How Long Does It Take to Fill a 1000 Gallon Septic Tank?

How Long Does It Take to Fill a 1000 Gallon Septic Tank?

The average usage for a family of four will fill a septic tank to its working capacity of 1000 – 1500 gallons in approximately one week.

How Do I Keep Water Out of Septic Tanks?

Regular maintenance will help prevent issues like this from happening. Have your septic tank cleaned and inspected on the schedule suggested by your septic company technician. Its recommended to get your septic tank pumped to keep them from filling up too quickly.

If you know a heavy rainstorm is coming, there are some things you can do to help prepare septic tanks before the storm hits:

  • Clean out rain gutters so water can drain easily without causing pooling or ponding
  • Avoid driving over the drain field area of your septic system so the soil isn’t packed down to let water be easily absorbed
  • Use your septic system less leading up to the storm to account for additional rainwater
  • Resist the urge to dig or do any work around your septic tank or drain field before or immediately after the rain so you don’t get any dirt or mud in the tank or pipes
  • Only flush organic waste and put water down the drains to keep your septic tank and pipes from getting clogged
  • Limit the use of harsh chemicals so the naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes can break down the solid waste in your septic tank
  • Plant some grass or other small plants near your drain field to help absorb some of the water as it leaves your septic tank
  • Be mindful of where your gutters and other water in your yard drains. Whenever possible, direct other excess water away from the area of your yard where your septic system is located
  • Choose appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and toilets that are energy efficient and use less water while still doing their job
  • Check your irrigation system to make sure it won’t be running during the rainstorm adding more water to the already saturated soil

What Should You Do If Your Septic Tank Freezes?

If you live in an area prone to freezing pipes, it’s possible for your septic tank to freeze, too. This can happen when the contents of the septic tank are exposed to freezing temperatures for too long. So while it’s important to maintain your septic tank year-round, it becomes especially important in the winter months.

If you notice that the toilet or drains aren’t draining coupled with your ice machine not running, or your washing machine is malfunctioning, this may be due to frozen pipes. It's important to notify a trained professional if you believe your septic tank is frozen.


  • Add any chemicals or even salt to the drains since this could damage the septic system.
  • Continuously run water to keep your pipes from freezing, as this could overflow the septic tank.
  • Cover your drain field with compacted mulch or heavy items like vehicles since this could compact the soil and damage the drain field.
  • Add tarps or other items on top of your drain field, as this could keep water from evaporating and prevent the drain field from functioning properly.
  • Try to thaw the septic system out with fire or other heating methods

How to prevent your septic tank from freezing:

  • You can insulate pipes or even the septic tank itself.
  • Replace old pipes with insulated pipes.
  • Grow out the grass over the drain field during the summer for some natural insulation against frost.
  • Add 8 to 12-inches of mulch around your septic tank, pipes or drain field. Make sure to only add loose organic matter, like straw or leaves, to avoid compacting the soil.
  • Compacted soil can lead to a malfunctioning drain field.

How Long Does It Take to Pump 1000 Gallons?

A septic tank between 1,000 - 1,250 gallons in size generally takes around 20-30 minutes to empty.

Should I Fill My Septic Tank with Water After Pumping?

Based on our many years working in the residential septic system industry, we have found that in most cases, there is no need to add anything to your septic tank after pumping.

My Tank Was Just Pumped and Now It’s Full Again. Why?

If you find that the tank is overfull again, this indicates that your absorption area is not accepting your wastewater. Check for dripping faucets, running commodes and malfunctioning water softeners as they could cause the absorption area to flood out.