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Caring For Your Septic Tank

Buried out of sight underground, without odour, and quiet, septic tanks can easily be forgotten about, but it's important to remember how to maintain them.

Whilst most of us are spending a lot more time at home than normal, our home drainage systems are likely to be seeing more use than usual too. If you live in a rural or remote area, there is a good chance that drainage system includes a septic tank. Septic tanks are mostly installed when access to a municipal sewer system is not an option or is simply too expensive to be viable.

Buried out of sight underground, without odour, and quiet, septic tanks can easily be forgotten about. But whilst your sewage system is probably seeing increased usage, now is the perfect time to remind yourself of the best approaches for maintaining a healthy septic tank and avoiding costly repairs.

  • Be mindful of what enters your sewer system. The sort of items that can easily block your sink or toilet are the same things that won’t decompose properly in your septic tank. When non-decomposable materials enter your tank, they stay there and gradually start filling it up over time. Common offenders include cooking fats and oils, disposable nappies, face wipes, wet wipes, and coffee grounds.
  • Even some products that regularly enter your sewage system, and are safe to, should still only do so in moderation. This particularly applies to household chemicals like detergents, cleaners, and bleach. These are safe to enter your septic tank without stopping the all-important bacteria doing its work, but only in regular, moderate amounts.
  • Schedule regular professional maintenance in accordance with your systems recommended maintenance or the advice of the installer who fitted the system. Typically, an annual scheduled maintenance visit, with ad-hoc repairs and maintenance as required along the way should they be required, will ensure you system performs it function long into the future.
  • Although not normally something households need to watch out for, it is possible that too much water can enter your system too quickly, resulting in an unpleasant back-up. This is something to keep in mind during a time when the whole household could be in the property at the same time for an extended duration.
  • The same checks that will have been carried out around your property when the septic tank was installed should be re-visited on occasion to ensure the grounds surrounding your sewage system are not posing a risk of damage. Your soakaway should not be built on top of driven over, and ideally, it will be covered with grass to help absorb water. Any trees should be at least 30 metres away to prevent root damage.

By following these simple guidelines and using a professional septic tank drainage company to carry out essential maintenance and repairs, you will find that a good quality septic tank that has been correctly installed is otherwise largely maintenance-free.

One of the common causes of septic tanks failing is human error. Even if you, or even your entire household, are familiar with all the best practice outlined above, there is always room for other people such as guests, visitors or people working on your property, to make a seemingly small mistake that results in disruption to the delicate ecological balance in your septic tank.

If you are ever in doubt over the functioning or maintenance of your system, always consult a professional septic tank company immediately. Under no circumstances should you lift the lid on your septic tank yourself. The powerful gases held within the tank can be harmful and there is a high risk of injury or infection if you aren’t operating to professional standards using the proper equipment and procedures.


Call TWC Drain Care to discuss your septic tank, whether it be a repair, scheduled maintenance, a new installation or the replacement of your system to meet the extended 2020 deadline for upgrading to a sewage treatment plant. We operate throughout the North of England, primarily across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and the North East.

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