The average septic system will last between 25 and 30 years. Given that septic systems are big-ticket purchases, you want to get the most out of them for the longest time possible. That is only possible if you maintain your septic tank well.

While all septic systems require maintenance service, commercial septic tanks need extra special attention. That’s because they’re larger and tend to be used more intensively compared to their residential counterparts. The cleaning and treatment of these tanks should always be handled by a professional.

But how frequently should you perform commercial septic tank cleaning? What telltale signs can tell you that it’s time to clean your commercial septic system? More importantly, how should you go about it?

If you’re asking these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more.

How Often Should You Clean Commercial Septic Tanks?

How Often Should You Clean Commercial Septic Tanks

Generally, septic tanks need cleaning every 2 to 3 years. Cleaning for commercial septic tanks may need to be more frequent depending on the type and volume of business, the size of the septic tank, and so on. Be sure to check with the local authorities for requirements.

Why Is Septic Tank Cleaning Essential?

To understand the importance of regular commercial septic tank pumping, we need to know how the septic system works. Wastewater first enters the septic tank, where it separates into effluent, scum, and sludge.

Scum refers to the matter floating on top, while sludge is solid sediments that settle at the bottom. In between is the effluent. The effluent leaves the septic tank and flows to the leach field.

Over time, the sludge builds up and needs to be removed.

Failure to remove the sludge causes wastewater backup into your kitchen and bathrooms. The system also starts to clog, with undesirable consequences.

Commercial Septic Tank Cleaning Tips

Commercial Septic Tank Cleaning Tips


Keeping your septic system clean is the most important part of commercial septic tank maintenance. Here are a few guidelines to help you go about it.

1. Inspect the System Frequently

As we pointed out earlier, septic tanks need pumping every two or three years. But that doesn’t mean that you should forget all about your septic tank until that period elapses. If possible, inspect the system at least once a year, especially if the system has mechanical parts.

You should also pay attention to telltale signs that your septic tank is due for cleaning, such as:

Slow Drains

The moment your drains become sluggish, it’s a good sign that your septic tank is full. Gurgling toilets are also another telltale sign that you need to check the system.

Foul Odors

A septic tank that’s too full will start to produce a foul smell, such as that of a rotten egg. This smell emanates from your toilets, drains, and near the drain field and septic tank.

These smells are both disgusting and unhealthy, and they’ll chase away your customers if you don’t do something. Time to bring in one or two vacuum truck rentals and a professional to clean out your septic tank.

Standing Water

There are several places water can begin to pool the moment your commercial septic tank fills up. The commonest is near the tank itself or the drain field. Regardless of where the water pools, you need to take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

2. Consider High-Pressure Water Jetting

Septic systems accumulate solid and mineral deposits over time. These deposits need to be removed from the internal surfaces of the tanks. The best way to rid your tank’s surfaces of deposit buildup is through high-pressure water jetting.

3. Use Bacteria Additives

Live organic bacteria in your septic system can help break down substances present in the tank. That’s why it may be a good move to add them regularly to keep the system clean and odor-free.

4. Replace Effluent Filters Regularly

An effluent filter helps prevent solids from entering the drain field. By doing so, these filters help keep your drain field functioning well. Some septic systems do not come with an effluent filter, so you may want to talk to a technician about installing one.

Be sure to replace the filter whenever your system is serviced or as your technician advises.

5. Dispose of Waste Properly

If your septic system is filling up too quickly or there are clogs, it could be because people are flushing items they shouldn’t be down the drains. If you run a restaurant, advise your employees not to flush down fats, grease, cooking oils, and so on.

Other items that should never be flushed down the toilet include female hygiene products, dental floss, or disposable diapers.

6. Take Care of the Drain Field

Your commercial septic system cannot work efficiently if you neglect the drain field. Generally, you need to keep the drain field clear of any plants. Planting a garden or trees near the septic tank is a bad idea as roots may start to push against it or even penetrate it.

Avoid parking over the drain field. Keep sump pumps and roof drains away from the drain field area. Any excess water on the drain field only slows down the wastewater treatment process.

7. Save All Inspection Reports

Every time your septic tank is inspected and serviced, you should get a written report from the professional who does it. It’s important to keep these reports so you can keep track of how you’re taking care of the septic system.

Keep Your Commercial Septic Tank in Good Shape

A cardinal rule of owning a septic tank is that you must clean it regularly. If neglected, commercial septic tanks stop working efficiently and may cause a big mess in your business.

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