This is a question we were asked today, and one we have been asked repeatedly over the years.
This person was recently solicited via telephone during which the caller assured them if they purchased and used a particular product, the septic owner would never need to pump their septic ever again. Ever. Again.
Anyone who says anything such as this is waving a giant red flag. So be warned...
Septic systems are pumped out for a number of reasons. Just for starters, the removal of accumulated sludge (which includes inorganic material, think fleece, sand, etc.), observing internal tank components to ensure their integrity and condition, having any required repairs scheduled and completed. Best management practices are to have your septic system pumped and/or inspected by a licensed contractor every three to five years.
Let’s back up a little.
It is important to fully understand how septic systems work. Septic systems are designed to recycle wastewater produced in your home, cottage or business back into the environment. A septic system functions on the principal of digestion of organic materials by bacteria. The two components of the septic system are a septic tank and a leaching bed (also called a tile bed).
In the septic tank (see diagram at right), bacteria metabolize solids, converting waste into mostly water, carbon dioxide, dead cell mass, and mineral ash. Effluent flows out of the tank and into the leaching field/tile bed where the effluent percolates into the soil.
The more efficient the system operates the less nutrient pollution goes into the environment. The more bacteriological activity in the septic tank the better the treatment of the waste in the tank and the longer the life of your leach field/tile bed. Of course, we recommend EcoEthic Septic Treatment to increase appropriate bacteriological activity.
Without proper septic system maintenance it can be dangerous for your family, pose a threat to public health or the environment, and affect neighbouring property owners.
Without pumping the tank regularly and having it inspected, you will have no knowledge of the condition of your existing septic system.
Exercise caution with anyone who tells you that you never need pump again.