How to Pump Mud

Mud is a difficult substance to remove or relocate.
Mud is a difficult substance to remove or relocate. (Image: mud image by Gouma from

Mud is a tricky substance to remove or transplant. Oftentimes the only way to pump mud out of a source or from one source to another is to use a reciprocating, piston-driven or plunger-driven specialty mud pump. Such devices are costly and bulky, essentially making them unusable by anyone other than wealthy corporations or individuals. Fortunately, there are several alternatives for pumping mud which may seem counter-intuitive at first, but which are cost-effective for the average person.

Things You'll Need

  • Diaphragm, piston-driven mud pump
  • Two garden hoses
  • Shop vac

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With a Mud Pump

Position the hose of your diaphragm mud pump in the mud source you wish to pump.

Activate the mud pump.

Reposition the hose end of your mud pump in the mud source so that it continues to effectively remove the mud.

With a Siphoning System

Run a standard garden hose into the mud source, filling it up with more water, thereby making the mud in the source thinner.

Set up a water siphon with a second garden house running from the mud source to either a second source or whatever container you wish to fill with the watered-down mud. Fill the siphoning hose with water, then place the end of the hose into the watered-down mud. As the water filling the hose drains out of the end of the hose, it will create a suction, which will, in turn, act on the watered-down mud in the mud source, thereby draining it through the siphon hose.

Turn off the fill hose so the siphoning house can slowly gain a drainage lead compared to the filling speed.

Remove residual debris and mud with a shovel when the filling/siphoning cycle is complete.

With a Shop Vac

Fill the mud source with additional water, watering down the mud.

Place the end of the suction hose of your shop vac into the mud source and activate the shop vac.

Suck out as much liquid mud as will fill the shop vac’s receptacle or position the engine and drainage hole over a larger receptacle.


  • Grounds for Improvement (DIY): 40 Great Landscaping & Gardening Projects; Jackie Taylor and Dean Hill; 2007
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