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At GEM Environmental, we are often asked how often you should have your septic tank cleaned. And the answer is it depends.  Your septic tank size and family size usually dictate how often you would need to have your septic tank pumped. For instance, if you have a 2000 gallon septic tank and five people live in your home, you will probably want to have your septic tank pumped every 3 to 4 years; more often for larger families and less often for small.

Why is it important to maintain your septic system? There are three main reasons:

  1. Cost. Failing septic systems are expensive to repair or replace, and improper maintenance by homeowners is a common cause of early system failure. The minimal amount of preventative maintenance that septic systems require costs very little in comparison to the cost of a new system. For example, it typically costs from $3,000 to $10,000 to replace a failing septic system, compared to $300 to $500 on average per year to have it pumped.
  2. Health. Secondly, maintaining your septic system is important to the health of your family and the environment. When septic systems fail, inadequately treated household waste water is released into the environment. Any contact with untreated human waste can pose a significant risk to public health. Untreated waste water from failing septic systems can contaminate nearby wells, groundwater, and drinking water.
  3. Maintaining your community. Failing septic systems can cause property values to decline. Sometimes building permits cannot be issued for these properties. Also, failing septic systems may contribute to the pollution of local rivers, lakes, and shoreline that your community uses for commercial or recreational activities.

Checklist for Good Septic Tank Maintenance:

  • Check your system annually for leaks and sludge
  • Have your septic tank pumped by a licensed pumping contractor.
  • Practice water conservation. Repair leaky faucets and toilets. Spread clothes washing over the entire week, and operate only with a full load of laundry.
  • Learn the location of your septic systems. Make a map and keep it handy.
  • Keep a maintenance record.

If you need your septic tank cleaned or your septic tank maintained, call the dependable septic tank specialists at Reliable Sanitation: 719-527-9484.

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