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Septic Tank Visits

If you choose our scheduled service we'll arrange regular visits according to the agreed planned programme. We will confirm in writing the timing of the tank de-sludging visit.

Arriving at your property

Our tanker driver will confirm when they have arrived at your property. All of our drivers carry a Scottish Water identification card. As there is no requirement for the owner to be present at the time of de-sludging, and if there is no one at home when our driver arrives for the tank de-sludging, they will leave you confirmation of our visit, including details of the work carried out.

Tanker routes are programmed on a weekly basis, but due to the widespread location of tanks and their varying sizes, it is generally not possible to give an exact time on the day when the tanker will arrive.

As we programme our route according to numbers in any geographic area it is unlikely that we can accept requests to provide services on a particular day. However, we will try to accommodate any special requests that we receive.

If the day for your tanker visit is not suitable, or if you wish to change the de-sludging intervals, please call our Customer Helpline on 0800 0778 778.

Access Requirements to your property

In general our tankers are large vehicles, up to 26 tonnes in weight (fully loaded), 8.5 metres long, 3 metres wide and 4 metres high. For us to be able to provide you with a de-sludging service we must have clear access, by road and hardstanding, to within 25 metres of the septic tank. The difference in level between the tank and where our tanker will sit should not be greater than 4 metres.

Emptying your tank

Where your tank is located between 25 metres and 40 metres from the tanker location we will attend to carry out the de-sludging. If after carrying out a risk assessment we deem that the job requires 2 people to carry out the work safely, we may have to reschedule the visit with additional resource.

Where the distance and height difference between tank and tanker will put undue strain on the onboard pump, we may not be able to carry out the work.

Where your tank is greater than 40 metres from the tanker location our septic tank planning advisor will be in touch with you before we plan the work.

Many tanks are different

If, after carrying out a risk assessment on our first visit, the work cannot be carried out safely, or will put undue strain on the onboard pump, we will have to postpone the de-sludge. You will be liable for an abortive visit charge in this circumstance.

If a tank is too big for our fleet we will provide an estimate for arranging specialist equipment to attend upon request by the owner.

If the layout of your property prevents our tanker from gaining proper access then we may not be able to provide a de-sludging service. The decision on whether or not the tank is accessible lies with the tanker driver. We will make every effort to ensure we can provide these essential services.

If we are not able to gain access to de-sludge your tank for reasons that are out of our control then we may have to charge you the costs incurred for attending your property.

If you have any doubt about the accessibility of your septic tank please call our Customer Helpline on 0800 0778 778 for further advice.

Access to your neighbours property

If the only access to your tank is through property you do not own, you are responsible for obtaining your neighbours written consent and also for any unavoidable damage caused. This consent must be provided prior to the work being carried out. Any costs arising from shared access will be re-chargeable to you.


Our tanker drivers are skilled and well experienced in driving our vehicles and will exercise due care and diligence in accessing your septic tank. Except where negligence is proven, we will not normally accept liability for damage to private drainage systems, access roads, driveways, forecourts, bridges, culverts, paths, lawns, verges, gates, borders and so on, or to other areas, property or underground services which may be adversely affected as a result of our tanker gaining access to your septic tank.

If you have any concerns about damage caused during a de-sludging visit then please call our Customer Helpline immediately on 0800 0778 778.