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Absorption Trench

Complete absorption trench maintenance and repairs

Maintaining your septic tank and absorption trenches is essential to ensuring your septic system functions smoothly and efficiently. It is essential that the septic trenches are customised to cater for the soil type of your property, the climate in the area (rainfall, etc), as well as the number of people living in your home. Express Wastewater Solutions can repair or replace failed septic absorption trenches on properties across South East Queensland.

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What is an absorption trench?

An absorption trench is a long hole that is cut into the ground, fitted with piping, rested on gravel and filled back with topsoil. This trench is then used to release sewage waste from toilets and greywater from bathrooms, kitchens and laundry waste throughout your home.

Absorption Trench
The absorption trench system

What factors should you consider when it comes to septic tank absorption trench design?

Absorption trenches are built to suit the purpose of the wastewater requirements of the property they reside on, so factors such as the following should be considered when making decisions regarding depth, length and size:

  • Soil Type - the type of soil can determine how easily the effluent or liquid waste will absorb into the ground, which in turn dictates how long the soakage trenches need to be.
  • Amount of Rainfall - the amount of rain your property receives can affect absorption rates.
  • Climate - Whether you have a lot of hot days with an abundance of sunlight or mostly a cool, cloudy climate will affect evaporation rates.
  • Size of Your Home - a home with 2 bedrooms and 2 residents will have lower levels of wastewater than a large home with a big family.
  • Location - It is important to install wastewater treatment systems away from buildings, boundaries, groundwater, water supplies such as dams or creeks, and in an area which     won’t get driven over, as vehicles and heavy machinery can compact the soil over or around the septic tank or damage absorption trenches.
  • Plants - what plants and trees are to be located in the area around the sewage treatment system? Experts recommend only planting grass directly over and a few metres around trenches and tanks.
Tip: Avoid running trenches near large trees or plants as the extensive root systems can cause septic trenches to clog and fail.

Speak to our qualified team today to find out more about septic absorption trench design in Qld.

How do you know if your absorption trench is failing?

The soakage trench for your septic tank, if properly installed, should last 15 years or more. Signs that there are issues include:

  • Unpleasant smells.
  • Excessively wet areas of grass or garden.
  • Effluent surfacing.
  • Pooling of stormwater.
  • Cars or vehicles have been driving over the area.
  • Paving or driveways have been constructed over the leach field.
  • Drains, sink, bath, toilet or shower slow to drain.
  • Septic tank needs frequent pumping (more than once a year).
  • Overgrowth of grass or plants in the trench area.

What causes your absorption trench to fail?

Absorption or septic trench failure is when the trench becoming compacted, blocked or collapsed. Factors that can cause absorption trench failure include:

  • Vehicles driving over the trench area.
  • Large animals.
  • Incorrect installation.
  • Areas of soft soil.
  • Frequent foot traffic.
  • Blocked pipes.
  • Root intrusion, caused by large plants or trees located too close to the trench system.
  • Too much other water in the area eg stormwater runoff.
  • Uneven trench base, which causes one area to receive too much water.
  • Infrequent septic tank cleaning, causing untreated waste to enter the trench system.

Prompt and long-lasting absorption trench repairs

A failed absorption trench could require rehabilitation or even replacement, depending on the severity of the issue. Our team of wastewater specialists can asses your septic system problems, provide practical solutions, and carry out all the repair work required in both an effective and professional manner.

Express Wastewater

Speak to an absorption trench specialist today

Express Wastewater Solutions can take care of all your septic trench problems quickly and efficiently. We have years of experience working with septic tank systems and wastewater treatment plants contact our team on 1300 722 517 or complete our septic trench repair request form today.


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For more in depth septic systems information visit our Septic systems Information page

Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?


    Because we are not a manufacturer and not tied to one particular system we can always offer the best solution for your wastewater needs.


    Because we do this every day we have developed a close knit expert team for every step of the process – from plans and council paperwork to excavations, electrical and plumbing. We handle it all to make the whole process as stress free and quick as possible.


    Most people have never installed a home sewerage treatment plant and don’t know the next step, that is why we offer a free 30 minute phone consult with one of our experts to point you in the right direction.


    We handle your wastewater installation from start to finish we can deal with all the trades, council everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.


    Have peace of mind knowing that Express are licensed, insured professionals that will do your job right the first time.


    Not sure what system is right for you, or want to know if your system is working properly? Just give one of our friendly wastewater experts a call and they will be more than happy to help.


    We will always look to repair your system rather than replace it if it does not need to be, which will generally save large amounts of money sometimes up to and over $10,000.