DIY Septic Tank Pumping



Pump the septic before it blows up like the well pump. I really like that sentence. I’m going to ruin it by writing two more after it.


My mom told me this story about a family of seven in Poland that all fell into their septic and died. She tells me this after I open the septic door to have a look inside. Having never done this before I am happy to be alive.


  • a shovel
  • a broom
  • a probe of at least four feet
  • a Google search for a pumping service


  • grass seed
  • fertilizer

Job Plan

  1. Find the septic tank. This is easier said than done. In particular if it is deep like mine, you will need a good idea where it is and a good long probe to find it. If you can get someone to tell you where it is and point it out to you all the better, I dug four holes at random (never deep enough)  without any luck.
  2. Once you find the tank dig dig dig dig dig dig.
  3. Dig Dig dig some more.
  4. Digging sucks.
  5. When digging, throw the dirt in some place that is not going to be where you are going to be digging next.
  6. When you’re done digging and found both the close door (solids) and the far door (liquid), call a pumping service.
  7. Pumping doesn’t take that long. Gethons Pumping Service advises roughly five years for two people, and two years for four or more.
  8. I recommend risers (about $100) so that unlike me you don’t have to dig it up again in about two to five years. Since I am in the midst of putting in the bathroom and paying fo ra surprise well pump, I decided to put it off this time.
  9. Bury it up. Tamp some ground.
  10. Fertilize and reseed.

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