Misconceptions about Cleaning and Pumping Septic Tanks

When it comes to proper care, maintenance and pumping of septic tanks, there are a lot of misconceptions. In order to ensure your septic tank stays clean and lasts for years to come, there are certain processes you must follow. Here are some of the common misconceptions and ways to properly handle your tank.

Pumping and Cleaning Schedule

Many people mistakenly believe that if they pump their tank frequently they will save money by making the tank last longer. This may be true in theory but pumping too frequently can actually put a strain on your tank and be quite costly.

Another misconception involves not pumping enough. Some people think they only need to pump when they have had a lot of visitors or when the tank has been used more than usual. But not pumping enough can lead to a damaged septic tank, which can be quite costly to repair or replace.

Pumping and cleaning are two different things! Pumping is removing water and floating solids; cleaning is the process of removing water and sludge from the bottom of the tank.

Since every tank and property is different, it is best to get professional advice on how often to clean and pump your septic tank to ensure longevity and safety.

Additives and Chemicals

This misconception involves people adding chemicals to their tank, believing that this will help keep the tank clean and make it last longer. Actually, the opposite is true. Many chemicals and additives can be quite harmful to a septic tank. They can cause frothing, which can ultimately cause solids to be discharged into the drain field. They can also kill the good bacteria needed to break down the wastes in the tank properly, and this can lead to blockages and backup.

Some jurisdictions have banned certain toxins and chemicals, so check with your local municipality before using any additives or chemicals in your septic tank.


This misconception involves thinking that just because the toilet is flushing okay the septic tank must be working fine. That is not always the case! A septic tank that seems fine may be on the verge of a sewage backup or be in a condition that needs to be dealt with immediately. That is why regular inspections and cleanings are so important. Trouble can be spotted early and be dealt with before costly repairs are needed.

Septic tanks can last for many years if care and maintenance is handled properly. Always enlist the help of a professional, like one from a company such as Econocycle, so that you get the most out of your tank.