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Guaranteed Same Day Service For All Gold Coast Septic Tank Problems

When it comes to problems with your septic tank system, Whywait Plumbing treats it as a top priority due to the unhygienic health hazard it poses. We offer same-day service and rapid response to ensure your septic tank issues are resolved promptly and efficiently.

Septic Tank Enquiries

For a blocked septic tank same-day service, call (07) 5580 4311. For non-urgent repairs, feel free to send us your details.

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When it comes to problems with your septic tank system, Whywait Plumbing treats it as a top priority due to the unhygienic health hazard it poses. We offer same-day service and rapid response to ensure your septic tank issues are resolved promptly and efficiently.



We Guarantee To Resolve Your Septic Tank Problems As A Blocked Septic Tank Is More Than An Inconvenience

A blocked or overflowing septic tank is a same-day priority task for Whywait Plumbing, so call us now at  (07) 5580 4311 to ensure we attend to your septic tank problems today.

Any septic tank problem is an unhygienic health hazard, especially if your toilets become blocked and sewage is overflowing from the septic tank or absorption trenches.

It is very seldom that any blocked septic tank clears itself. Blocked, broken, leaking and flooding from a septic tank and its absorption trenches is one of the most horrible problems for a home or business that relies on a septic tank system to remove wastewater and sewage.

Problems occur for multiple reasons, such as incorrect maintenance, poor installation, incorrect pipe sizing, blocked absorption trenches and ground movement. 

What Do You Do If You Have a Septic Tank System Failure?

A septic tank system failure can become an emergency fast. So, what do you do, and what causes a septic tank system failure? Below we answer some of the common questions. For further information, call Whywait Plumbing at (07) 5580 4311, and we would be happy to assist.

What is a septic tank system?

If your property isn’t connected to the City of Gold Coast sewerage system, the treatment and disposal of sewage and wastewater will occur on your property. The septic tank system is one of the oldest and most common wastewater treatment systems. However, due to how the septic tank system is constructed, it must be controlled in a manner that is not harmful to the environment, cause problems for your family or your neighbours or creates an unhealthy or unhygienic condition. A septic tank works by breaking down the solid matter from sewage and wastewater using millions of bacterial microorganisms.

What happens when a septic tank system fails?

If your septic system tank is failing, it is neither treating nor disposing of sewage and wastewater in the way it was designed. This can result in untreated or poorly treated wastewater being released onto lawn and garden areas. This can result in adverse effects on your family’s health and well-being.

A failing septic tank system is when the sludge and scum build up in the tank to a point where it flows up both the inlet pipe and outlet pipe of your septic tank. This blockage of the tank results in your home’s drainage system backing up, which increases the risk of sewage and wastewater flooding your home.

Why does a septic tank system fail?

There is a multitude of possibilities that can cause a septic tank system to fail, including:

  1. Overloading your septic tank system with more wastewater than it was designed to handle.
  2. Incorrect or lack of maintenance.
  3. Inlet or outlet baffles on the septic tank become blocked or damaged.
  4. Incorrect installation when the home was constructed.
  5. Badly designed system.
  6. Inappropriate septic tank system for the property, usually too small.
  7. Damage to the septic tank drainage pipes, such as tree roots in the inlet or outlet pipes.
  8. A damaged distribution box to the absorption trenches.
  9. Absorption trenches that no longer function to dispose of the wastewater flow.

What are the indicators of a septic tank system failure?

Obvious indications and associated symptoms to indicate your septic tank system is failing can include the following:

  1. A pungent odour is emitting from your septic tank system.
  2. Your septic tank needs frequent pumping out every few months.
  3. Your toilets, sinks and showers keep backing up and gurgling.
  4. Your shower or bath is slow to drain, with gurgling sounds from the floor waste drain occurring.
  5. You can hear gurgling noises in the bathroom when you flush the toilet.
  6. There are always wet areas around your septic tank or the absorption trenches.

What should you do if your septic tank system fails?

Even if you adhere to the City of Gold Coast compliance and maintenance requirements, you can still experience a septic tank system failure. If you find that your septic tank is failing, we recommend you:

  1. Contact Whywait Plumbing at (07) 5580 4311, and we would be happy to assist.
  2. Use your toilet, shower, basin and sink sparingly to prevent wastewater from flowing until the system has been repaired.
  3. If sewage flows onto your lawn areas, barricade off the area to stop children and animals from accessing it.
  4. Do not attempt to undertake a DIY redirection of your sewage to other locations, as this is illegal and a health risk.
  5. Do not just place soil or sand over any sewage that has made its way to the surface of your lawn, as this can cause it to back up into your drainage pipes.

Do not ignore any problem with any part of your septic tank system. It will not just simply go away. The longer you leave problems, the worse the situation becomes with hygiene and health. A call now saves a lot of time and money.

How can you prevent your septic tank system from failing?

To prevent your septic tank system from failing, you need to ensure the following:

  1. Regular maintenance and servicing.
  2. Pump out your septic tank regularly.
  3. Avoid excess water usage whenever possible that creates inflows of wastewater.
  4. Don’t add extra plumbing fixtures without resizing the requirements of your septic tank and absorption trenches.
  5. Take great care in what you flush down the toilet or wash down the sink. Only use septic system-friendly options as above.
  6. Always replace or repair any leaky fixtures as soon as you find them.
  7. Do not drive over the lawn area where your absorption trenches are located.
  8. Do not cover the septic tank, greywater tank or distribution box with soil, mulch or plants.
  9. Maintain the access inspection opening to the septic tank, greywater tank and distribution box.
  10. Maintain the grass and plants growing over the top of the absorption trenches.

What Are Your Absorption Trenches?

The absorption trench is the trench system excavated in the lawn area downstream of your house. The piping connected to the distribution box sits on a gravel bed, then backfilled with further gravel and covered with topsoil. This trench releases sewage wastewater from piping from your toilets and greywater from bathrooms, kitchens and laundry.

Absorption Trenches are constructed to suit the purpose of the wastewater requirements of your house. Design factors such as the required volume of wastewater plus environmental considerations such as the soil quality. All of these factors determine the final design attributes of your absorption trench, including depth, length, width and pipe size.

What is the lifespan of an absorption trench?

Multiple factors determine the lifespan of your absorption trench. However, if correctly installed and maintained, the absorption trench for your septic tank will last at least 10-15 years.

This could be much less if the initial installation were substandard. Also, the slotted overflow pipe that runs through the trench gets clogged with tree roots hindering the effluent wastewater from seeping efficiently into the surrounding soil. If the trench becomes shaded by trees, then sewage evaporation is reduced.

Absorption trench maintenance

Maintainance and servicing of your absorption trenches are fundamental in ensuring your septic tank system functions efficiently. Keep vehicles away from the lawn areas where your absorption trench system is installed. Frequently check the surrounding lawn area for signs of leakage or unpleasant odours.


How Does a Septic System Work?

Septic tank system treats wastewater from your toilets and greywater from the laundry, kitchen and bathroom. This treated water can then be safely dispersed below ground via absorption trenches.

Two types of septic tank systems have been installed on the Gold Coast. Your system will either be an all-purpose system or a split system.

  • An all-purpose system will collect all your home’s wastewater and sewage and treat it in one tank. This is then discharged through a distribution box into absorption septic trenches.
  • split system uses two tanks to treat wastewater and sewage. Toilet sewage water is discharged into the septic tank and then into a distribution box to the absorption septic trenches. Wastewater or greywater from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry is discharged to a greywater tank before being distributed via a pump into the garden and lawn. The kitchen sink waste will be connected to a small grease trap that collects oils or fats before the wastewater flows into the greywater tank.

Once wastewater and sewage flow into the septic tank, bacteria break down the solids in the septic tank. The end products of this process are water and sludge. The sludge sinks to the bottom of the tank, and scum floats to the top.

A healthy Gold Coast septic tank system is a dynamic living ecosystem. To digest the solid waste or faeces, the bacteria needed to break down solids must be maintained in correct proportions, so it’s transformed into sludge.

Keeping Your Septic Tank Healthy

It will soon be evident if insufficient bacteria are in your septic tank. A lack of bacteria creates odour emissions from your tank. You will notice a pungent, unpleasant odour if there are insufficient bacteria to break down the solid waste properly.

Suggestions to prevent your septic tank system from failing

  • Do not flush tamponswet wipesdental flosskitty litter, disposable nappies or paper towels into your septic tank.
  • Do not put plastics down the toilet or sink.
  • Do not put chemicals such as solventsoilspaintsdisinfectantspesticides, or bleaches in sinks and toilets, as they can kill the healthy bacteria in your septic tank system.
  • Switch to non-toxic, natural cleaners such as No-Rinse Floor Cleaner Sanitiser & Disinfectant or Surface Sanitiser & Disinfectant and follow the instructions. It is essential to avoid cleansers that contain high levels of phosphorous.
  • Change to natural or low-phosphorous washing powders in your washing machine.
septic tank systems maintained by Whywait Plumbing

City of Gold Coast Septic System Operating Conditions

  1. The property owner shall be responsible for ensuring that the effluent generated on the property does not cause nuisance, seepage, run-off or spray drift to adjoining properties and watercourses.
  2. The effluent shall not be used to irrigate fruit or vegetables.
  3. The effluent shall not be connected to the City of Gold Coast’s water supply system or any provision made for connection.
  4. The property owner shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the on-site sewerage facility in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 and Local Laws 15 and 15.1.
  5. The property owner shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the on-site sewerage facility in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 and Local Laws 15 and 15.1.
  6. The property owner shall carry out any necessary repairs at the property owner’s expense. The City of Gold Coast may approve alternative designs subject to formal submission.

Mandatory Five Year Compliance Inspections

In Queensland, it is mandatory to have your septic tank system inspected and certified by a licensed plumber or drainer every five years. This law has been put in place to ensure that all septic tank systems are functioning safely and efficiently and to minimise the risk of health hazards for you and your community.

The certification process involves a comprehensive system inspection, including all components, such as pumps, tanks, and drainage fields. The assessment is designed to identify any potential issues, such as leaks or blockages, that could impact the safety or functionality of your septic tank system.

To help you stay compliant with this law, the City of Gold Coast will send you a reminder letter every five years to ensure your system is inspected for compliance. As a licensed plumbing and drainage company, Whywait Plumbing is equipped to conduct these inspections and certifications to ensure that your septic tank system is functioning correctly and safely.

We understand the importance of maintaining a properly functioning septic tank system for the safety and health of your home and the environment. So, if your septic tank system is due for inspection, call us at (07) 5580 4311 to schedule your compliance inspection and certification to avoid legal complications with the City of Gold Coast.

“Nathan, the plumber we had come to our home was on time, very respectful and eager to ensure the job was completed to our satisfaction. A rare quality today.”

Pat Cahill

Grayson Taylor excavating a septic tank

Septic Tank Repairs & Service

For septic tank plumbing emergencies please call (07) 5580 4311 for rapid response service. For all other plumbing repairs feel free to email us for assistance.

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