Most people use septic tanks because they aren’t on main drainage services and can’t get rid of wastewater or connect to the sewerage system. The tanks are sometimes referred to as an onsite sewerage system, because the waste is dealt with on your property rather than being drained away into the public system. However the waste is not “treated” as it would be with a small onsite sewerage system.
The tank is situated underground, in a concrete, plastic or fibreglass chamber, and domestic sewage flows into the tank. Tanks are intended to discharge the partially treated sewage to a soakaway or drainage field. Solids settle to the bottom of the tank, and anaerobic bacteria dispose of some of the sewage, but sludge accumulates in the tank, and it has to be emptied regularly. If this doesn’t happen, the tank can become full, and raw sewage may discharge directly to the drainage area.
One of the services we provide, is septic tank emptying. More accurately, this is the removal of the sludge that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. This is a specialised job, involving an appliance called a vacuum truck which can suck the sludge out of the septic tank. How often you have to do this, depends on a number of factors, one of which is the air temperature. The anaerobic bacteria prefer warm weather, and they act more efficiently on solids in the warmer months. Regular pumping out will lengthen the life of the tank, and a minimum of yearly pumping out, is recommended.
Our tank pump operators are fully approved and licensed by the Environment Agency as waste carriers.
Septic tanks that are leaking, or discharging directly into waterways, can pollute groundwater, as well as rivers, streams and lakes. So the Environment Agency has set down rules on septic tanks which came into force on 1 January 2020. If your tank uses a soakaway system, you should be compliant with the new regulations. The soakaway or drainage field system, is acceptable.
However, if your tank has a pipe that flows out into a river, stream or lake, that is no longer acceptable, and must be changed. Be aware that fines for non compliance can be as high as £100,000, so it’s best not to delay. If the area around the property is classed as environmentally sensitive, you may also need a permit for your tank and its discharge arrangements. Note that you can’t use a soakaway crate, Ezy drain, or soakaway pit for effluent from a septic tank.
You need to ensure that your septic tank system has been upgraded so that it’s compliant with the new regulations. Otherwise, the alternative is to replace the system with a full sewage treatment plant. The plant will have to achieve the BS EN 12566-3 standard. If the septic tank has been discharging into open water, it must be redirected so that it uses a drain field. The field must comply with BS 6297 2007.
We can help you to ensure that you are compliant, by surveying your current septic tank arrangement, and undertaking drainage survey. We can suggest remediation if your system is no longer allowed. We can also carry out any necessary work to reconfigure your pipework, or reroute your output.
Lastly, it’s important to know how many litres of sewage your septic tank is discharging into the soakaway or drainage field. The maximum allowed is 2,000 litres per day. Any more than that, you will require a permit.
If your tank is damaged, you may need a new one. These days, lighter tanks are available, and we are able to arrange for excavation and preparation of the site, along with tank delivery, installation and testing.
Call us today, if you require any of the following septic tank services.
Our professional and fully licensed technicians will ensure a trouble free, cost-effective and compliant process. Call 08006906777 and speak to one of our Septic Tank Service experts.
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For days, we’ve noticed a foul smell coming from outside and a gurgling sound coming from one of the drains. Whenever it would rain, the area around it would flood slightly and take ages to drain. We tried buying drain unblockers, but none seemed effective. Eventually, we turned to No 1 PHD and were left wondering why we didn’t do this sooner.