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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    Posts
    50

    Default Septic Tank Pumping Schedule

    For years when inspecting a property on septic, I provided a septic tank pumping schedule recommendation. Unfortunately lost this information last year due to a computer crash. Since then have not found a schedule I like. Does anyone have a recommendation where this information can be downloaded?
    Thanks for your assistance.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Septic Tank Pumping Schedule

    Jack,

    To my knowledge there is no required timetable to have it pumped out. I recall from a class I took years ago that the state recommended every 7 years, but also said that if the septic tank was not causing a problem there was really no reason to have it pumped out.

    Now, as soon as something is done to the septic system, such as an addition to the load on it (for example, from an addition to the house) then the septic tank is required to be inspected, and the process of inspection now includes pumping it out, determining its capacity, ensuring that it does not leak, etc., and then it may need to be re-inspected in 5 years (I am not exactly sure on that part).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Septic Tank Pumping Schedule

    Jerry,
    Usually the frequency depends on tank size, the number of household members and if a food disposer is used. Sludge buildup is the reason to pump tank(s), if not pumped when needed, the slug can overflow and clog the drain field. Then you have a major and expensive problem. When you compare the preventive cost $200-400 every 3 to 5 years, its not worth the gamble.

    When I do an inspection that has septic, I'll ask the owner when the tank was last pumped. The replies can vary from not pump because no problem, not needed because they use Drain X or one lady said instead of pumping, monthly she pours a large can of tomato juice down drain. And we wonder why our rivers and lakes have sewer run off.

    Its too bad the state backed off requiring periodic tank inspections.

    Last edited by Jack Wingo; 10-11-2012 at 03:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Septic Tank Pumping Schedule

    I usually recommend pumping every 3-4 years dependent on variables as you mention Jack. But regardless it should be pumped simply because the sludge and scum do build up and thus reduce overall capacity of the tank.

    What you don't want is is the scum washing out into the weeping field.

    From my experience.

    Also from CMHC - Your septic system
    Your Septic System | CMHC


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Septic Tank Pumping Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Wingo View Post
    When you compare the preventive cost $200-400 every 3 to 5 years, its not worth the gamble.
    I don't disagree, but if the tank is properly sized to the house and its use, then every 5-7 years should be okay - just my opinion, but not that of the state.

    When I do an inspection that has septic, I'll ask the owner when the tank was last pumped. The replies can vary from not pump because no problem, not needed because they use Drain X or one lady said instead of pumping, monthly she pours a large can of tomato juice down drain. And we would why our rivers and lakes have sewer run off.

    Its too bad the state backed off requiring periodic tank inspections.
    I believe they kept the licensing of septic system inspectors, though.
    - DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
    - - CHAPTER 64E-6, FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
    - - - STANDARDS FOR ONSITE SEWAGE TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL SYSTEMS
    - - - - PART I
    - - - - - 64E-6.001 General
    - - - - - - (4)
    - - - - - - - (a)
    - - - - - - - - (5) The department Procedure for Voluntary Inspection and Assessment of Existing Systems, May, 2000, herein incorporated by reference, shall be applied except in situations pertaining to an increase in sewage flow or change in sewage characteristics, or failure of the system. The inspection is designed to assess the condition of a system at a particular moment in time. The inspection will identify obviously substandard systems, for example systems without drainfields. The inspection is not designed to determine precise code compliance, nor provide information to demonstrate that the system will adequately serve the use to be placed upon it by this or any subsequent owner. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the amount of detail an inspector may provide at their professional discretion. Persons allowed to perform work under this section shall be master septic tank contractors, registered septic tank contractors, state-licensed plumbers, and persons certified under Section 381.0101, F.S. Department employees are excluded from performing these evaluations. Aerobic treatment units and performance-based treatment systems shall not be evaluated using this criteria, but shall be evaluated by the approved maintenance entity which maintains the unit or system. Nothing in this section restricts the person having ownership of, control of, or use of an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system from requesting a partial inspection. The inspector shall provide the person requesting the inspection a copy of the department Procedure for Voluntary Inspection and Assessment of Existing Systems and written notice of their right to request an inspection based on part or all of the standards.

    Just to make sure (because I could be wrong - have been before and will be again ), I would email them and ask about inspections and licensing, then you will have it in writing: environmental_health@doh.state.fl.us

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Septic Tank Pumping Schedule

    We are super careful with our septic system, mainly because our jurisdiction prohibits repair of a system if the property is now within reach of a hookup to the municipal system. This situation is actually pretty common around here, where once-isolated houses are now close to newer developments. In our own case, the development completely surrounds our property. If our system ever fails, we will not be allowed to repair it but will have to shell out beaucoup bucks to hook up to the county system (one estimate given was in the $90K range). So yeah, we pump our tank annually and have a filter on our washing machine to keep the synthetics out of the tank.
    To our customers with well and/or septic systems, we hand out brochures from the American Ground Water Trust, giving great information about how their systems work and how to maintain them.
    I'm not sure if other jurisdictions have the same mandatory hook-up rules, but it would probably be a good idea to have that information handy to share with clients who have septic systems.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

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