Since septic pumping is not a service you need too frequently, it can be easy to forget about it. But, investing in a cleaning every few years is crucial to its functionality, and regular diligence minimizes disruptions in the long run. Here is a brief guide to help you determine when it’s time to have your septic tank pumped. 

When Do You Need Septic Pumping?

1. It’s Been Almost 3 Years

In many municipalities, the law requires you to schedule a septic pumping at least once every three years, so keep a record of when you receive service. Over time, sludge starts to fill the tank, so if it’s been at least two years since your last appointment, call the experts. 

2. There’s a Septic Alert

septic pumpingMany modern septic tanks come with alert systems that notify you when the sludge layer is getting too high. It may be a sound or light signal, so make sure you know how it works and stay vigilant. 

3. Frequent Backups

When the solid waste in the septic tank gets too full, it starts causing backups in the house, making it difficult to flush the toilets. If you start noticing clogs, you can usually resolve the issue by having the tank pumped. 

4. Bad Odor

If waste odor can reach you from across the yard, the buildup has gotten too high, and it’s time for pumping. Eventually, the sludge will start spilling out into the drain field, intensifying the smell and jeopardizing the health of the soil. 


Great Bear Septic Service has been offering solutions to residents in Westchester, Putnam, and Southern Duchess Counties for over 6 years. Licensed by the Department of Environmental Conservation, the professionals assist with everything from septic pumping to sewer cleaning. The prompt technicians usually arrive within an hour of calling. As a preferred contractor on Angie’s list and a 2015 winner of Best of HomeAdvisor, they offer elite service. To set up an appointment, call (845) 621-0250. Learn more about the company by visiting the website