Septic Tanks and COVID-19

Septic Tank pumping is a fundamental aspect of keeping your Septic System working properly. Since Coronavirus (COVID-19) has the majority of us spending much, much more time at home to help flatten the curve, we are all putting more strain on our residential septic systems. So – how does this change in household behavior impact our septic system and how can we mitigate the potential for negative outcomes? 

Covid-19 Connecticut MapWhether you’re new to a property with a septic tank or you are just trying to figure out how to care for the one you’ve had through the quarantine, here are some tips to consider about septic tank pumping frequency during these uncertain times.

Why is Septic Tank Pumping an important consideration?

Having your septic system pumped is a crucial part of your system’s health; when it’s pumped, the technician is removing all of the sludge and scum that build up over time in the septic tank. Bacteria present in the tank help break down solids but depending on the quantity of solids and bacteria levels, the pumping can protect you from costly repairs and septic emergencies.  The risks are more prevalent now with more time being spent at home by more family members, doing things that tax the system’s capacity. 

Frequency of Septic Tank Pumping

Generally speaking, single-family septic tanks need to be pumped every one to three years (depending on size and makeup of your family). This is the general guideline and it’s a good place to start. However, numerous factors and conditions contribute to your home’s septic pumping frequency. In fact, even if you usually only need to have your septic tank pumped every three years, it may be during these higher usage times that you need it done more often.

The number of people living in your house is one of the biggest factors that will determine how often you need to have your septic tank pumped. Everyday activities like Restroom Visits, Dish Washing, Showering, using a Garbage Disposal, and Doing Laundry all contribute to solids and wastewater input into the septic system. When you schedule a septic tank pumping, the technician who comes out to perform the service can evaluate your tank’s condition and help you determine how often you should have your tank pumped.

You’ll also need to consider the age of your septic system, the size of the tank, your seasonal usage changes, and the use of any septic additives.

Coronavirus Impacts on Septic Pumping

disinfectants harmful to septic tank bacteria

While antibacterials keep your family safe from COVID-19, they can endanger the much-needed bacteria in your septic system.

In unsure times like this quarantine, household members being home more contribute to the production of more wastewater. Increased home activities might be impacting your septic system, especially if it’s been a while since the last pumping. Generally, as the household gets more use, you’ll want to increase your septic pumping frequency as well.  What’s more, the steps you take to protect your family from the coronavirus can endanger your septic system.  Higher than average use of cleaning agents can impact the good bacteria that help break down solids. It’s important to remember that disinfectants, anti-bacterials, and bleach should not enter your drains. 

Call us if you have questions or to schedule a pump out. If you have any questions about your septic tank or any other issues, please contact us.

And if you need service, please know that we are working safely during the Connecticut COVID-19 crisis; you can learn more in our blog post about this.