Norway Septic pumping a septic tank

What’s The Difference Between Septic Pumping And Septic Cleaning?

Septic tanks are a great asset but need regular maintenance to keep them running optimally and accomplishing everything they should. However, if you’ve ever looked into septic tank maintenance, you’ve probably come across companies that advertise septic pumping, as well as septic cleaning.

While these terms sound similar, they are different. However, many companies fail to discuss the differences clearly as well as their benefits and uses. So what’s the difference between septic pumping and septic cleaning? Let’s take a look.

Septic pumping

Septic pumping is the process where a septic worker takes a giant hose and inserts it into the septic tank. The goal is to use the hose to suck up liquid and any solids or sludge floating on the top of the tank. This frees up space as well helps keep the sludge from settling to the bottom of the tank, causing bigger issues in the future. 

It is recommended that you have your septic tank pumped frequently, or every 1-3 years. This will help prevent unnecessary build-up which could cause potential issues down the road. Keeping your tank free of solids and sludges will help your tank run the way it should for a longer period of time

Septic Cleaning

Septic cleaning is similar to septic pumping, but with one key difference. Whereas septic pumping deals with sucking out solid and sludges floating on the top of the tank, septic cleaning happens when you drain all of the water and clean out everything stuck to the bottom of the tank.

While many companies simply insert the hose and suck out the top layer of sludge, the proper and effective way to keep your tank running well is to clean it. This means you should always look for a septic company that understands the difference between pumping and cleaning and offers a higher quality of service. Regarding septic cleaning, there are a few important factors you should be aware of.

Important Factors

When preparing to have someone come and clean your septic tank, there are a few things you should be aware of that over time will help you keep your septic system running smoothly.


The frequency in which you have your tank cleaned will directly affect how clean it gets. If you have your tank cleaned on a regular basis, solids and other waste materials are easily extracted. The longer you wait, the harder it is to remove waste as it solidifies and attaches itself to the walls of your septic tank. 


Over time, heavy roots can invade your tank and become entangled with the sludge. The roots are extremely difficult to remove and won’t be able to be handled by a standard vacuum hose. If you have roots in your tank, even if you have it cleaned, roots and waste will be left behind.

Dividing Walls

Many septic tanks have a dividing wall. This means that your septic tank likely has two compartments. When scheduling a cleaning it’s important to announce that you want both tanks cleaned. 

It’s important to follow up and make sure that the hose was inserted into the access panel for both compartments. The dividing wall of your tank isn’t always water-tight, so a cleaner may put the hose on one side, suck out all the liquid, but leave solids and sludge behind. If you want your tank to be thoroughly cleaned, make sure that they clean both sides of the tank. Otherwise, you may end up being charged full price for half the work.

How Can Norway Septic Help?

Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.

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who should you call for septic issues?

Norway Septic Inc. is a service oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area.  We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. ” Our motto stands, “they pump, we clean!”

Call us if you suspect that there are problems with your septic system or if you need septic replacement parts like septic filters. With over 40 years of experience, we know septic systems and can handle just about any septic emergency.

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