulations and pumping standards, it is recommended that you don’t let the scum or sludge layer at the bottom fill 30% or more of the septic tank. This will reduce the breaking process and eventually your tank will become inefficient. It will take an average tank 2 years to reach the 30% mark after that the reduced breakdown will fill the tank in another 3 years.
If you think that you are free for 5 years after reading the above paragraph, then read along for better clarity. All of the above numbers relate to only one person using a 1000-gallon tank in the septic system. Even if we take a nuclear family of 4 people – two children and a couple, how fast does a septic tank fill up in that case? The answer is 1.5 years.
Some drawbacks of not emptying the tank regularly
It is not that you will not be able to perform washing and cleaning after your tank fills up however, there are a lot of drawbacks to letting things remain as they post the tank getting filled up more than 90%. Some of them are listed below:
- Reduced drainage speeds in the shower or the sink in the kitchen area
- The toilets will not flush efficiently and it will start making bubbling or gurgling sounds
- A foul smell like that of a rotten egg will fill in the house sometimes
- The area around the tank which is outside your house will remain wet permanently
It is pretty clear that once in a year you need to get the tank emptied to be able to get the maximum efficiency out of the tank. Even if you are thinking of DIY and emptying it, all you can do is hiring a professional contractor to pump the waste out.
If the question of how fast does a septic tank fill-up confuses you, remember the answer is one year. Just like any other system, simply get the annual maintenance done (which should include pumping, cleaning, and systems check) and all the utilities in your house will function like clockwork.