What is Septic Pumping?


Graphic showing the various components of a septic tank

No matter the size, all septic tanks will eventually reach full capacity and need to be pumped. When your septic system reaches capacity, you need to call in a professional to empty the tank and ensure that your system is functioning properly.


Pumping the tank involves removing all liquid and sludge from the tank in a way that’s safe and sanitary. The waste that is removed from your tank is then taken to a publicly owned wastewater treatment facility. This facility then processes the waste and the water is treated so it can be reclaimed for use.


How often should I pump my septic tank?

A general range is around 2-3 years but ultimately depends on the usage. Black Diamond Pumping can come to your property and take a core sample of your tank to determine when your tank will need to be pumped based on the last time it was pumped. Tanks should be pumped when the combination of scum and sludge are at 25%-33%. Over 33% is considered failing because at this point it begins damaging the absorption field and could potentially begin contaminating the groundwater.


According to the EPA, the four major factors that influence the frequency of septic pumping are:

  • Household size

  • Total wastewater generated

  • Volume of solids in wastewater

  • Septic tank size

How to care for your septic system

Never flush anything down a toilet besides human waste and toilet paper. Remember, if it doesn't go through your body it shouldn't go in the tank. Never flush:

  • Cooking grease or oil

  • Non-flushable wipes, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes

  • Photographic solutions

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Condoms

  • Dental floss

  • Diapers

  • Cigarette butts

  • Coffee grounds

  • Cat litter

  • Paper towels

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Household chemicals like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Limit the use of your garbage disposal! While garbage disposals are not illegal to use, they put a significant strain on septic systems by introducing undigested food. Avoid putting excess food into your garbage disposal to keep your septic system functioning properly.


If you are ever unsure of how your septic system is functioning, give us a call at (303) 720-0401 or contact us on our website! Our expert technicians can inspect your system and give you the piece of mind that your property is safe. Every member of our team is highly knowledgeable about septic systems and we are happy to answer any questions. We offer inspections and septic tank cleaning in Fort Collins, Boulder and the surrounding areas.