what to do when sanitation services are interrupted

3 Times When Septic Tank Pumping Might Not Be A Good Idea

If your home has a septic tank system rather than being on a municipal sewer system, you likely know the importance of having your septic system regularly pumped. However, sometimes, there are special circumstances where septic tank pumping should be delayed. Here are three times it's best to wait.

When There Is Widespread Flooding

Much of the lower Midwest is a natural disaster area due to torrential rains and the resulting flooding. If your property is flooded, you may be worried about the effect on your septic system. But pumping it now could only lead to more problems. A fiberglass or plastic tank may be relying on the weight of the contents to stay submerged. If it is suddenly empty, the excess ground and surface water may make the tank rise. If it floats to the top, it would likely rip out the piping system, causing even more damage and requiring costly repairs.

If you have a concrete tank, pumping the tank when there is ground water and surface water will create a void. This means your empty tank and drainfield piping could allow silt, debris, and mud to re-fill your tank. This will then eventually need to be removed, and the material may not be able to be pumped back out, causing more work and money. Wait until the flood waters recede and the land has time to dry out.

When Your Septic Tank Is Very Old

In some parts of the country, old homesteads and farms used a homemade cesspool made from stones or cement blocks. Sometimes, it's not even known what the "tank" is made from. If this is your situation, simply pumping it is not an option. Most local codes require this kind of septic system be abandoned, but before doing this, a new one must be in place, and a plan must be in place for removing the waste, and filling or sealing as well as marking the old one. Prematurely pumping it could cause it to collapse, because it very well may be the waste was holding it up.

When A Septic Inspection Is Due

If you have been told by the county to get an inspection, or if you are selling your home and a prospective buyer has requested an inspection, you may think you had better get it pumped. Don't do this. Water and dye are run into the tank to see where any leaks or problems may be. This can't be done when the tank is empty, and it could get you in trouble with the authorities.

For any of these or other situations, it's best to consult with a professional septic tank pumping service, like Rob's Septic Tanks Inc. They can assess your property and give the best recommendation for your septic system and drainfield.