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Effluent & Septic Tanks

Effluent Pumpout

An effluent pumpout is a service conducted to premises that have a contained collection system with the effluent removed from the collection tank on a regular cycle of service. If the collection tank is not emptied the contents will overflow and cause environmental and health hazards.

effluent pumpout truck Shoalhaven Water provides effluent pumpout services.

Scheduled Services

There are many properties in the Shoalhaven that are on a scheduled effluent pumpout service with a range of frequency options varying from twice weekly to eight weekly. 

Pumpout frequency is dependent on the size of the tank and how many people use the system. If you would like to increase or reduce the number of scheduled pumpouts you receive simply complete the Change of Frequency Request. Upon receipt of request, fees and charges will be adjusted in your Rates Notice. 

New Effluent Pumpout Systems

If you recently installed or are thinking of installing an effluent pumpout system and would like to request servicing through Shoalhaven Water's contractor, here's what we need from you to get started:

  • Property Address
  • Owners Name, Contact phone and Email
  • Cycle frequency - please see frequency options and related costs in the Effluent Fees & Charges found below in Additional Information
  • Date you would like the servicing to commence
  • When your request has been reviewed, you will receive a confirmation email. 

    Extra Services

    An extra service can help avoid problems especially around holiday periods when occupancy is generally highest. They are usually performed within 3 working days and this service will incur an additional charge to you.

    To book an extra service you can:

    • Contact us directly on 4429 3214, or
    • Email us with the Property Address, your Contact Name, and Contact Phone.

    Emergency Services

    You will need to call us to arrange an emergency pumpout service. Emergency pumpouts are performed within 24 hours of notification and will incur an extra charge alongside the standard removal fee. 

    Our guide to avoid an emergency service is:

    • Avoid overflows by monitoring the level of contents in the tank
    • Schedule an extra service if required
    • Talk to visitors about the need to reduce discharges into the system.

    Pumpout Service Information

    On each property leading from the effluent collection tank to the front yard is a pump out service pipe (standpipe).

    • The service pipe should be clear from obtrusion's and within easy access for the Contractor to connect the hose from their tanker, while parked on the road. Inaccessible service pipes may be requested to be relocated.
    • If the system has a booster switch, customers must ensure the switch is accessible and in safe working order.

    Once the pumpout has been performed the Contractor will:

    • Leave a coloured docket in the letter box showing the total amount removed as well as the readings on the gauges before and after the pump out.
    • If a letter box is not available, it is a good idea to leave a tin or box near the service pipe (standpipe) where dockets can be safely stored.
    • The contractor is required to ‘round down’ the level on the truck's sight gauges to the nearest 100 litres mark at both the before and after pumping read.

    Shoalhaven Water recommends that customers confirm the volume extracted by reading the sight gauges attached to each tanker and comparing the levels against the docket. Arrangements can be made for scheduled services to be conducted at reasonable specified times to enable customers to attend and sight gauges.

    Volumes can be checked within the tank at any time by lifting the inspection port or lid on top of the tank. There should also be a 'dip stick' on the top of the tank.

    During excessive rain periods, rainwater may infiltrate the tanks on a property causing an increase in the volume of effluent in the collection well. Keeping a tank lid clear of grass, plants and weeds is a good way of caring for the system. If cracks in the lid are noticed, it is important to get them fixed by using some form of filler to maintain the watertight integrity of the system. 

    Effluent Fees and Charges

    An annual effluent charge is levied by Council on your Rates Notice and covers all scheduled pumpouts for the year removing up to 2,500 litres per service.

    Volumes removed which are over 2,500 litres at the scheduled pumpout, extra services scheduled or emergency pumpouts will be invoiced monthly by Shoalhaven Water.

    Our Effluent Removal Charges can be found below in Additional Information.