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Septic Tank De-sludging Charges 2016 - 2017

We offer a range of septic tank de-sludging services to customers who own a private septic tank which takes standard household waste, such as sewage and waste water, where suitable tanker access is provided.

If you meet all of our basic conditions the standard charges shown below will apply. If you do not meet all of our basic conditions we may still be able to de-sludge your tank, but not at the standard rates shown below. For details of our basic conditions or any further information about septic tanks please call us on 0800 0778 778.

Criteria includes:

  • weight and manageability of the lid of your tank (i.e. capable of being moved or lifted by one person).
  • position of your tank (i.e. accessibility and/or distance and height from the tanker).
  • vehicle access and parking facilities.

 Please note this is not an exhaustive list and other factors may apply.

Customers are reminded that Scottish Water reserves the right to refuse the de-sludging of a septic tank if the conditions are not met and the situation is considered unsafe.

Furthermore if lids are not readily accessible, not free from any apparent damage; or not seized or locked in position we will not be liable for any damage caused. 

All charges below are based on one tank being de-sludged. If you need multiple tanks on your property de-sludged at the same time we will provide an estimate prior to any service being delivered.

Household Septic Tank De-sludging Charges for 2016/17 are as follows:


These household charges apply to a single septic tank, serving up to 5 houses which meets all the basic conditions.

Additional Charges
There will be an additional charge where the volume is greater than 9m3, and this is based per m3 or part thereof.

Additional charge per m3   £15.60

We may impose a charge if our visit is abortive - that is, if we arrive at the property but can't de-sludge the septic tank for reasons beyond our control.

Charge for abortive visit   £59.30

There are three levels of service available to septic tank owners in Scotland.

1. Scheduled Service
You can sign a contract with us and we will de-sludge your septic tank at agreed intervals. A planned schedule of regular de-sludging services helps to keep your charges - and our costs - down. This service is charged at the approved rates in operation at the time of each de-sludging service.

2. Unscheduled Service
If you would rather not enter into a contract with us, we will endeavour to de-sludge your tank within 5 working days of your request where possible (provided we can get access to it). You will be notified of the date for de-sludging your tank before the work is carried out. This service is more expensive to provide than the scheduled service, so the charges are higher.

3. Urgent Response Service
If you need your septic tank de-sludged urgently we will aim to attend within 2 working days of your request where possible. This urgent response service is the most expensive for us to provide and this is reflected in the charge.  We may have to charge you the actual cost of doing the work if this is more than the charges shown.

If we are unable to accommodate the above timescales, you will be notified at the time of booking.

Payment arrangements for septic tank services

For all types of service we may require payment in advance, you will be notified of this when the de-sludging is confirmed by Scottish Water. We will not provide any de-sludging service to a customer who has failed to pay a previous charge for a de-sludging service.

Payments can be made online at

Download the Scottish Water Septic Tank Charges for 2016-17 leaflet here