Sludge buildup in your septic tank as wastewater is processed will inevitably need to be pumped out. While some believe that septic systems require no maintenance, the truth is that in order for your septic system to function properly, your septic tank should be inspected and pumped on a regular basis. The EPA suggests that septic tanks be pumped every 3 years. Septic Tank pumpouts can cost anywhere from $250 to $500. While this expense is significantly less expensive than paying a monthly bill through public utilities – tight budgets can make it hard for a household to afford a pumpout when the need arises. Some septic owners consider the idea of DIY septic tank pumping to save the additional costs, but there are a few risks involved in doing so that you should consider.

Legal ramifications. It’s important to understand that while there are many online resources for DIY septic pumping, that the state of Florida requires that septic pumpouts be performed by a permitted and registered septic tank contractor.

Environmental impact & disposal. Even if you make the conscious decision to illegally pump your septic tank on your own – what would you do with the waste? Part of the fee that you pay to have your septic tank pumped out includes the proper treatment and disposal of that waste. Septic experts typically have facilities that can properly treat the waste and have the appropriate vehicles to transport the waste to a wastewater management facility. Improper waste disposal by you or other unauthorized individuals can result in unhealthy situations and be the cause of environmental pollution that can contribute to pollution, toxic algae blooms and increased nitrogen in our local waterways.

Inspections. Hiring a licensed and certified septic contractor means that they’ll have comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings and architecture of your septic tank. Rather than just pumping your waste from the tank, they’ll be able to take a look at your drainfield and how your septic system as a whole is functioning. Their expertise can pinpoint potential issues with your drainfield and help you better understand the maintenance required for your septic system to operate effectively.

Although the investment to inspect and pump your septic tank on a regular basis may appear to be a financial burden, it can go a long way to helping your septic system operate optimally for years to come. It may help you to develop a monthly budget. Saving a few dollars here and there can quickly add up and, when the time comes, you’ll be able to have your septic tank pumped out by an expert you can trust. To learn more about the care, maintenance and operation of your home septic system, visit our website and read the EPA Guidebook for Septic Tank Owners.

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