Septic Tanks With Pumps

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When it comes to septic systems, many homeowners may wonder why a septic tank pump is necessary. Septic tanks with pumps are commonly used in situations where the septic tank is located uphill from the house, or when a raised or elevated drain field (known as a septic mound system) is in place. Additionally, an aerobic septic system may require a septic tank pump to properly distribute and aerate the wastewater.

Why do some septic tanks have pumps?

To understand why a septic tank pump is necessary, it’s important to first understand how septic tanks and pumps work. Septic tanks treat wastewater from homes that are not connected to a public sewer system. The tank separates solids and liquids, allowing the solids to settle at the bottom while the liquid effluent is discharged into the drain field for further treatment.

However, in some cases, the septic tank is located too far away from the drain field or the drain field is located at a higher elevation than the tank. This is where a pump for septic tank comes in. A pump is used to transport the liquid effluent from the septic tank to the drain field. This ensures that the wastewater is properly treated and disposed of.

By understanding how septic tanks and pumps work together, homeowners can better understand the importance of a septic tank pump and ensure that their septic system is functioning properly. Additionally, by properly maintaining their septic tank pump and avoiding certain items from entering the system, homeowners can extend the life of their septic system and prevent costly repairs.

Factors That Affect the Type of Pump You Need

When choosing a pump for your septic tank, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the right type of pump for your specific needs.

A. Material

Septic tank pumps are typically made from either cast iron or thermoplastic materials. Cast iron pumps are more durable and can handle heavier loads, making them ideal for larger homes or commercial properties. Thermoplastic pumps are more affordable and easier to install, making them a popular choice for residential properties.

B. Gallons Per Hour (GPH) and Horsepower

The flow rate of a pump is measured in gallons per hour (GPH), and the horsepower (HP) determines the pump’s power. It’s essential to choose a pump that can handle the specific GPH requirements of your septic system. If you have a larger home or a commercial property, you may need a pump with a higher GPH rating and horsepower. If the pump can’t keep up with the system’s demand, it may cause the system to back up and malfunction.

C. Thermal Overload Protection

It’s essential to ensure that the pump you choose has thermal overload protection. This protection ensures that the pump shuts off automatically if it overheats, preventing damage to the pump and potential safety hazards.

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D. The Pump’s Application

The type of pump you need will depend on your septic system’s design and layout. For instance, if your septic tank is located uphill from your home, or you have a raised or elevated drain field, you may need a pump to move wastewater from the tank to the drain field. Alternatively, if you have an aerobic septic system, you may need a pump to introduce oxygen to the system.

E. Head Pressure the Pump Needs to Handle

The head pressure is the amount of force that the pump needs to overcome to move wastewater from the tank to the drain field. The head pressure will depend on the distance between the tank and drain field, as well as the elevation difference between the two. It’s essential to choose a pump that can handle the specific head pressure requirements of your septic system.

By considering these factors, you can choose the right septic tank pump for your needs and ensure that it functions correctly for years to come.


When it comes to selecting a septic tank pump, there are several types available, each with their own unique features and capabilities. Understanding the different types of pumps and their applications is essential in determining which pump is right for your septic system.

Septic Tanks With Pumps: Sump Pumps

A Sump pump or septic tank effluent pump is typically used in low-pressure systems and are designed to pump water and other liquids from one location to another. They are commonly used in basement waterproofing systems, but can also be used in septic systems where a low flow rate is required. A sump pump is a crucial component of a septic system, designed to effectively disperse effluent from the septic tank to the drain field.

Septic Tanks With Pumps: Grinder Pumps

Grinder pumps are another type of septic tank pump that are commonly used in septic systems. These pumps are designed to grind and shred solid waste into small particles that can be easily transported through pipes and into the septic tank or other designated area. Grinder pumps are typically used in areas where the waste needs to be pumped over a long distance or up a steep incline, as they are capable of generating high pressure and pumping the waste against gravity.

They are also ideal for septic systems that are prone to clogging or blockages. This is because the grinding mechanism helps to prevent larger solids from causing problems. Choosing the appropriate grinder pump for your septic system will depend on several factors, including the size of your tank, the volume of waste generated, and the distance and elevation between the tank and the designated dispersal area.

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Septic Tanks With Pumps: High Head Effluent Pumps

High Head Effluent Pumps play a crucial role in the management of wastewater in aerobic septic systems. These specialized pumps are designed to handle the effluent that has been treated in the septic tank, and transport it to various disposal areas such as spray irrigation and sprinkler systems, underground drip irrigation systems, and some mound systems.

One of the key features of high head effluent pumps is their ability to handle the pressure required for the distribution of effluent over a long distance and uphill, as some disposal areas may be located far away from the septic tank or uphill from the tank. These pumps have a high head pressure rating. This allows them to pump the effluent at a greater distance and with higher pressure.

High Head Effluent Pumps are made of durable materials that can withstand the harsh conditions and corrosive nature of wastewater. They are also designed to be energy-efficient, which helps to keep the operating costs low. Proper maintenance of these pumps is essential to ensure their longevity and optimal performance.

Sewage Ejector Pumps

Sewage Ejector Pumps are specialized pumps designed to handle raw sewage and other solid waste materials that contain up to 2-inch spherical solids. These pumps are commonly used in homes, buildings, offices, and other facilities to transport waste from the interior plumbing system to the septic tank or sewer line.

Sewage ejector pumps are designed to withstand the corrosive and abrasive nature of sewage, which can damage regular pumps over time. These pumps are constructed with durable materials such as cast iron and stainless steel. This ensures that they can handle the demanding conditions of wastewater transportation.

Septic Air Pumps

Septic air pumps are crucial components of aerobic septic systems, also known as aero septic systems. These systems utilize oxygen to break down and treat wastewater. This allows for a more efficient and effective treatment process compared to traditional anaerobic septic systems.

The septic air pump is responsible for providing oxygen to the system. Oxygen is necessary for the growth of aerobic bacteria that breaks down and treats wastewater. The pump pulls air from the atmosphere and delivers it to the system through air diffusers.

Septic Tanks With Pumps: Clogs

Clogs can damage septic pumps in several ways:

  1. Reduced flow: Clogs in the pipes leading to the septic pump can reduce the flow of sewage and wastewater, which can put extra strain on the pump. Over time, this can cause the pump to wear out and eventually fail.
  2. Overheating: When the pump is forced to work harder to push sewage and wastewater through clogged pipes, it can overheat. Overheating can cause damage to the motor, bearings, and other components of the pump.
  3. Damage to impeller: The impeller is the part of the septic pump that moves the sewage and wastewater. Clogs can cause the impeller to become damaged or even break, which can prevent the pump from working properly.
  4. Backup: When clogs occur in the pipes leading to the septic pump, sewage and wastewater can backup into your home or building. This can cause damage to your property and create a health hazard.
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To avoid these problems, it’s important to prevent clogs from occurring in the first place. This can be done by avoiding flushing inappropriate materials down the toilet (such as baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, and cooking grease), and by having your septic system regularly inspected and maintained by a professional.

Septic Tanks With Pumps: Maintenance

Maintaining a septic tank pump is essential to ensure that it works efficiently and lasts longer. Here are some tips to maintain a septic tank pump:

  1. It’s important to cover your air pump with a septic air pump cover. This protects it from rain, snow, and debris. This will prevent damage to the pump and ensure that it functions properly.
  2. Installing a septic effluent filter is another important step to maintain a septic tank pump.
  3. Avoid Dental Floss. Dental floss is not biodegradable and can clog your septic system. It’s best to dispose of dental floss in the trash can.
  4. Avoid pouring grease, oils, or fats generated by or utilized in cooking down the drain. These substances can solidify in the septic tank and cause blockages. Instead, dispose of them in the trash can.
  5. Do not flush cat litter. Cat litter does not break down in the septic system and can cause blockages. It’s best to dispose of it in the trash can.
  6. Do not flush flushable wipes, Q-tips, or other cotton swabs. These products do not break down in the septic system and can cause blockages. It’s best to dispose of them in the trash can.
  7. Avoid flushing personal care products such as tampons, sanitary pads, and condoms. This is because they can cause blockages in the septic system. Dispose of them in the trash can.
  8. Regularly pump the septic tank. Pumping the septic tank every 3-5 years is recommended to prevent solid waste from building up and clogging the system.

How often should I have my septic tank pump system serviced?

A septic tank pump system require regular maintenance to ensure proper functionality and prevent costly issues. Generally, it is recommended to have a professional inspection and pumping of the tank every 3 to 5 years. However, the frequency may vary depending on factors such as household size, water usage, and the tank’s size.

Final Thoughts

Septic tanks with pumps are a reliable and efficient way to manage wastewater. To ensure optimal performance and longevity, it’s crucial to maintain the septic tank with pump system properly. Regular inspections, cleaning, and pumping of the tank are essential to prevent clogs and backups.