Snyder & Mylin Septic Service • 717-284-0303
1130 Lancaster Pike, Drumore, PA 17518
Open Monday – Friday 7 am to 5 pm
Township Mandated Septic Pumping
Some townships in Lancaster and surrounding counties are now requiring homeowners to have their septic tanks pumped and cleaned on a regular basis. Septic haulers need to be registered with the townships and must do an inspection of the overall system as well as fill out a report for the homeowner to submit to the township in order to be compliant with the regulations. Currently the following townships in Lancaster have enacted this ordinance, and others will be soon to follow:
• Bart • Conestoga • Drumore • Little Britain
• Manor • Pequea • Strasburg • West Lampeter
Many residents who have never had an on-lot septic system before (ie, those who were hooked to a public sewer service at a previous residence), or those who may not have a good understanding of how an on-lot system works are not happy with the new ordinances. After all, few people like more government regulations being enacted, but this one is beneficial to the homeowner as well as our environment.
Why should I have my tank pumped?
A septic tank is designed to be the primary treatment component in a septic system. Wastewater from the house enters the septic tank which acts as a settling chamber. Solids settle to the bottom and a layer of scum (soap, grease,etc.) float on top. In between is what’s called “effluent”, baffles in the tank prevent scum and solids from leaving the tank and getting out into the absorption area, commonly refered to as a “drainfield”. Solids (“sludge”) and scum that can escape the tank are what cause pores in the soil of the absorption area to become clogged thus preventing the effluent from being absorbed into the ground. Systems permited after 1996 are required to have 2 septic tanks, this allows greater seperation of the scum and sludge and results in cleaner effluent entering the absorption area. As the sludge builds up on the tank bottom and the scum gets thicker on top, less and less area is left for effluent and eventually material that should stay contained in the tank has nowhere to go and gets forced out into the absorption area where it begins to do irreperable damage. Regular cleaning removes the sludge and scum thus keeping them out of the absorption area. Septic systems fail to function because more effluent goes into them than they are designed to absorb or to much solid content has gotten into the absorption area and clogged the pores in the soil.
How often do I need to have my tank pumped?
Every 2 to 3 years is a general rule of thumb for the average household, but every situation is different. Some households should be done more often and some may be able to go longer (your pumper can tell you this after cleaning the tank(s). Keep in mind, if you live in a township with a pumping ordinance, their guidelines are for the maximum time allowed between pumpings. You may wish to do it more often if needed to better maintain your septic system.
A word about garbage disposals:
An on-lot septic system is not designed to handle a home with a garbage disposal. If you have one we strongly recommend pumping your septic tank(s) at least every 6 months. We can usually always tell a home has a garbage disposal as soon as the tank lid is opened and many times when asked, the owner will say “I have one… but I never use it”. If this were true, how did we know? If it’s there, people are using it, and more often than they realize.