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Septic tanks

Septic tanks treat waste water from properties that are not connected to the public waste water system.

A septic tank is usually either a large rectangular box made of brick, stone or concrete, or a bottle-shaped plastic tank buried underground not far from the property it serves.

Septic tank emptying

To arrange a septic tank visit please complete our online form and one of our tankers will visit usually within six to eight weeks of your request. It is not possible to make advanced bookings for specific times or dates; however, emergency septic tank emptying is available.


The fees for emptying a septic tank applies only when the tank is emptied at your request.  There may be additional charges for out of hours or emergency services provided for septic tank emptying, but the fee for normal emptying 2017/18 will be £150 per tank up to 9,000 litres, and further £150 for any additional volume. Requests for emptying services for tanks other than septic tanks will be charged at a hourly rate.

  Vactor Jetter Tanker Price*

Septic tank empty


              ✔ £150
Additional tank and/or volume above 9,000 litres      ✔ £150
Emergency call out, within 48 hours       Additional £50 for up to 2 hours, additional £75 per hour thereafter
For hire for emptying tanks other than septic tanks

  £200 for up to 2 hours, additional £100 per hour thereafter
     ✔ £200 for up to 2 hours, additional £75 per hour thereafter

*Per tank up to 9,000 litres

Commercial properties will be charged VAT at 20%

How does a septic tank work?

A septic tank works like a simple waste water treatment works and the treated waste water drains from the septic tank's outlet pipe to a soakaway or stream. Waste material (sludge) is allowed to settle in the tank and is digested by natural bacteria breeding in the tank. Over time the sludge builds up on the bottom of the tank. This sludge has to be removed regularly to ensure that the tank continues to work properly and to prevent the soakaway becoming choked.

How often should a septic tank be de-sludged?

This is dependent on the tank size and how well it is working. If you know where the septic tank outlet drains to, check that the discharge is a light grey colour. If the liquid includes dark solid material or recognisable sewage solids, this shows that the septic tank needs de-sludging.

If you dispose of certain substances and materials down the toilet, or down sinks, you risk either blocking a drain or upsetting the natural processes within your septic tank. This will stop it working properly and could lead to serious problems of pollution or choking of the soakaway disposal system.

Septic tank do's and dont's


  • flush only human waste and toilet paper down the toilet
  • use cleaning/washing products in moderation without upsetting the natural balance of the septic tank
  • use bleach and disinfectants sparingly as they can kill good bacteria in the septic tank


  • flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet
  • pour oil, fat or grease into drains leading to the septic tank
  • connect rainwater drainage pipes 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

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