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Septic Tank Emptying – Your Questions Answered

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    Hundreds of thousands of UK homes, hotels, pubs and other properties send their wastewater to on-site septic systems, consisting of septic tanks and drainage fields. These systems are vital: they ensure wastewater is filtered and cleansed with the aid of gravity and helpful bacteria, so that waste matter is removed and only treated water is released into the environment.

    Solid waste or ‘sludge’ sinks to the bottom of septic tanks and needs to be removed periodically using a suction pump and tanker. If you’ve recently bought or have begun renting a property with a septic system, you’ll undoubtedly have questions about septic tank emptying, especially if your previous property’s drains were connected to sewers instead of a tank. Even if you’ve used a septic system for years, you can still benefit from re-familiarising yourself with the subject.

    Septic Tank Emptying FAQs

    As a Bath drainage company, we have extensive experience of septic tank emptying. So we’re well placed to answer the following FAQs.

    Who’s Responsible for Emptying Septic Tanks at Rented Properties?

    Whereas homeowners are always responsible for septic tank emptying, the situation is more complicated for people who rent properties. Tenants should check what their tenancy agreements say about septic tanks. Some landlords are willing to be in charge of them, but others require tenants to take responsibility for septic tank emptying and its associated costs.

    How Often Does Your Septic Tank Need Emptying?

    A septic tank can hold several thousand litres of wastewater but may still fill up faster than you’d expect. Indeed, you may not have realised that it’s common for an individual to use as many as 142 litres of water daily, according to Water UK research.

    Annual septic tank emptying helps to ensure the sludge doesn’t build up to such an extent that the tank overflows and clogs your drainage field.

    How Do You Know When Your Septic Tank Needs Emptying?

    If you’re unsure when your septic tank is due to be emptied, our experts can inspect it and give you a timeframe.

    Signs that there’s too much sludge, and you therefore urgently need our Bath septic tank emptying service, include:
    〰️ Slow drainage
    〰️ Standing water
    〰️ Frequent backups
    〰️ Gurgling noises
    〰️ Waste surfacing in your drainage field

    What Happens if You Wait Too Long to Empty Your Septic Tank or Never Do It?

    If you avoid emptying your septic tank, it’ll get overwhelmed by sludge. Wastewater will then be forced out before it’s been processed, flooding your property and the drainage field. This poses a risk to your health, wildlife and the environment.

    That’s why the Environment Agency’s septic system guidance emphasises that you must ‘get your treatment system regularly emptied’.

    Does Shower Water Go to Your Septic Tank?

    All the water used at your property goes to your septic tank, so that includes water from your shower, toilet, kitchen sink, appliances, etc.

    Will the Toilet Flush if the Septic Tank is Full?

    If too much sludge accumulates in your septic tank and impedes the flow of wastewater, the toilet may only flush weakly or not at all.

    Thankfully, septic tank emptying can solve the problem.

    What’s the Cost of Emptying a Septic Tank?

    Septic tank emptying is a worthwhile investment. Regularly removing sludge helps to keep your septic system in optimum condition for longer and reduces the need for potentially costly repairs.

    Septic tank emptying prices depend on factors such as tank capacity, the number of chambers to be pumped out, and whether the service is provided on a one-off or recurring basis. As a general guide, Checkatrade suggests you set aside approximately £175-£275.

    You can save money by setting up an ongoing septic tank maintenance contract with us. You can also rely on us to attend one-off jobs and emergency callouts.

    What Time of Year Is Best to Empty a Septic Tank?

    We recommend scheduling septic tank emptying for spring or summer. In the colder months, the process may be hindered by frozen pipework or the build-up of ice and snow above the tank.

    Can You Empty Your Septic Tank Yourself?

    Never attempt to empty your septic tank yourself. ‘Septic tanks can be extremely dangerous, from the bacteria they contain to the fumes they release,’ Forbes magazine makes clear.

    Septic tank emptying must instead be performed by licensed professionals such as the Mega-Rod Bath team. We have the skills, equipment and vehicles required to safely empty your septic tank, whether you’re in Bath, Bristol, North Somerset, North or West Wiltshire, or South Gloucestershire.

    We’ll inspect your tank for damage and can clean it for you too so it can continue serving you well.

    Need your septic tank emptying? Call Mega-Rod today on 01225 422980.

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      Need your drains unblocking? Septic tank need emptying? Need a CCTV Drain Survey? Contact the experts at Mega-Rod on 01225 422980. We offer a prompt, competitive service from a family firm working in Bath, Bristol and the surrounding area.