If your home is one of the many in the Central Indiana area that operates on its own septic system, you know how important it is to have the tank regularly pumped, maintained and inspected by professionals like the talented technicians at Justin Dorsey Plumbing.

While every home is different, with the amount of wastewater generated and the size of the septic tank determining how often it should be pumped, a good general rule of thumb is to have the system serviced once every 3-5 years.

One small appliance can make a big difference on that recommended schedule, however: a kitchen-sink garbage disposal.

Depending on how often you use the disposal and how much food debris you send down the drain, your septic system may need to be pumped as frequently as every couple of years.

Why is that? Allow us to explain…

Inside your home’s underground septic tank, things like oils and other floating matter rise to the top while solid materials fall to the bottom — “scum and sludge,” as they can be commonly referred to.

When using a garbage disposal, the ground-up food particles add to that layer of solid sludge on the bottom of the tank, exponentially increasing the amount of solids in the tank over time.

Helpful natural bacteria will do its part to break down and decompose some of this solid matter, but not all of it and not quickly enough to keep up with what’s being added to the tank.

Garbage disposals have become relied-upon conveniences in many homeowners’ kitchens, but we advise those who also rely on septic systems to exercise extra caution and be diligent about their tank pumping and maintenance.

If your home uses both a septic tank and a garbage disposal, and it’s been more than two years since your tank was last serviced, don’t gamble with your system’s integrity any longer. Reach out to Justin Dorsey Plumbing to schedule your septic tank inspection and cleaning today.