Info from OSU Extension Office

Septic Systems are simple to operate and when properly designed, constructed, and maintained, they do an excellent job of removing pollutants from wastewater to protect Ohio's water resources. Property owners must do a few important things to keep their system operating for 20 to 30 years.

Pump Septic Tank

Septic tanks are installed to allow solids to settle out of sewage and hold these solids in the tank. Over the years of operating, accumulated solids begin taking up too much room in the tank, reducing the volume available for settling. When this happens, solids start escaping the tank and can clog the soil in the soil absorption field. Before this happens, the septic tank should be pumped to remove the solids.

  • Do not wait for the system to back-up before you pump your septic system. Back-ups can be caused by clogging of the soil from sewage solids carried out of an unmaintained septic tank. Once the sewage backs-up, the damage is already done.
  • Do not use biological or chemical additive in place of septic tank pumping.
  • Pump the tank based on the size of the tank and the number of people using it. The table is a guide for routine septic tank pumping. More frequent pumping is necessary if garbage disposals are used.
Septic System Diagram

Diagram of a septic system


Cross Section of a Septic Tank

Cross section of a septic tank


Septic Tank Pumping Frequencies

Click above to enlarge