What is desludging?

Over the years, your wastewater system will gradually build a layer of solids or ‘sludge’, which settles at the bottom of the primary septic tank. The layer of ‘scum’ that floats on top, typically consists of fats, oils and grease. Desludging is the process of a vac truck removing the ‘sludge’, ‘scum’ and effluent, or wastewater, from your system.

Why is desludging so important?

Desludging is one of the most important things you can do to protect and prolong the life of all types of wastewater systems.


Without regular desludging:  

•Your sewer drain could block, which may cause raw sewage to back-up into the house

•Raw sewage may overflow and discharge in your backyard

•Your system may build high levels of suspended solids, which can block filters, damage pumps, block dispersal fields (irrigation) and clog Sand Filters

How often do I need to desludge my system?

Please observe the advice contained in the Icon Septech Owner’s  Manual in order to minimise the frequency of desludging of the primary treatment tank. Desludging will vary from one to 3 years (similar to a septic tank system) depending on use and maintenance treatment of the system. Poor quality effluent or odour problems may indicate this is necessary, the frequency of desludging may increase if excess of the following enters the system: 

•Harsh cleaning products such as bleach, chlorine, disinfectants,  etc 

•Food scraps, fats, oils and grease 

•Strong medications such as antibiotics or blood  pressure tablets

•Sanitary items

•High levels of greywater


Need help?

The best way to  ascertain if your septic tank requires desludging  is to measure the ‘sludge’ and ‘scum’ layer, one of our trained technician measure this at each quarterly service. Icon Septech can arrange a 3rd party contractor to desludge your system.