Septic tanks should be pumped out at least once every three years. If the home has a garbage disposal, the frequency of septic tank pumping should change to once per year. The number of people in the home and how often the system is used also affect recommended pumping frequency.
Regular pumping is necessary to keep a septic system working properly and prevent solid waste from seeping out of the system. Waiting until the system shows signs of a problem is usually too late. The solid wastes in the septic tank sink to the bottom to form a sludge. A licensed liquid waste hauler can safely remove this sludge layer.