What Happens If I Don’t Pump My Septic Tank?

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A septic tank comes with many benefits, especially that you don’t need to worry about the state of your local sewer system. However, septic systems do require one recurring expense that you might be uncertain about: you should plan to have a sewer and drain cleaning professional visit your Montgomery County residence to have your septic tank pumped.

You might be wondering, “doesn’t the septic tank have bacteria to break down anything that would need pumping?” While bacteria are in your septic system to help control sludge, the amount of sludge that builds up tends to be more than the bacteria can handle. If left unchecked, not pumping your septic tank can lead to:


As the sludge and sediment build up in your system, it can obstruct the pipes that carry wastewater from your home to your drainage field. Once this happens, you’ll begin to see slower drainage from your home’s water system and may even see things like:

  • Greener grass above the drainage field.
  • Swampy areas around the drainage system.
  • Wastewater backing up in your home’s drains.

In addition to these visual signs, you’ll also begin to smell the raw sewage that doesn’t have anywhere else to go. This smell will be hard to miss, as it will often hang over your drainage field and find its way into your home if left untreated.


Septic systems are usually straightforward to maintain, but since they are a sewage treatment system, they can present a real health risk if not cared for properly. When the septic system isn’t pumped, and blockages begin to develop, raw sewage can start to seep into the ground around it. If the soil becomes saturated enough, the waste can reach the surface, where it can come into contact with your family and cause innumerable diseases in the process.


In addition to creating a breeding ground for disease, a blocked septic system can lead to the system as a whole failing irreversibly. A single blockage, if caught in time, isn’t likely to damage the system beyond repair, but consistently failing to maintain the septic system can compound the stress the system is under. Eventually, the damage can require that a new system be installed.

Regularly pumping your septic tank is the best way to keep your home safe and healthy. For tips for maintaining your septic system, or to consult a septic replacement specialist serving Montgomery County, give the Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer, and Storm team a call today!