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Wondering How Your Multi-Tank Aerobic Septic System Gets Cleaned Out? What To Expect With Your First Septic Pumping

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If you recently bought a property and had a multi-tank aerobic septic system installed, or the property came with this type of system, you may be wondering how the system is cleaned out. After all, all three of the tanks involved are underground and the access pipes seem too small from which to extract waste. Here is what you can expect with your aerobic septic system and your first septic pumping.

Aerobic Systems Generally Break Down Waste

Although most septic systems collect waste and disperse it into a leach field and fecal matter remains behind in the tank until the tank cannot hold it anymore, an aerobic system uses fewer chemicals to break down waste and uses more air to help with the breakdown process. Also, with a three-tank system, the solid and semi-solid waste is passed into the final tank where it has more time to decompose. Having this type of system means you will have to pump less often, and you will not be releasing the waste into a leach field or cesspool.

When Your Aerobic System Does Need a Septic Pumping

When your aerobic septic system finally does need a clean-out, the septic pumping company (like River City Septic & Excavating) will send its crew out. The pump is attached to the final tank where all of the solid waste sits and has been decomposing for some time. Because the solid waste has broken down into a liquid or almost liquid form, it glides right up through the small pipe that opens to the surface of the ground (and sometimes extends above the ground by a few inches). If anything gets stuck (which is rare), then the pump crew slides an auger down the pipe to grind and bust up the blockage before resuming the waste extraction process.

Opening the Inspection Lids and Checking the Other Tanks

Each of the three tanks in your system have inspection lids. The septic pumping crew may open each of these inspection lids to see where the wastewater levels are at and possibly remove the top layer of scum that has collected on the surface of the wastewater in each tank. Then more chlorine may be added to the pipe that supplies tanks one and two with a means of sterilization. Finally, if the septic pumping company deems it is necessary, extraction of some of the wastewater from the first two tanks will occur (if this step is taken it usually occurs before more chlorine is added and not after).