Septic Tank Cleaning Services and Costs

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Septic tank systems are a collection system for human waste from a shelter or house usually located away from the home structure and buried below the ground. It is an encasement or chamber used to treat or decompose human waste from residential houses or shelters in rural areas where sewage systems are unavailable. For example, Septic tank cleaning in Oklahoma City requires septic tanks if your land area is at least one half (½) acre and uses a public water source and if your land area is at least three-fourths (¾) acre when you have a private water source. There are provisions of the septic tank systems that should be considered, such as “repair area” when a septic tank is not maintained correctly, resulting in system malfunction. 


How the Septic Tank Works for the Wastewater


The septic tank is an essential need for human waste management. From history, human waste comes from products coming out of the digestive system that consists of urine and feces. Waste such as menses, sputum, and other food juices washed through the drain goes to the septic tanks. This waste is considered a biohazard. The presence of viral and bacterial elements is one component of the wastewater that can harm people. It is a public health risk when it is exposed to the residents and the environment. Let us define what is going on when human waste enters the septic tank chambers. The septic tank chamber is usually made of two sections that receive the human waste of the household. The process of treating the wastewater is done through the septic tank, which works by natural treatment.


The wastewater coming out through the toilets goes to the septic tank. The wastewater consists of solid parts, semi-solid parts, and wash water. From inside the septic tank, it starts to decompose. The decomposition process takes some time, giving a solid part called sludge that settles at the bottom of the chamber, a floating part consisting of oil and grease called scum, and the fluid part called effluent.


It takes a matter of time for the septic tank to be filled up. The decomposition process produces hazardous fumes and gases that can be flammable, so you should seal for safety purposes. Pumping an oxidizing agent into the wastewater can accelerate the decomposing process. This process is called the aerobic septic tank system.


Effluent from the septic tank. The sludge and the scum are left inside the septic tank by introducing a T-filtration system so the effluent can exit the septic tank for further natural treatment out to the drain field and usable water filtered naturally by the ground. Drain field systems are introduced when the drain field cannot filter the effluent to an acceptable level. 


What is Needed Before a Septic Tank Pumping and Cleaning is Done to Your System


Before cleaning, you must do these steps to your septic tank system to ensure your system is not leaky and faulty. Any problem encountered on the septic tank system is a weakness and can lead to health issues and may be hazardous to the house occupants and the environment contaminating the groundwater source of your community. An inspection is essential on your septic tank system before pumping and cleaning are done by your service provider. 


Inspection and Measurement 


There must be a thorough inspection of possible leaks, cracks, and problems concerning septic tanks. Measurement of scum, sludge, and effluent inside the septic tank must have a basis for the rate of filling data. It will determine how to graph your fill rate until the septic tank is full. This can be estimated by your service provider and can calculate the timing of your next pumping and cleaning schedule. 


You or your service provider shall update the septic tank documents and records and write recommendations on possible repairs that may include pumping and cleaning when needed. The estimated schedule will depend on the number of residents and the size of the tank.   


Estimated Cost of Pumping Septic Tanks

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The average national cost is about 400 USD. This data is an intermediate comparison between septic tank service providers from state to state or between cities taken from different tank sizes. Each state has other cost calculations due to inflation and economic indices by each municipality. The typical cost range has an approximate cost between 250 to 550 US dollars. This alone is for pumping of the septic tank services only. Some pumping and cleaning services are computed separately for some septic tank service providers, and some have calculated it as an all-in-one service of a pump and clean process. The septic tank prices are calculated by the septic tank enclosure capacity, which is in gallons. An example of pumping cost would be $175 to $300 for tank size of 600 gallons to 750 gallons. Remember that the larger the capacity, the more expensive it is. It would even cost more than $1000 just pumping. 


Standard Septic tank system Inspection Costs to consider

  • Initial Inspection Costs $250 – $500
  • Annual Inspection Costs $100 – $150
  • Camera Inspection Cost $250 -$900

Maintenance Costs Estimates ( Minimum and maximum)

  • Pumping Cost $200 – $800
  • Cleaning $150 – $400
  • Effluent clean or replacement $100 – $150
  • Septic Inspection ( No camera or manual) $100 – $500 
  • Field Aeration ( Unclogging the field) .$1000 – $200


Cost of a New Septic Tank System


When deciding to remove and build a new septic tank system, the cost will include pumping and cleaning your old septic tank system. It would mean that you have to clean it entirely following state regulations of migrating your old septic system to a new system. An approximate cost is from $3000 to $10000. You should maintain your septic tank system to avoid this cost.


Service Provider Equipment and Tools for Pumping and Cleaning 


The Service provider should be equipped with proper tools and safety gear and has adequate training in doing the inspection, maintenance, pumping, and cleaning your septic tank system,


Pump truck. The pump truck is equipped with a sealed container proportion to the size of a septic tank to be pumped. Building a new septic tank should have provisions for pump trucks near the system to be pumped.


High Vacuum Pressure and High Capacity Vacuum. Removing the initial liquid part of the septic tank requires a high-performance vacuum to suck the wastewater and sludge towards the pump truck. Leave that method of pumping to your service provider. 


High-velocity water jet. It is a tool using high-velocity jet water to flush and free up sticky and solid waste, 


Muck Rakes. Rakes to free up soil and muck and solid sludge.


Sewer ball tools. Ball tools are also handy for cleaning jobs.


Rodding tools. It is a tool for unclogging septic pipes that have to be cleaned and disinfected.


Wrecking bar. This tool is used for tight septic covers. 


Septic tank risers. This tool is for septic tank covers that are buried deep and need risers to be installed. Usually, new risers are installed due to damage, and aging septic covers have to be replaced.


These tips can also help you reduce the frequency of frequent pumping and increase the life of your septic tank. 


  • Do not dispose of your used cooking oil and grease on your wash drains. Cooking oil and grease tend to accumulate and solidify, which causes clogging. The piping system will be clogged even when hot water is poured into unclogging the blocked pipes. Backup of wastewater from your toilet and drain will be encountered due to these clogged pipes. The same is true in city sewers. Reusing your used cooking oil and grease after filtering solid parts can save costs. You can collect your used oil in a sealed plastic container and dispose of it in your community trash bin.   


  • Do not dispose of on your toilet drain non-biodegradable things. Avoid flushing items like cigarette butts, condoms, swabs, baby wipes, and others. To prevent this, prepare a small trash basket with a cover near the toilet bowl and wash drains. 


  • Do not plant trees or plants that can grow massive roots, damaging your septic tank, piping, and drain field. 


  • Do not dispose of chemicals like bleach, detergents, baking soda, fabric conditioners, and other harmful chemicals and can affect the normal decomposition of your septic tank system. 


  • Keep rainwater and excessive water sources like carwash systems and plant sprinklers away from your septic tank and drain field to avoid your groundwater source from contamination.


Final Thoughts

Everyone can share to have a safe and pollution-free environment. One of the pollutants is from human waste. Maintaining your septic tank and disposing of your trash correctly contribute to keeping this world a safe and clean environment. Remember that a tiny spark can create a big fire. Small good prevention can stop a virus from becoming a pandemic.  




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