Mon – Sun: 24/7 Plumbing
4.7-Star Service


(03) 9122 8652

Having a regular septic tank pumping is a basic necessity, so it’s widespread to see more and more homeowners opting for septic tanks over traditional sewage systems.

However, few people understand the importance of regularly maintaining and pumping their septic tanks. Property owners who need to comprehend septic tank draining or how it functions may question the need to plan this essential septic system maintenance operation.

Damages Pumping Septic

Understanding how septic umping works can help owners appreciate the importance of regular pumping. Remember that failing to maintain your home’s septic tank can affect your entire neighbourhood.

This guide will go through the fundamentals of a septic tank system, how to maintain it, and the consequences of a neglected septic tank.

How Does Septic Tank Work?

Concrete Septic Tank Ground

A septic tank is an underground tank large enough to hold hundreds of gallons of wastewater. However, the size of the septic tank depends on your needs. For instance, the size varies from 1,000 gallons to 1,500 gallons.

The main sewage line connects the septic tank to the residence. This line transports all wastewater from your home, including sinks, toilets, showers and bathtubs, to the septic tank. And as the wastewater enters the tank, it separates into three different layers:

  • Scum: The top layer consists of oil and fats
  • Middle layer: The middle layer consists of wastewater
  • Sludge: The last layer consists of solids

A pipe at the top of the septic system runs to a shallow trench known as the drain field. When the sewage passes through this pipe, it goes into the drainage system and is filtered by the earth.

To explain the process briefly, the bacteria in the tank break down the sludge and convert it into liquid form. The soil the wastewater passes through removes the coliform bacteria and viruses to avoid groundwater pollution.

Why Should You Pump Your Septic Tank?

Regular use requires you to pump your septic system when it reaches capacity.

Pumping, like inspections and repairs, is part of the septic systems maintenance process. It aims to rid your system of wastewater by creating a way for more. The technique also helps extend your tank’s life, eliminates stinky sewage odours, and prevents other problems that might affect your family and neighbours.

When your garbage is pumped, it is eliminated from your premises in an ecologically responsible, safe and quick manner. It is then transported to a publicly operated wastewater treatment plant, where the water is cleaned and recovered for various uses.

Pump Septic

What Happens When A Septic Tank Is Pumped?

Over time, solid waste and sludge build up in the septic tank, even though natural bacteria aid in breaking down some of this accumulated material. Unfortunately, these bacteria are not efficient enough to keep up with the rate at which sludge forms.

Regular septic pumping removes this built-up waste and is an essential part of maintaining your septic system. Pumping ensures that the septic tank works properly and prevents system failure, preserving both the function and property value of your home.

Septic Pumped

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank?

Failing to pump your septic tank regularly can lead to serious problems. As sludge and solid waste accumulate, they eventually fill the tank, reducing its capacity to handle new wastewater. This excess waste can clog the pipes leading to the leach field, causing further issues such as:

  • Sewage Odour in the Yard: A bad odour may emanate due to overflowing sewage.
  • Swampy Areas Near the Drain Field: These indicate leakage and poor absorption of wastewater.
  • Bright Green and Robust Grass Near the Drain Field: Although it may look healthy, this is a sign of excessive sewage fertilization.
  • Wastewater Backing Up into the House: This distressing sign shows that the drainage system is severely blocked.

Signs That Your Tank Needs to Be Pumped

Your tank cannot pump itself, eventually filling up and needing to be drained. This is a crucial component of your home that requires upkeep, like your HVAC, plumbing, or automobile. As such, you should pump your tank at least three times a year.

Look for the following typical warning signals to determine when your septic tank might require pumping:

  • You have stagnant water in your yard
  • You have a blocked drain or lavatory that won’t unclog
  • Your backyard smells like untreated sewage or garbage, especially around the manholes of your septic system
  • Sinks, bathtubs, toilets and other plumbing fixtures drain slowly
  • Nitrate levels in your well water are high.
  • Your septic system hasn’t been flushed in some years.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular inspections and maintenance of your septic tank, ideally every three to five years, ensure that your system remains well-maintained and functioning efficiently. This regular attention helps prevent costly repairs and expensive replacements that may arise from a neglected system. In rural areas, where city sewage systems are unavailable, maintaining a septic tank becomes even more crucial.

Proper care of your septic system includes monitoring how much water is used in the home and understanding the impact of the number of people living in the household on the septic system’s performance. The more people, the quicker the tank fills, and the more frequently it requires pumping.

When Should You Pump Your Septic System?

As days pass, the solid elements not eaten by the microbes accumulate on the tank’s bottom, producing the sludge layer. Pumping or cleanup is required when the sludge layer exceeds 30% of the tank capacity.

Households with a larger family size might have to pump their septic tanks more regularly, whilst those with fewer occupants may be able to go longer between cleanings.

Final Verdict: When Should You Call A Professional?

Taking care of your septic tank is not just about avoiding unpleasant odours or swampy yards; it’s about safeguarding your family from potential infectious diseases and protecting nearby groundwater from contamination. A well-maintained septic system saves money in the long run by avoiding expensive repairs and ensures a high property value.

Remember, preventative measures such as regular pumping and adhering to a schedule of every three to five years are far less expensive and disruptive than dealing with emergency repairs or complete system failure.

You may prevent costly sewage repairs and potential property damage by arranging a yearly septic tank check with your local plumbing provider. Additionally, keeping detailed records of the period between cleanings will give you a reasonable timeline for future cleanouts.

WP Plumbing aims to provide high-quality plumbing services to Melbourne homeowners. Whether pumping your septic tank, clearing blocked pipes or fixing a leaking faucet, our plumbers can tackle any plumbing issue. So, give us a call!

After all, only authorised and experienced plumbing professionals should ever have access to your septic tank system since it contains dangerous and lethal gases.

Tips for New Septic Tank Owners

Tips for New Septic Tank Owners

As a new septic tank owner, you have a lot to learn! This guide provides tips for keeping your tank in good condition and avoiding costly repairs.

Essential Plumbing Tips For New Homeowners

Essential Plumbing Tips For New Homeowners

Congratulations on your new home! As a new homeowner, it’s important to familiarise yourself with some essential plumbing tips to avoid potential headaches. This blog offers practical advice, preventive maintenance tips, and guidance on when to seek professional help, ensuring a smooth plumbing experience in your new abode.

What Goes Into Renovating Your Plumbing?

What Goes Into Renovating Your Plumbing?

Know the complexities of renovating your plumbing system. You will learn everything you need to know to make informed decisions, from identifying issues to selecting the right materials.

WP Plumbing Van
Call Now!