Many households in the U.S. choose to use a septic tank system to store and filter waste over time. While septic tanks are designed to reduce the volume of solid waste and to redirect liquid waste elsewhere, eventually, septic tank pumping will be necessary. You can know when to ask for your tank to be pumped if you're using your system more often, if you're finding clogs in your system, or if there are pools of water in your yard.
Higher Than Usual Usage
One of the best ways to know that you need to find a septic pumping service soon is if you know you'll be using the system more often, or after a long period of higher-than-usual usage. Regular pumping can be scheduled and predicted if your usage never increases, but if you find yourself hosting parties, guests, or otherwise using your toilet system more often, then you may want to get the tank pumped. On the flip side, this doesn't necessarily mean you should skip a pump if you've recently used less. Unless you went without using the system entirely, septic tanks should be pumped frequently to prevent clogs and blockages.
Another tell-tale sign that your septic system needs to be emptied is if you're finding clogs or clog-related symptoms of your sewage system in general. For example, slow drains and bad smells coming from pipes that drain water away from your house (as opposed to those that allow water to enter) may be signs of clogs in the septic tank system, and therefore a need to pump. If you aren't sure, you can either ask a plumber or the septic pumping service you prefer to check your septic tank and pipes and see what the problem is. There's a chance that the clog is something minor or unrelated to your tank, but it's better to be sure.
Finally, if you are discovering water pools in your yard where there shouldn't be, then you may need your septic tank pumped. These water pools can be caused by a variety of issues, including drainage problems with non-septic pipes or even your gutters, but houses with septic tanks should be cautious. Septic tanks allow solid waste to sink to the bottom of the tank, pushing liquid waste out into a reservoir to be filtered through rocks or gravel in a "drainage field." Water pools are a sign that the septic tank is full to the point that the drainage field is overflowing, creating excess water in your yard.
If you have used your septic tank more often recently, have clogs in your system or tank, or pools of water in your yard, then call a septic service. A septic pumping service can provide additional information.