Septic Pump Out Stations/Systems
A septic pump out system will normally be installed on a property that is deemed to be too small for onsite disposal. Septic systems must meet local council requirements, and must be approved before installation, as a rule of thumb a property of smaller then 2000 square metres is deemed to be too small for onsite disposal. In cases such as these sometimes the only option is to install a septic pump out system. Septic pump out systems can be expensive to operate, as depending on the size of the household and number of people using the system. The system has to be pumped out by an authorised disposal company, every few weeks, depending on usage and system size.
A septic pump out system will normally consist of two tanks, the first being a primary septic tank, and the second being an effluent holding tank. The primary septic tank will have a vertical baffle fitted, divided into a 1/3 -2/3 division, this baffle will hold back the solids when entering the tank, allowing for settling to occur normally 24 hrs. During this time the solids will settle to the bottom of the tank, which form a sludge layer, fats and oils float to the top, forming a scum layer on the surface. The natural bacteria in the septic tank begin to breakdown and digest the organic material found in the wastewater. Only the treated liquid (effluent) found in the centre level of the tank, flows out of the primary septic tank.
The sludge and scum remain in the septic tank and must be periodically removed to ensure that the system operates properly.
Once the effluent passes into the second chamber of the primary tank, further settling of suspended solids can occur, the level of effluent in this chamber will fill until it reaches the outlet and will flow into the effluent holding tank. All this tank is required to do is hold the effluent until it reaches the float system which will indicate the home owner that the system is due for a pump out. These systems must have both an audible and visual alarm system installed. At the time of installation of the system, a pump out line is installed; this will consist of PVC pressure pipe installed between the septic system and the street. This will allow the effluent truck to park in the street and connect to the stand pipe to vacuum suck the tank out. This process will only remove the effluent in the holding tank to a pre-set level; this will leave a quantity of effluent to stop floatation of the tank.
Under average conditions, you should have your Septic primary tank pumped out every 3-5 years. However a number of factors impact the frequency of pumping.
- Don't put large quantities of bleaches, disinfectants, whiteners, nappy soakers and spot cleaners into your system.
- Don't allow any foreign materials such as nappies, sanitary napkins, condoms or other hygiene products to enter the system.
- Don't put fats and oils down the drain.
- Don't allow large quantities of water to flush through the system, e.g. Space washing loads, spa baths.
All these factors can contribute to more frequent pump outs.
Water Saving Practices
Reducing water usage will lessen the frequency of pump outs, installing water saving devices such as dual flush toilets and shower heads can help.