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Septic Tank Desludging: Why and When?

1st December 2021

Septic Tank Desludging: Why and When?

Septic tanks are an essential component of any commercial or residential premise not connected to the main sewer line. As a type of underground sedimentation tank, the purpose of a septic tank is to separate any solids within sewage or wastewater from the liquids. Fats, oils, and grease will float to the top and form a thin crust called scum. Excrement and food waste will drop to the bottom of the tank and form a black layer of sludge.

What is Septic Tank Desludging?

Septic tank desludging is the process of removing the layers of scum and sludge from the tank. A vacuum tanker is used to remove both layers out of the tank effectively. Any waste removed from the septic tank will be taken to a licensed waste facility for safe disposal and treatment.

The Importance of Septic Tank Desludging

Removing both layers of scum and sludge from your septic tank can help ensure it remains in good working order, prolong its life expectancy, and prevent serious complications from occurring.

If both layers of scum and sludge are allowed to accumulate within the septic tank, several issues may arise, including:

  • The total volume of wastewater the septic tank can hold will decrease. This can potentially cause a residual build-up of waste leading to sewage overflowing and blockages.
  • The quality of the final effluent discharged into the drainage field will be significantly reduced. Drainage fields will deteriorate and fail over time. However, poor quality effluent will speed up this process, causing unnecessary expenses to unblock or replace the drainage field.

As such, the importance of septic tank desludging shouldn’t be underestimated.

When Should You Desludge Your Septic Tank?

The best way to determine when your septic tank needs desludging is to measure the layers of scum and sludge accumulated within the tank. To do this, a drainage engineer will use a measuring tool called a “sludge judge”, a long plastic tube with a check valve at the bottom.

The engineer will take the measuring tool and slowly lower it to the bottom of the septic tank. As the sludge judge is gradually withdrawn from the wastewater, the check valve at the base of the measuring tool closes. The engineer can then accurately record the thickness of the scum and sludge layers within the captured sample. Your septic tank will cope with relatively high levels of sludge.

However, the most definitive advice on maintenance cleaning of septic tanks comes on the GOV.UK website. It’s stated that you should have your tank cleaned at least once a year by a licensed waste carrier such as Metro Rod.

Contact a Septic Tank Desludging Expert

Regular septic tank desludging will ensure your tank remains in good working condition, prevent unwanted blockages or sewage build-up, and prolong its life cycle.

Metro Rod has provided expert septic tank desludging, emptying, and installation services for residential and commercial premises for more than 35 years. All our engineers are fully equipped to provide quick, hassle-free septic tank services and cause minimal disruption.

For routine septic tank desludging, emptying, and installation services, get in touch with your local depot today.

Talk to you local metrorod specialist

Talk to your local Metro Rod specialist

We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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