The Septic Tank Pumping Process Explained

Man standing over a septic tank and pumping it with a hose

Septic tanks require regular pumping if they are to function as intended. Without maintenance, numerous problems can occur, including environmental issues. 

Tanks that overflow or experience blockages can become costly to fix. This is why emptying is vital to keeping tanks in good working order. Below, we outline the process in further detail and discuss the risk of emptying the tank without prior experience.

How a Septic Tank is Pumped

A septic tank is ready to be emptied when the contents of the container become too full and there is a risk of overflow into the ‘soakaway’ area. During normal operation, the tank will gradually fill with wastewater from the nearby household. Waste within the tank will rise to the top of the chamber. This is typically a mixture of grease, oils, fat, and other liquids.

If the tank is not pumped regularly, liquid wastewater and solids from the home can spill over into the outlet pipe and the soakaway area of the system, contaminating the nearby ground and damaging the environment. Smaller tanks or those that serve a large household with many occupants may need to be emptied multiple times a year to remain efficient.

Septic tank pumping is the method used to empty the contents of the container and ensure any contaminants can be processed as normal. The method involves removing grease, oil, and sludge from the tank to prevent blockages in the outlet pipe. In most cases, tank emptying is completed by using a mechanical pump. An inspection of the tank is often conducted before emptying begins.

Once the sludge and other contaminants are collected from septic tanks via the pumping process, they will need to be processed in a safe and sanitary way. Most providers use a tanker vehicle with a pump that connects to the septic tank via a manhole cover. The mechanical pump will extract the sludge into the tanker safely and securely. Once completed, the contents can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Can You Perform Septic Tank Pumping Yourself?

Septic tank emptying is a process that only experienced professionals should undertake. While it may be tempting to avoid the use of an expert provider to reduce costs, removing waste in a sanitary way without damage to the surrounding environment is difficult and risky.

There is also the issue of disposal to consider. Homeowners with little experience may mishandle the waste and fail to dispose of it correctly. Additionally, there are many different types of tanks, differing layouts and equipment, and often several environmental factors to consider. A professional with years of experience will be able to advise on the best approach to empty the tank safely and effectively.

Septic Tank Emptying Services

Thistle Tanks provide professional septic tank and cesspit emptying in Leicestershire and surrounding areas. Call our expert team today on 01455 413661 or visit our contact page to fill in an enquiry form.