How do I empty a septic tank?
Septic tanks should be pumped when sludge and scum accumulation exceed 30pc of the tank volume or encroach on the inlet and outlet baffle entrances, according to the EPA.
Periodic pumping of septic tanks is recommended to make sure the system works properly and to reduce the risk of hydraulic failure.
Septic tanks should be de-sludged a minimum of once every year, in cases where the septic tank is at, or near, its design load capacity.
De-sludging should take place more often if the rate of sludge build-up requires more frequent removal.
The sludge and scum material found in the tank should be removed by an appropriately permitted contractor in accordance with waste management regulations.
The local authority will have a list of licenced contractors in the area. These contractor will arrange for the disposal of the sludge in line with national legislation.
This is typically disposed of through land spreading on farms or at a wastewater treatment municipal facility.
The contractor should give the householder a certificate each time the tank is de-sludged.