Tank Pumping and Domestic Septage Disposal Fact Sheet
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #:  12-041
Guidance Documents
Revised: 11/28/16


In accordance with Title 124 - Rules and Regulations for the Design, Operation, and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, the allowable methods for disposal of domestic septage include:
  • Discharge to a publicly owned wastewater treatment facility;
  • Land application; or
  • Other methods approved by the Department.
Note: Land application of wastewater containing high strength disinfectants, biological inhibitors or deodorants or similar chemicals (such as those used in camper waste tanks, laboratories, medical or veterinary facilities or industrial facilities) is prohibited.
Domestic septage must be removed from a holding tank whenever the liquid level reaches 90% percent of the effective tank capacity. Domestic septage must be removed from a septic tank whenever:
  • The top of the sludge layer is less than 12 inches below the bottom of the outlet baffles;
  • The bottom of the scum layer is less than three inches above the bottom of the outlet baffle; or
  • Whenever the top of the scum layer is within one inch of the top of the outlet baffle.
The contents of the tank must be stirred, mixed or agitated to suspend all solids in the liquid prior to removing the contents for disposal. The entire contents of the tank, both liquids and solids, must be removed. If the tank is refilled after pumping, it must be filled with clear water.

The tank must be pumped through the access manhole. Pumping of the tank through the baffle inspection ports is prohibited unless no other access port or manhole exists and the integrity of the baffle is maintained. Disinfectant or anti-bacterial products must not be used to clean the tank except as an optional step in preparing the tank for closure.