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The Invention of Vacuum Truck And How It Helps With Septic Tank Service

Humans have been obsessed with finding better ways to dispose of human waste since time started. We haven’t always been fortunate enough to have flushable water closets, which was why there were chamber pots in homes that had to be frequently emptied out.

We have certainly come a long way from then to the septic tanks that we use today, which are emptied out with the help of septic vacuum trucks. Here is a brief history of that journey and the importance of the vacuum truck today.

Early Days of the Septic Tank and Honeywagons

It was only about 500 years ago that the first outhouse came into existence, offering people a sheltered way to go about their business rather than excreting in a shady bit of wilderness. The early form of handling indoor excreta was through chamber pots that were emptied using horse-drawn honeywagons’. These carriages would stop by the outhouse, empty pails into open half barrels and then take them to a designated point for dumping.

It was in the 19th century that a person named Jean-Louis Mouras decided to experiment to see how well a waste disposal system as an underground tank would work. In Mouras’ system, clay pipes took waste from the toilets in his home to an underground tank. This went on for ten years until Mouras took a look at the waste and was surprised to find that it now consisted of just liquids with a floating layer of scum.

This lead to the American improvement of Mouras’ system, incorporating different materials for the piping as well as a safe way to store the waste until it was ready for disposal, without the risk of it leaching into the soil or groundwater.

Modern Septic Tank   

The modern septic tank is well connected with inert piping that consists of fiberglass, PVC and other materials. The systems have regulations in place to ensure that they are always placed well away from groundwater sources with an adequate drainfield so that sewage is properly stored until disposal. A steel septic tank can last a homeowner up to 20 years with proper maintenance and regular septic tank service.

 Septic tank service methods and the invention of vacuum truck

Septic tanks consist of two main portions, the tank and drainfield. The tank can hold hundreds of gallons of wastewater coming in from kitchen drains, washing machines, and obviously the household toilets. Solid waste sinks to the bottom, grease and other light solids form a layer of scum on top and the middle wastewater layer is pushed into drainfields.

The vacuum truck is a heavy duty vehicle that is used to pump out liquid waste from septic tanks to aid in proper cleaning and maintenance of the septic tank unit. The invention of vacuum truck was certainly a long cry from the days of the honeywagon, and heralded a new dawn in waste management.

How the Vacuum Truck Works     

The vacuum truck works by creating negative pressure within the tank using a vacuum pump. The pump sucks out air through a primary and secondary shut off valve and a final filter, each of which is secured by rubber seat and ball casings. There are also rotary veins that assist in the airflow process. The filter is used to prevent debris from entering which could otherwise damage the pump veins.

Steps Involved in Vacuum Truck Pumping Septic Tank Service

Here what happens when the vacuum truck appears at your door to help clean out your septic tank.

  • The layer of scum and sludge will have to be broken into so that pumping can be done smoothly
  • The pumping vacuum pipes are laid out from the truck tank to the septic tank; this is not yet connected to the vacuum pump
  • The vacuum pump is switched on for initial testing and only then connected to the pipes
  • The vacuum truck operator first locates the septic tank and opens the cover

The operator must follow safety precautions and use proper safety gear while performing these pumping services. The waste that is pumped out from the septic tank and into the truck is then taken to a wastewater treatment plant or a sewer network for further processing.

Today, there are several different vacuum truck service providers available to help you plan your septic tank cleaning schedule so that your tank is maintained to last as long as it can go until its replacement period. You can call septictankflowerybranch.com for your septic tank service needs.


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