But Where Does It Go?: The Ins and Outs of Septic Pumping

Magnifying glass with question mark. But where does it go? The ins and outs of septic pumping

Most septic owners know that they need to have their septic systems pumped every 1-3 years, depending on the size of the family and overall usage. However, one of the biggest questions we get is what happens during a septic tank cleaning and where the septage goes afterward. It’s important to know your septic hauler is not only abiding by industry standards when it comes to cleaning, but also that they are adhering to state regulations when it comes to disposing of septage.

The Process of Septic System Pumping

Septic technician speaking with smiling customer

The process of septic system pumping includes completely emptying the tank. It is critically important that homeowners have this process done every 1-3 years, depending how many people live within the home, and the general use of the system. Larger households will generate more solid waste and, even with a larger septic tank, will require more frequent cleanings. The use of garbage disposals (which we advise against) will also fill up the septic tank faster. Even the type of toilet paper your household uses may necessitate more frequent cleanings. In order to avoid sewage backups into the home or solids finding their way into the drain field, septic tanks need to be pumped before the layer of sludge reaches the baffles.

During the process of a septic system pumping, a technician stretches a hose from a vacuum truck to an opening in the septic tank and pumps the contents into the truck. Generally, the process takes less than an hour, and during that time the technician will also inspect the tank level, baffles, sump pumps as well as clean the aerator shaft. If any issues are found during the inspection, the technician will be able to evaluate, diagnose, and repair the septic or aeration system.

Regulations for Disposing of Septage

Green grass and blue sky with whispy clouds and sunlight

In Ohio, state regulations for disposing of septage allow for one of two options. Septage haulers, who must be licensed with the board of health, may either dispose of septage at an authorized wastewater treatment facility or at a septage land application site that has been approved by the board of health. Land application sites must adhere to rigorous regulations that are in place to protect the environment and prevent contamination of ground and surface water. In order for a wastewater treatment facility to be authorized to receive domestic septage, they must demonstrate the ability to treat the septage without causing operational problems. Daily allowances based on the size of the facility are provided by the EPA, and these cannot be exceeded as a result of receiving and treating domestic septage. The local health department keeps a list of the wastewater treatment plants that are authorized to accept septage.

Supeck Septic Services is licensed with the board of health as a septic installer, service provider, and septage hauler. We dispose of all septage removed from our clients’ septic tanks at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. The largest of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s wastewater plants, Southerly is well-equipped to treat the septage we haul from our clients’ homes and businesses. With a capacity to treat 735 million gallons of wastewater per day (mgd), Southerly’s average daily flow is only 120 mgd. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has a long history of protecting Ohio’s water and furthers this effort with Project Clean Lake, which works to reduce pollution in Lake Erie by 4 billion gallons a year. You can be confident that all septage we pump from your septic tank will not only be properly disposed of but also properly treated with the safest, most environmentally friendly methods available.

Is it time to have your septic system pumped? Contact us today to schedule a service visit.

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