Customer at Septic Tank

Looking after your septic tank

Looking after your septic tank properly can help prevent pollution

How They Work 

Septic tanks work thanks to naturally occurring bacteria which thrive on the impurities in waste water. If certain substances are disposed of down toilets and sinks, this can upset the natural balance and stop your septic tank working properly. This could lead to pollution or choking of the soakaway disposal system. 

Blockages 

Blockages are the most common problems with septic tanks. 

Check for blockages:

  • At the house - are sinks draining properly?
  • At the drain trap - are there foul odours?
  • At the manhole - is sewage backing up?
  • At the septic tank inlet or outlet
  • At the soakaway or outlet - is effluent causing pollution?

You may be able to clear a blockage using drain rods fitted with a plunger. You may need to call a qualified plumber or drain clearing specialist.  

Your tank may also require de-sludging. 

Top Tips

Follow our recommended do's and don'ts to help prevent problems. 

Do 

  • Use toilet fresheners, mild detergents, fabric conditioners and washing powders/liquids in moderation. They can upset the natural balance. 
  • Use bleach and disinfectants SPARINGLY. They can kill friendly bacteria  

Don't 

  • Flush rags, disposable nappies, kitchen towels, sanitary items, cotton buds or condoms down the toilet. Bag it and bin it - don't flush it 
  • Dispose of grease, oil, fat or chemical toilet liquid into drains leading to the septic tank; dispose of these in an environmentally-friendly way 
  • Wash paint brushes in the sink or put brush cleaning liquids into the drains leading to the septic tank; dispose of these in an environmentally-friendly way
  • Connect rainwater drainage pipes, e.g. from roofs or drains, leading to the septic tank
  • Dispose of waste liquids that are harmful to septic tanks into rainwater drains 
  • Enter a septic tank - dangerous gases are produced by the natural treatment process 

You can view/download the current septic tank desludging charges on the Charges page in the Document Hub.

 

Septic Tank Application Form

Download a septic tank application form via our Document Hub

Application form