How Long Does it Take For a Septic Tank to Fill Up?
If you have recently installed a septic tank in your home and are using it for the first time, there may be a lot of questions on your mind. One of those is likely to be ‘how long does it take for a septic tank to fill up before scheduling it for maintenance?’
Knowing the length of time it takes for the septic tank to fill up is crucial. When the septic tank drain field pipe is clogged, you may experience a variety of symptoms including:
- Sewage smell in the yard
- Swampy areas in the drain field
- Wastewater backing up into the house
- Slow draining
- Leaking pipes
It doesn’t take long for these problems to become critical. Solids build up inside the tank if they are not pumped on schedule. This further leads to overflowing tanks, causing backups, clogging, and slower draining. The last thing you want is to have to overflow septic tanks as they can cause serious property damage inside and out.
In such a situation, you will need to contact home restoration experts for deep cleaning and professional assistance with recovering from the damage as a result of your overflowing septic tank.
But don’t worry. You don’t have to be in this situation as we help navigate your way through how septic tanks work, the amount of time it takes the tank to fill up, and when to schedule preventative maintenance.
Before we share with you how long it takes for the tank to fill up, let us first show you how it works:
How a Septic Tank Works
A septic tank primarily has two pipes connected to it (for inlet and outlet). The inlet pipe is for transporting wastewater from the home which is collected in the septic tank. At this stage, the solid is separated from liquid waste. Bacteria inside the tank break down the solid waste allowing liquids to separate and drain out easily.
The water waste is separated into three layers. The top layer is grease and oils that float above the waste. This is referred to as scum. The middle layer contains the wastewater with waste particles while the bottom of the third layer consists of heavier particles that form sludge.
Once separated, the second pipe also called the drain field or the outlet pipe moves the pre-processed water from the tank—spreading it consistently in the watercourses and soil.
How Long Does it Take for a Septic Tank to Fill Up?
According to the pumping industry and regulatory authorities, it is recommended that the scum and sludge layer in your tank should never fill over thirty percent of the volume of the septic tank. Therefore, on average, it takes about five years for an adult to fill 300 gallons of a 1000 gallon septic tank with scum and sludge.
However, your septic tank may fill earlier than five years or maybe later depending on other crucial factors. Hence, the amount of time it takes for a septic tank to fill up also depends on:
- Waste production (your lifestyle)
- The size of the tank
- The amount of solids in the wastewater stream
- Usage of water in your home
Let’s go deeper to understand it better:
The waste every household produces is directly proportional to the food consumption of the household. Therefore, on average, it can be said that adults tend to discharge a liter of waste daily. It further amounts to roughly 90 gallons annually. However, not all this waste will fill up the septic tank. The waste is lowered to about 60 percent inside the tank.
Homeowners must schedule septic tank maintenance and cleaning when the tank fills over 30 percent. Based on the average assumptions, it shall roughly take two years for the septic tank to fill up by 30 percent. After that, by the five-year mark, the septic tank will be filled around 98 percent.
Please, keep in mind is that the assumption made above is for one person filling a 1000 gallon septic tank. However, if we use the same assumption for a family of four (two children, a husband, and a wife), it will reduce to roughly 1.5 years. Moreover, the period will further reduce as children grow up.
According to a research study, here is a table showing the minimum septic tank size against the number of rooms in a single dwelling:
|Number of Bedrooms in a dwelling||Minimum Size|
Homeowner Septic Tank Maintenance
It is advisable to invest in regular septic tank maintenance to keep your tank functioning properly. Septic tank maintenance will spare you from the unexpected home restoration cost you might have to incur because of an overflowing septic tank.
When it comes to proper septic tank maintenance or home restoration after water damage or damage caused by an overflowing septic tank, we can help. 911 Restoration is a home restoration company you can trust. We can assist you with all your needs to your complete satisfaction. Call us right away if you notice your septic tank overflowing. Our professionals can help you cope with the situation quickly and smoothly.