How often you'll need to pump your septic tank will depend on how large your tank is, how many people live in your home, and a number of other factors. You might need to pump every year if you have a lot of people and a small tank, or once every 5 years or more might be fine in a home with a large tank and just one or two people. If you want to extend the amount of time you can wait between pumping sessions, there are a few steps you can take.
Stop using your garbage disposal.
When you rinse food down the drain via your garbage disposal, it builds up in the bottom of the tank. Since it breaks down so slowly, its levels build up quickly, necessitating more frequent pumping of the tank to ensure there's room for additional waste. Unless you want to have your septic tank pumped out once a year or more, you need to stop using your garbage disposal. Turn it off, and tape the light switch down if you think you'll be tempted to use it. Also, avoid rinsing food scraps and grease down the drain. Even if it does not go through the disposal, it has the same effect.
Only flush human waste and toilet paper.
That box of tampons might say they are flushable, but in fact, flushing them is a bad idea if you have a septic tank. Flushing wipes, sanitary pads, cat litter, and anything else other than human waste or toilet paper is not advised. These items take so long to break down that they simply sit at the bottom of the tank until you have it pumped out. Each time you flush something other than human waste or toilet paper, you're decreasing your remaining tank capacity.
Don't use a lot of bleach.
Bacteria in your septic tank breaks down solid waste so that the breakdown products can be carried out of the tank along with water. If you pour a lot of bleach into your septic tank, you'll kill some of these bacteria, slowing the rate at which waste breaks down and leaves the tank. This means your tank will fill up and need to be pumped sooner. Try to use natural, safe cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar when cleaning.
Signs that your septic tank needs to be pumped include slow drains and pooling of water in the leech field. For more information, contact S & S Pumping or a similar company.