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How Do You Remove Sludge From A Septic Tank

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
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  • Sludge, Tank, Waste, Drain, cleaning
  • Posted date:
  • 06-09-2022
How Do You Remove Sludge From A Septic Tank

What is Septic Sludge?

How do you remove sludge from a septic tank? Find out how to reduce sludge in a septic tank system and who can remove sewage sludge.

If you are the owner of a septic tank, you might have noticed that as time goes on, there are elements of the tank that will become increasingly unpleasant. 

The issue here is that you are dealing with natural waste; this means that you are going to have to encounter various bad smells and disgusting sights when it comes time to open up the tank.

One of the major issues that septic tank owners face is septic sludge.

Sludge is more than just a collection of all the waste you have chosen to flush down your toilet or pour down your drain. 

Sludge is made up of many different elements, and none of these elements are particularly pleasant.

Actually, whether you are dealing with a septic tank for the first time or if you are absolutely sick of having to deal with the sludge layer of your tank, then you are going to need to be very careful with how to deal with the horrible sludge.

How to reduce sludge within a septic tank system

Method 1: Pumping and/or Cleaning

There is no getting around this fact. Septic tanks will always need to be pumped regularly. As solids (or sludge) begin to build up within the tank, then the usable volume of space will begin to decrease. 

If sludge is left within a septic tank for too long, it will start to harden and compact. 

After a long period of time, it will get to the point where a pump truck can't even remove the sludge. In these situations, very high-pressure hoses have to be used in order to break apart the sludge and solids so that the tank can be cleaned out.

As you can imagine, this method of reducing sludge is incredibly effective, and this is exactly why it is considered to be the standard method for the removal of sludge from a septic tank. 

The issue with this method is that it can cost the tank owner greatly, and if this is the only method being used for removing sludge, then it needs to be done regularly.

Method 2: Aeration and Bio-Enzymes, Microbes and Bio-Activators

Septic tanks are what is known as anaerobic environments, and this means there is no oxygen present. 

There are bacteria that feed off septic sludge that can only live within aerobic environments; this means that the bacteria need oxygen in order to survive. 

One of the best ways to reduce the levels of sludge within a septic tank is by using enzymes. 

All you need to do is to provide a septic tank with a constant source of air and a large population of bacteria that will happily eat through the sludge.

This process can take multiple weeks to be completed, but the wait is worth it as the bacteria is capable of consuming up to 95% of the sludge that sits within your septic tank. 

The largest added benefit is that if you keep going with this method of dealing with your waste, you will never need to have your septic tank pumped ever again.

How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping

  1. Firstly you should install an aeration system into the tank, allowing diffused air to make contact with the sludge.
  2. Ensure that any compacted sludge has been broken up into smaller pieces
  3. Purchase a microbe blend or a bio-activator and add them to the septic tank
  4. Regularly maintain the aeration system
  5. Add new microbes to the system when they are required

Checklist to Reduce Sludge

The tiny but highly powerful microorganisms that live within a septic tank play a huge role in the treatment and decomposition of the household waste that sits within your septic tank. Anything that can disturb how these microbes function will have a major effect on the septic tank performance and increase the buildup of sludge in the tank. In addition to this, everything that you dispose of in your septic tank will have an effect on the system as a whole.

The checklist below will help you with ensuring that you can prolong the life of your septic tank as long as possible and reduce sludge buildup:


  • You make a decision on the size of the septic tank that you have installed by looking at the number of people that are living on your property and the amount of waste that is generated.
  • Ensure that you know exactly where your septic tank is installed, along with the drain field, so that inspections can be done on regular occasions.
  • Make sure that only human waste and toilet paper are flushed down the toilet.
  • Attempt to follow water conservation methods by using water-saving toilets and waterless toilets.
  • You should attempt to reduce the number of times that you flush your toilet per week.
  • Locate any potential leaks from faucets, pipes, or toilets, and have them repaired.
  • Ensure that your drain field has not become flooded, and try to grow grass in order to support evaporation.


  • You should always avoid using chemical cleaning products cleaning, for example, bleach, chlorine, and disinfectants. These substances can eliminate the microbial populations that live within the septic tank.
  • You should not use chemical drain openers.
  • Never flush plastic items and other non-biodegradable objects down the toilet
  • Make sure that coffee grounds, food items, and other fruit and vegetable scraps are never washed down the drain.
  • Substances such as medicines, paint, solvents, oil, and insect killers should never find their way into the septic system.
  • Make sure that the septic system does not become flooded with too much water. This can upset the natural balance of the bacteria.
  • Vehicles should never be driven or parked over the tank's drain field.

Why is Septic Tank Sludge Removal Necessary?

Why is Septic Tank Sludge Removal Necessary?

Septic tank sludge removal is needed because the buildup of sludge can cause all kinds of significant strain on the system. 

Furthermore, if you do not deal with sludge removal and reduction in an efficient and effective manner, then you can experience all kinds of different issues, such as blocked drains and blocked toilets. 

Other issues can include the drain field becoming contaminated because of the tank overflowing and septic sludge being released into the environment and harming plant life.

Having septic tank sludge removal removed mechanically is very expensive, so it is not affordable for everyone with a tank installed. This is exactly why many people take alternative measures to reduce the amount of sludge buildup within their septic tank systems. 

Septic tank enzyme cleaners or natural biological additives are used. These methods are considered to be more environmentally-friendly and affordable solutions for maintaining septic tanks.

Are you looking for septic tank cleaning in Warrington, Macclesfield, Northwich, and Cheshire?

No job is too large or too small- from a small domestic blockage to a commercial site emergency, next time you need emergency drain unblocking in the areas of Cheshire, contact our blocked drains specialists .