Your Septic Tank needs to be emptied at least once a year to maintain its efficiency and to prevent damage to the Soakaway. Some people believe septic tanks don’t have to be emptied at all, however if too much sludge builds up within the septic tank it will wash through into your soak away and cause blockages (not to mention polluting the surrounding land and water courses). Every septic tank is designed to handle a certain volume of waste, if the number of people using the tank increases; you might need to have the tank emptied more than once a year or look to increase the size of your tank or soakaway.
A Cesspool is simply a holding tank - it doesn't treat the contents. So regular emptying is crucial to stop waste flowing back into your home or business. A cesspool must be emptied when it is almost full, we recommend fitting an alarm system to let you know when it's ready to be emptied.
Sludge is a combination of inactive solids (which come from bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms) and dead biological matter (micro-organisms that aid the breakdown process). All of this settles at the bottom of the tank, which is why it needs removing at least annually.
You'll notice one or a combination of these problems:
Sewage rising up from your tank or soak-away
Bad smells coming from your tank
Seeing raw sewage in a local watercourse
Toilets, sinks and showers backing up or taking a long time to drain
Overflowing toilets or sinks
Full inspection chambers (these should usually be empty)
Boggy grass around your soak-away.
The cost of emptying/ desludging varies depending on the type of tank you have, where you are and the volume you have removed.
First of all, you need to get the professionals in. By that we mean registered waste carriers. So make sure you check that whoever you use is fully registered. Otherwise you face a first-offence fine of up to £20,000 from the environment agency.
This applies to the 'waste producer' (you), the tanker company removing the waste and the water company who will dispose of it. You also need to keep copies of all documentation from the tanker operator for a minimum of two years.
Ask for their waste carrier number and check it with the EA
Ask where the waste is being transported to. Sewage should always be taken to a licensed waste reception facility or a sewage treatment works.
Make sure you are given a waste transfer note. This should describe the quantity and type of waste that's being removed and where it's going for disposal, along with the date and company details.
If in doubt, check with the Environment Agency.
Any business that deals with or processes food is likely to discharge FOGs (fats, oils and greases). FOGs also accumulate when food is cooked and when plates, pans, utensils and crockery are washed. This then solidifies in your pipes and can cause bad smells and blockages, and attract pests too.
monthly tanker visits are essential and a legal requirement to prevent fats, oils & grease from entering the public drainage network. most system also have filters that require periodic replacement.
the uk building regulations (part h 2.21) states that:-
bsen 1825 1 and 2 standard states that:-