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Specialists in Events

Septic tank emptying

With around half a million UK homes having a septic tank, it’s important to understand when it should be emptied, how and by whom. Our guide to septic tank emptying explains everything you need to know.

Do septic tanks need emptying?

A septic tank is constructed from plastic or concrete and is used to collect waste from homes as part of the residential sewage system where a mains connection is not possible. Septic tanks do not have an infinite capacity and will need to be emptied.

How often to empty a septic tank

There are no hard and fast rules about this but there are signs to look out for that may indicate it’s time to have your septic tank emptied. There are several factors involved, including whether the size of the tank is the appropriate size for the property and how many people it serves. Generally speaking, though, it’s best to have the tank emptied annually.

How to tell when a septic tank needs emptying

Water pooling – pools of water around the drain field form if a septic tank is at full capacity and is starting to overflow.

Slow drains/poor flushing – if water in sinks, washing machines, baths etc. is running away slowly or sluggishly, or if toilets develop a weaker flush than normal, it may be an indication the septic tank is full.

Sewer backup/overflow – check drains regularly and if you see overflow, this could be a sign that the tank is blocked and should be emptied immediately.

Water pooling – pools of water around the drain field form if a septic tank is at full capacity and starts to overflow.

Noisy pipes – consistent gurgling coming from pipes is a sign that the septic tank is ready to be emptied.

Odours – the contents of a septic tank will smell but if the odour can be detected around the tank and not just when it is open, the tank may be full or there may be a leak.

A healthy lawn – strange as this seems, if the grass area around or on top of the septic tank is unusually healthier than other grass, it is a sign that water is escaping the system either because the septic tank needs to be emptied or because there is a leak.

Emptying septic tanks

In the UK, septic tanks must be emptied by a licensed waste carrier with the experience of disposing of hazardous materials at specialist sites. Regular emptying ensures the septic tank operates at optimum efficiency and reduces the risk from blockages. If the septic tank is not emptied often enough, the sludge that builds up over time will solidify and further servicing will be needed.

Waste tanker services from JB Event Facilities

As registered waste carriers with the Environment Agency (upper tier licence no. CBDU283839), we operate a fleet of vacuum pump trucks that allow us to carry out regular servicing or one-off cleans of septic tanks and cesspits. All sewage, sludge and waste is disposed of ethically at an authorised site, in line with all prevalent government guidelines.

For information about septic tank emptying in any of the areas where we operate, please get in touch by telephone on 01280 851200 or email at info@jbeventfacilities.co.uk