Understanding Sump Pumps for Septic Tanks


Understanding Sump Pumps for Septic Tanks: A Homeowner’s Guide


For many homeowners, the sump pump is an unsung hero, particularly when it comes to septic tank systems. If you’re living in a property with a septic tank, understanding the role and importance of a sump pump can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs. Let’s dive into what you need to know about sump pumps for septic tanks.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a pump used to remove accumulated water that has been collected in a sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. In the context of septic systems, a sump pump is often used to move effluent – liquid wastewater – from the septic tank to the drain field.

Types of sump pumps:

Sump pumps come in various designs, each suited for different needs:

  1. Submersible Pumps: Designed to be submerged in water, these are ideal for homes that experience significant water accumulation.
  2. Pedestal Pumps: These have motors mounted above the sump, making them easier to service but not as effective in deep water scenarios.

The Role of Sump Pumps in Septic Systems:

In septic systems, the sump pump plays a crucial role:

  • Effluent Pumping: They are often used to pump effluent from the tank to the drain field, especially when the field is uphill from the tank.
  • Preventing Overflows: By efficiently moving effluent, sump pumps prevent the tank from overflowing and causing a system failure.

Choosing the Right Sump Pump for Your Septic Tank:

Selecting the appropriate sump pump depends on several factors:

  • Capacity: Ensure the pump can handle the volume of effluent produced by your household.
  • Material: Opt for corrosion-resistant materials since the pump will be exposed to effluent.
  • Automatic Operation: Consider a pump with automatic activation to reduce the risk of overflow.

Maintenance Tips for Sump Pumps:

Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your sump pump functions effectively.


A well-chosen and maintained sump pump is a vital component of your septic tank system, ensuring efficient wastewater management and preventing potential system failures. By understanding the types, roles, and maintenance needs of sump pumps, you can keep your septic system running smoothly for years to come.