Septic Tank Cleaning: A Guide


Septic systems are meant to be self-contained, onsite wastewater treatment systems. They consist of septic tanks and leach fields and are the most common method of treating sewage in rural areas with no central sewer system.

The Importance of Septic Tank Cleaning

A septic tank is basically a big concrete or plastic tank that holds sewage. The solid waste settles to the bottom of the tank, and the liquids flow out to the leach field. The leach field is a network of perforated pipes buried in the ground that allows the liquids to seep out slowly, filtering through the soil and getting rid of bacteria as they go.

Septic tank cleaning is important because it removes the solid waste from the tank, so it doesn't build up and clog the leach field. If the leach field becomes clogged, sewage can back up into your home or business, causing major problems. The sewage can even contaminate groundwater.

Read on to learn about the main steps involved in septic tank cleaning.

Inspect Both the Septic Tank and Leach Field

The first step in cleaning the septic tank is to inspect the septic tank and leach field. This inspection will help the septic tank professional determine the size of the septic tank, the type of system, and the condition of the septic tank and leach field.

All these variables will help determine the septic tank cleaning strategy that will be used. For example, if the septic tank is small and in good condition, a simple "pumper truck" septic tank cleaning may be all that is needed.

Pump Out the Sludge

Once the septic tank professional has inspected the septic tank and leach field, they will pump out the sludge from the septic tank. The sludge is the solid waste that has settled to the bottom of the septic tank. This waste needs to be removed so that it doesn't clog up the leach field.

For this step, the septic tank cleaning expert will use a big truck with a tank on the back. The tank will be connected to a hose that goes down into the septic tank to pump the sludge from the septic tank into the tank on the back of the truck. The septic tank will then be pumped until it's completely empty.

Clean the Septic Tank

After the septic tank has been pumped, the septic tank professional will clean it out. This usually involves pressure washing the inside of the septic tank to remove any remaining sludge. The septic tank may also be cleaned with a chemical solution to kill any remaining bacteria.

All the scum that has accumulated on the bottom and sides of the septic tank will also be removed. This scum is a mixture of soap, grease, and other materials that have accumulated over time.

Cleaning a septic tank is not a do-it-yourself job. It requires specialized equipment and knowledge. Only a qualified septic tank professional should perform septic tank cleaning.  

About Me

Finding Issues With Your Septic Tank

Do you know how to find and address issues with your septic system? Neither did I until about three years ago. My wife and I had purchased this lovely home in the middle of the mountains, and it relied on an aged underground septic system. We struggled with problems like overflowing toilets and bad smells for a few months until we realized that it could be due to the septic tank. Fortunately, a friend of ours came out and showed us how to identify problems and get them addressed. I want to teach everyone a thing or two about septic tanks, so that you don't struggle like I did.

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