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Date Posted: 2021-07-17

Your Septic Pumping Guide

At Allto Construction, we recommend septic tank pumping every three to five years if you are to ensure a well-functioning septic system. By regularly pumping the septic tank once or twice every five years, you can avoid the costly drainage field and septic system problems that often reduce the lifespan of a septic system.

How much does it cost to have your septic tank pumped out?

There are several factors that influence the cost of septic tank pumping. They include:

  1. Septic tank size (Volume of sewage to be pumped.)

  2. Geographic location (Contractors typically vary prices depending on the region due to municipal dumping fee variability.)

  3. How much prep work you do before the septic pumping service arrives (Are the lids exposed, or are their access risers installed?)

  4. Condition of the tank and whether it is a basic  pump-out or a tank cleaning for inspection purposes

Septic pumping may cost far less than what you would pay if the septic tank or drain field needs major repairs. The average cost for septic pumping usually depends on the size of the tank. These price ranges are as follows:

  1. Ontario average cost for septic tank pumping is $575

  2. A 3000L (800 Gallon) tank would cost between $450 -$500

  3. A 6000L (1500 Gallon) tank would be between $500 - $575

  4. An 8000L (2000 Gallon) tank may cost between $550 - $650

  5. Tanks larger than 8000L would cost about $650 - $800

One way to help keep costs down is to have the tank lids exposed prior to the arrival of the pumping service. If tanks are not exposed, additional charges can be incurred for the time to uncover the lids. We always recommend that you prepare the area before the arrival of the septic pumping service. In order to avoid the hassle of digging up lids in the future, most pumping services will offer access riser installation services to save time and money on future pump-outs.

How often should you pump your septic tank?

At Allto Construction, we understand that regular inspection, maintenance of septic systems, and repair are important. This is critical not only for the health and longevity of the system but also for the environment. Inspections can reveal the need for pumping and maintenance of the system, which can prevent costly repairs down the road. Septic pumping is typically required when the solids occupy ⅓ the working capacity of the tank. If this rule is not followed sewage backup, odours and clogs among several other issues can occur.

How regularly you have to pump your septic tank will depend on several factors, such as the amount of wastewater, frequency of use and appropriateness of use. In our experience, septic systems used by large families that do not practice good septic care and use a lot of water will require more frequent pumping, as will those who have smaller tanks. Nonetheless, most septic tanks have to be pumped every three to five years depending on the above factors. At Allto Construction, we offer several services including initial assessment and ongoing maintenance. We also provide an estimate of how often you should pump the septic tank and perform maintenance on the septic system.

How can you tell if your septic tank needs to be pumped?

We always recommend that you employ a licensed and experienced service technician to do the inspection and maintenance of your septic tank. Septic pumping is typically done at least once every three to five years. The best way to know if your septic system needs pumping is by checking sludge levels with a sludge gauge, (your maintenance technician will have a sludge gauge) and by checking the level of scum (fats, oils, and other floatables) to determine if it may be time to pump the tank.

Other common signs of a tank that requires maintenance or pumping include:

  1. Slow drains - Backup of wastewater may result in slow drains as the tank reaches capacity.

  2. Time between services - Most residential septic tanks will require pumping every three to five years.

  3. Bad odours - Foul smells from the yard or from inside the house may mean it is time for septic pumping.

  4. Pooling water - Pools of water on the yard or lush grass on the drainage field or near the septic tank may indicate a leaking tank

Septic tank pumping: what happens when you get your septic system pumped?

If nothing has been done to prepare the area when you call, the first step the service technicians will take is to find the septic tank and uncover it.

Most houses have a map that makes it easy for the service technician to locate the system and determine what type it is. The technician will then:

  1. Take note of the liquid level in the tank and check for any leakage

  2. Lower a vacuum hose into the septic tank from a pumper truck

  3. Pump waste to the truck

  4. Check for backflow which may indicate drainfield problems

  5. Clean and backflush the septic tank to remove any remaining sludge

  6. Check for any damage or signs of a failing tank

  7. Ensure that filters are cleaned and reinstalled in good working order

  8. Haul the sewage to an approved dumping facility where it will be treated and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner

What happens if you don't pump your septic tank?

Conducting routine inspections, maintenance and pumping of your tank is critical. A septic tank that is not pumped may result in problems such as:


The buildup of sediment and sludge in the system can be hazardous to the environment as effluent leaks onto the land and into the house. On the flip side, if you avoid pumping the tank it can result in a huge repair bill in the future. Some of the symptoms of blockage include:

  1. Wastewater backing up into the home

  2. Swampy areas forming around the septic drainfield

  3. Lush green grass on the drain field

  4. Foul smell of raw sewage around the tank and drainfield


Septic systems are easy to maintain but they can be a real health risk if they are not properly taken care of. Raw sewage has bacteria and if there is any blockage or backup due to problems with the system, the waste can leak into the soil where it can result in disease if it comes in contact with people or groundwater.


In addition to failed drain fields leaching harmful bacteria, blocked systems can result in irreversible and total failure of the system. While it is highly unlikely that a single blockage could destroy your system, not having regular maintenance, inspections and a pumping schedule is the best way to ensure that the system lasts. Ensuring regular pumping of your septic tank is how you guarantee that your home and family is safe and healthy.

Do you need your septic tank pumped out?

Septic tank pumping is a service that most homeowners cannot perform by themselves. You most likely do not possess the knowledge or equipment to handle waste in the way a septic tank service company can.

Allto Construction is a full-fledged septic system service with experienced and professional technicians. As a family-owned and operated business, we provide top-class service to our customers and ensure that every job is done right. We provide technicians with experience handling both commercial and residential properties in the South Central Ontario region. We offer 24-hour emergency service because we know how critical it is to get your home or business back up running cleanly and safely.

If you have any questions, call us toll-free day or night and a professional will be available to help take care of your questions or concerns.

Related resource to Septic Pumping

8 Signs Of A Full Septic Tank

How Much Does A Septic System Cost In Ontario

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