to Keep Your Septic Tank Healthy: Tips and Tricks

to Maintain Your Septic System and Avoid Costly Repairs

How Long Does It Take for a Septic Tank to Fill Up After Pumping?

Septic tanks do not last forever. It needs maintenance. Most households employ septic tanks as part of their sewage system, and you might wonder how long it takes to get full. If you have a newly installed septic tank or have one already, it is essential to know the tank’s inner workings and what to do whenever it is full.

Many homeowners are concerned about their septic tank’s longevity or how long it takes for a septic tank to be full after pumping. Some are confused about the right answer, and others are just negligent about it. Nevertheless, we need to be responsible for our waste because it can affect our environment.

To give you a quick idea, in most cases, septic tanks fill up after five years of usage. However,  several factors might affect the number of years and how long septic tanks can store waste. Let us discuss some information and detail about septic tanks in this article so that you will be guided for your next pumping schedule.

Filling Up Process of a Septic Tank

Adults can discharge one liter of waste daily, resulting in 90 gallons per year. In fact, the waste that is produced in a household is directly proportional to the consumed food of an individual that is part of the family.

Also, experts advised that the layer of sludge or scum should not be above 30% inside the tank because if it increases more than the recommended percent, it might result in an inefficient and slower waste process leading to faster filling up waste in the tank. Therefore, the 30% mark is filled after two years, so homeowners should be aware that the tank is already full for about 98% in the next three years.

Generally, it is recommended to have your septic tank pumped every two to three years. Do not forget that the septic tank’s main function is to retain sludge from having an excessive amount because it can result in problems in the sewage system.

What can happen when a septic tank fills up?

As you might notice, when your tank is full, there is a chance that solid particles are starting to get stored more frequently. Then, these particles may settle near the drainpipes and turn soft. These softened particles can flow with water, and the following things can happen:

  1. These particles can clog the soil absorption area and lead to the backflow of toilets and gutters.
  2. Tiny particles can escape because of prolonged pressure. However, this will not impose a significant threat to the household. Eventually, these particles can penetrate the soil and produce an unpleasant smell that can catch the attention of your visitors or passersby.

Thus, ensure always to have your septic tank checked regularly.

Signs to Get an Expert to Pump Your Septic Tank

You can try two things to know the signs if you need a pumping session for your septic tank.

  1. The easiest way is to get it pumped after 2-3 years, as recommended by experts.
  2. Also, you can do the inspection on your own once a year. First, open the inspection port on the first chamber and insert a pole inside. Look for a pole that is long enough so that it can reach the bottom of the tank. After inserting the pole, withdraw the pole while keeping your face away from the opening and notice how deep the sludge is. Pumping is required if the level exceeds 70% of the tank’s capacity. Be sure you use the right protective gear.

Septic Tank Pumping Process

You might think that pumping a septic tank might be easy, but it is the other way around. If you are planning to pump your septic tank, make sure to hire septic tank contractors and let them do the job for you.

The pumping process starts with breaking the scum layer on top. Then the sludge is pumped next using additives to completely remove them from the surface. Next, mater is added and mix it with the remaining contents in the tank. If there is not enough liquid in the tank, you need to add more.

After adding the right amount of water, mixing will start with the help of a pump. The pumping process will ensure that the sludge is mixed thoroughly with the liquid. Lastly, after the pumping process of the septic tank, it will be checked for damages or if any repairs are needed.


In summary, the time it takes for a septic tank to fill up after pumping depends on how full it is when pumped out. If you have a septic tank and are having trouble with backups or slow drains, you should consider getting your tank pumped out more frequently.

2 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take for a Septic Tank to Fill Up After Pumping?”

  1. I appreciate your advice to invest in septic tank care. I agree that it is a good way to prevent clogging and other plumbing problems. My friend is planning to install a septic tank on his property next year, and I think it would be wise for him to find a local septic tank expert who can maintain the unit. This would ensure that the tank is properly cared for and that it will last for many years.

    1. Thanks Zachary! Since running a septic installation business I know the struggles that homeowners face in regards to septic systems. It really comes down to lack on information and that is the reason why I created this website and youtube channel. My goal is to educate homeowners 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top