Effluent pumpout services

What is an effluent pumpout service?

Effluent pumpout services are conducted to premises that have a contained onsite wastewater collection system. The system generally consists of two tanks, a septic tank and a collection tank. The effluent is removed from the tank from the standpipe at the property boundary. A regular pumpout is required to manage the system and prevent overflowing.

Here is a cross-section of how an effluent tank looks inside.

Cross section of effluent pumpout tank

It is the owners responsibility to ensure a correct pumpout schedule is selected and this can be determined by how much water you use and the size of the tank. 

A cleanout of the septic tank is recommended approximately every 5 years to remove any solid settlement buildup on the bottom of the tank. Cleanouts are a prepaid service and can be requested via our online septic tank cleanout form

What is effluent?

'Effluent' is sewage that has been treated in a septic tank or wastewater treatment plant. Effluent is also referred to as wastewater.

Effluent pump-out services are conducted to properties that have a tank-based effluent collection system and the effluent is removed on a regular cycle. If the collection tank is not emptied the contents will overflow and cause environmental and health hazards.

To allow the road tanker to pump out the system, a standpipe is located at the boundary of the property; this is where the tanker connects to your system. 

Our effluent removal services

Whether you have just installed a new system, or you have an existing system in place, we have a range of services available to help you. Click here to review our current Fees and Charges, or find them in the Related Information link below. 

New registrations

New registrations apply to customers who have just installed an on-site effluent collection tank on their property.

When you sign up for ongoing regular pumpouts, annual fees will be levied on your Council rates notice.

Use our online form to register a new pumpout service.

Scheduled services

Our scheduled pumpout service offers a range of options from bi-weekly to 8 weekly and are performed within three (3) working days of the scheduled date. 

We understand that circumstances can change so you change the frequency of your scheduled pumpout at any time. Any changes to the schedule will be reflected in your Council rates notice.

Use our online form to request a change of pumpout frequency at your property.

Extra pumpout service

You may at times require an extra pumpout. This service will be performed within three (3) working days and is invoiced separately to your Council rates notice. The amount invoiced will include the minimum charge plus a fee for every 100 litres removed over 2,500 litres, per tank. 

Use our online form to request an extra pumpout if you think a tank may be at risk of overflowing.

Pre-arrange an extra pumpout service and avoid problems especially around holiday periods when visitors arrive.

Emergency pumpout service

Found your tanks are at full capacity and at risk of overflowing? If this is the case call us immediately so that we can arrange a pumpout to occur within 24 hours of notification.

An emergency service will be invoiced separately to your Council rates notice and will include the minimum emergency service charge plus a fee for every 100 litres removed over 2,500 litres, per tank.

Service requirements

We use a contractor to conduct our pumpout services on your effluent system.

To assist our contractor and to avoid delays we suggest you maintain the components of the system including:

Standpipe access - remove any obstacles or obstructions to the standpipe for easy access. This includes removing any obstruction or garden matter from around the standpipe or tank. Not providing clear access to the standpipe can prevent the pumpout service from being completed.

Standpipe cap - the orange cap helps to easily identify the location of the standpipe. If it starts to fade, falls off and gets lost, or if it breaks, it can easily be replaced from an electrical wholesaler who refer to them as a conduit cap or plug.

Standpipe and pusher pumps - should be inspected by the owner before the service to ensure that the standpipe does not suck air or to ensure the pusher pump is not faulty. If your standpipe sucks air or your pusher pump is faulty the contractor will advise you via your docket left at your property and Shoalhaven Water will notify you via a letter or email. It is the owners responsibility to have the problem rectified within twenty-eight days (28). Note: if no action taken Council cannot accept responsibility for effective effluent removal services at your premises.

Service dockets

At the completion of a pumpout, our contractor will leave a docket in the letter box showing:

  1. The total amount of effluent removed (in litres), and
  2. The readings on the gauges before and after the pump out (to the nearest 100 litres)

If a letter box is not available, it is a good idea to leave a tin or box near the service pipe where dockets can be safely stored.

Customers can:

  • Confirm the volume extracted by reading the sight gauges attached to each tank and comparing the levels against the docket
  • Make an arrangement to attend a service
  • Check the volume of effluent within the tank at any time by lifting the inspection lid or by using the 'dip stick' on top of the tank

Excessive rain periods

Rainwater may infiltrate tanks causing an increase of wastewater in the collection well. 

If cracks in the lid are noticed, it is important to get them fixed to maintain the water tight integrity of the system.