If your property has a septic tank, you need to ensure that it is properly maintained. Failure to keep up with your septic tank emptying and cleaning schedule can cause problems such as blockages, foul odours and overflow.
Maintain Drains offer a complete septic tank maintenance service. Our team can provide you with information about your tank, including how often it will need to be cleaned and emptied. We have the equipment to deal with large septic tanks from larger residencies and commercial properties as well as smaller tanks in rural areas.
In this guide, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about septic tank installation and emptying. If your questions aren’t answered below, get in touch with one of our experts for straightforward advice.
What is a Septic Tank?
A septic tank is a watertight, underground plumbing system that treats all of your wastewater. They are most commonly used in rural areas that don’t have a centralised sewage system. Most septic systems are made from concrete, fibreglass or polythene and can be found in residential or commercial properties.
Any domestic wastewater or sewage is pumped from your property into a septic tank for basic treatment. This treatment separates solids and organics, allowing them to settle and reduce in volume due to anaerobic digestion.
Once this process is complete, the liquid that remains is relatively clean. It is drained into a septic drain field, otherwise known as a leach field, drain field or seepage field, where it is soaked through the ground. This leaves only solids in the septic tank which must be periodically removed by a drainage expert.
Do You Need a Septic Tank?
The most common reason for installing a septic tank is not having access to a central sewage system. This is more frequent in rural, countryside areas.
According to UK Building Regulations, all houses should be connected to the main sewage network when possible. The first thing you should do is identify whether or not you can connect to the main network, you may have to consider using a sewage pumping station if necessary.
If this isn’t an option, it is time to think about installing a septic tank to manage wastewater on your property. There are several factors to take into account before installation takes place. Seeking advice from a drainage expert is the best way to find the right system for your property.
Septic Tank Sizing Guidelines
If you need a septic tank installed on your property, the first thing to think about is its size. If the tank is too small for your use, it won’t be able to manage the amount of waste pumping through it. This is likely to cause problems such as blockages, overflowing and foul odours.
On the other hand, if your septic tank is too big it won’t have enough wastewater running through it to run efficiently. The tank requires a certain amount of bacteria build-up to assist in breaking down the waste. It won’t run properly without the correct amount of waste.
These problems can be expensive to fix. It’s much safer to have the right sized tank installed the first time which is why we’d always recommend speaking to an experienced drainage expert before starting any work.
To get a rough estimate of the size of the septic tank you’ll need, consider the number of bedrooms, number of occupants and square footage of your property. On average, a family of four will require a 2,700 litre tank. This will increase by 180 litres for every additional person in the household.
Obviously, this isn’t very useful for commercial properties. Get in touch with one of our friendly experts to find out the best-sized septic tank for your premises.
How Often Should You Have Your Septic Tank Emptied?
There is no definite rule for how often you should empty your septic tank. It will depend on the size of your tank and the number of people in your household. The more waste pumping through your tank, the more frequently you’ll need to have it emptied.
Ideally, you should aim to empty your septic tank once every three to five years. This is the best way to prevent blockages, overflows and unpleasant odours. In some instances, it is necessary to have your tank maintained more regularly. A qualified drainage expert will be able to give you a rough idea as to how often you should be needing your tank serviced.
Commercial systems are likely to see a lot more wastewater than a residential septic tank. It is also harder to control the items that guests or visitors to your venue are disposing of in the drains. This increases the risk of blockages which could force your business to close while they are dealt with. It is important to ensure that any commercial septic tanks are maintained regularly to keep them running efficiently.
Can Your Septic Tank Be Pumped In Winter?
A lot of people ask whether or not their septic tank can be pumped in winter. Most professional drainage companies are fully equipped to manage the care and maintenance of your tank all year round, including the cold winter months.
The reason that many people report problems with their septic system during the winter months is that the cold weather makes it susceptible to freezing. If you fail to properly maintain your tank, you may run into issues along these lines.
The only thing that may affect your tanks ability to be pumped is extreme weather conditions such as heavy snowfall or blizzards. If this is a concern for you, be sure to get your septic tank serviced before any extreme weather is expected.
Keeping Up With Septic Tank Maintenance
As you can see, keeping up with septic tank maintenance isn’t too difficult. With the help of an expert, you can keep your tank running efficiently all year round.
Remember, without proper upkeep your septic tank is more susceptible to blockages and overflowing. It can be expensive to call out for an emergency repair so you’re much better off getting your septic tank cleaned and emptied regularly.
If you’ve got a septic tank and need someone to keep up with maintenance work, get in touch with Maintain Drains. We can provide information and advice to help you understand the type of septic tank installation and maintenance you will need.