Septic Tank Emptying - FAQs

What is the difference between a septic tank and a cesspit?

A septic tank breaks down waste and has a soakaway. A cesspit is simply a holding tank. Everything that enters it has to be removed as it has no soakaway, these tend to be much larger in size than septic tanks ranging from 2000 – 10,000 gallons. They are usually installed in environmentally sensitive areas and where there is not enough room to install a soakaway.

Do I need to be on site during your visit or wait for the tanker to arrive?

Whilst some customers may prefer to be on site, you don’t need to be at home when we visit provided that we have clear access to the tank.

How often should my tank be emptied?

The exact period will obviously depend on the tank size and the number of people that it is servicing. Domestic tanks are usually under 1000 gallons. As a general rule we recommend that they are emptied annually. Tanks that have been left for extended periods may appear to be fine but a sewerage backup is often the first indication that there is a serious problem. By this point the costs of remedial action to the soakaway can be significant.

How does the use of bleach and other detergents affect my septic tank?

This will depend on what type of product you are using and how much. In all cases you should avoid overuse as the bacteria and anaerobic action that break down waste solids are negatively affected which in turn can affect the flow through the soakaway and lead to blockages. If possible do not use Bleach. Modern bacteria friendly products are available such as 'Method' septic tank friendly cleaning products and traditional cleaning solutions such as can be found HERE. Natural and Organic solutions are of course also better for the environment.

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