What happens if a septic tank is never pumped out? (IMPORTANT Answer!)

 Getting your septic tank pumped is quite expensive and a lot of people want to delay this as long as possible. What happens though if you don’t get the tank pumped?


A septic tank is a small reservoir that is connected to the drains from the home and used to treat wastewater (called sewage) before it reaches the public sewer or drain field. You need to maintain your septic system so it doesn’t back up and overflow in your home or pollute the soil around your home. Not keeping your septic tank pumped out on schedule can lead to all sorts of negative consequences for you and your property.

Read on for more information about what happens if a septic tank isn’t pumped out regularly, as well as tips on how to stay on top of maintenance in order to prevent these things from happening to you.

Septic tanks have to be pumped every few years to avoid problems.

What happens if a septic tank is never pumped out?

If a septic tank isn’t pumped out regularly, it can become clogged and stop working properly. The drains or drain field (that disperses the processed sewage in the garden) can start to break down if this happens. This can lead to costly repairs.

If you have a septic tank and have been delaying or missing septic tank pump-outs, you may have some unprocessed sewage in your drain field already. If you notice signs of a septic system problem like water in the ground around your home, a foul odor coming from the drain field or septic tank, or bubbling in the soil, call a septic service immediately.

In most instances, it won’t get this far as you simply won’t be able to use the toilet in your house anymore. You will have no other choice than to get the tank pumped. If the tank is too full, it won’t be able to process wastewater anymore and the system will backup. This can lead to nasty situations as your toilets can overflow and sewage can get in your bathroom and house. This is something that you want to avoid at all costs!

Another situation is that the septic tank is leaking. This can be quite dangerous as it can contaminate the soil. This can lead to big fines and other problems as this needs to be cleaned up.

Why is it important to keep your septic tank pumped out?

A septic system relies on natural bacterial processes to break down sewage, so keeping the system clear of solids and liquids is essential for keeping it running smoothly. Without regular maintenance, the septic tank will become clogged and stop working properly, which can lead to a backup of sewage into the drain field. 

  Pumping the septic tank removes solids that would otherwise build up and clog the system, and it also keeps the tank from overflowing, which can cause damage to both the septic system and your property.

A septic tank has a lot of parts and several of them can break down if you don’t pump your tank. It might take a while before you notice this but once it starts to break down, it can be difficult to get it repaired again. A lot of parts are buried underground and digging them up can be a costly repair. This is why it is best to repair the system to avoid these problems.

How can you know if your septic tank hasn’t been pumped out?

The easiest way to know if your septic tank has been pumped out recently is to check your tank. We have discussed how you can do this here.

 If you’re not sure what kind of maintenance your system needs, talk to your local septic service provider. They can take a look at your system and let you know what needs to be done to keep it working properly. 

Septic systems are designed to last 20 or 30 years. However, if they are not maintained properly, they can fail much sooner. With proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your septic system and avoid costly repairs or even having to replace it.

When they come to pump the tank, make sure that it is completely empty. Some companies leave some water in the tank but this is not optimal. An empty tank is the best way to restart the sewage treatment process.

It can take quite some time before you see that there is a problem with your septic system. Once they happen though, it can be challenging to repair them. You might have to replace the drain field (or mound) and clean the system. If you have a pump, it can start to malfunction because it has to pump solids instead of liquids. These pumps are quite expensive and can break down due to this.

To conclude, we can state that it might sound smart to save on septic tank maintenance. This can lead to more expensive repairs down the road though. This is why it is important to get your tank pumped regularly. This will make it easier to inspect the system as well. Some communities even have fines for not pumping out your tank every so often. It is just not worth the risk.