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PDR Building & Renovation

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

With over 20 years experience in the building trade, we are proud of our varied services we offer. No job too small. Contact for a free estimation.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Leigh on 3/10/2018

The work we needed doing turned out to be more complex than we'd originally hoped but Paul was flexible and reliable. He worked very hard to come up with affordable and durable solutions for a problematic job. Thanks, Paul. Much appreciated. Claire and Leigh

ND Builders

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Paul on 3/3/2013

A pleasure to deal with. Reliable and flexible in their approach. Gave good advice and suggestions throughout. Well recommended!

AP Home Improvements

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

AP home improvements.Professional steam cleaning of roofs and driveways clean sealed and restored.upvc dry verge and guttering services excellent job done at very reasonable prices

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Ian on 13/2/2020

Adam was reliable, quick and effective!!

Kris Building Services

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

All kind of building works undertaken,quality guaranteed.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Sam on 6/3/2020

Kris did an excellent job fitting our new garden gate - he was prompt, and had to solve an issue with the existing gate post not being high enough. We were really pleased with the end result - and would highly recommend Kris.

Rivers & Building Services

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

My name is Dean. I am a good reputable builder. I am a bricklayer & roofer by trade. I am reasonable on price but we don't cut quality we only use the best materials.Being a general builder I offer all services , roofing, brickwork , groundwork, fencing

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Stuart on 24/7/2019

Dean responded quickly to the job post, visiting the same day. We agreed a price for the work and set a start date & time. Dean communicated via SMS to confirm his arrival time on the morning of the job. Dean and his team worked solidly through the day and got the significant tasks completed over a long day with a late finish. Their work was accurate, neat & tidy. They were polite and friendly around the young family. I would have no hesitation either recommending or employing Dean and his team again.

mwebuilders

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

We are general builders and groundwork contractors going the extra mile ,we have many satisfied customers more info can be supplied on request , check out my website all work has been completed by.uS. To a very high standard

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Kevin on 11/7/2019

MWE Builders removed our old garage, re built a new larger block construction garage, and we are very pleased with all of the work completed. Throughout the build we were kept informed of every stage, Matt was on site every day, even through some horrible wet weather. I would highly recommend MWE Builders, for price, quality, and friendliness. Thank you Matt, we appreciate all of the work you have done. Many Thanks Will and Wendy Kingswood Bristol

Wealden Construction (South East) Limited

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

hi welcome to my company , ive been in the building trade for 15 years with a vast experince in the building and tree surgey/landscaping industry,all my work is always carried out to the highest of standards to over exceed to customer expectations

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Lesley on 15/2/2020

Very neat job, their attention to detail was very good, happy with the end result.

Building and Maintenance

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

We are a small company who offer many services,you name it we cover it.With years of experience in all building and maintenance.We specialise in plumbing,building [internal and external],patios ,decorating as i said you name it .We aim to please.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Jenny on 24/12/2019

Steve was punctual and professional. He was organised and left the bathroom tidy, gave updates throughout the job and the job was completed to a high standard. will definitely recommend Steve to friends and family

Swift Property Solutions

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Swift Property Solutions is friendly, professional and reliable. Make us your first point of contact for any job large or small in and around your home or business. All work to the highest of standards by qualified tradesman with guarantee documentation

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Deborah on 23/5/2018

excellent man despite his cable breaking he did the best he could and only charged me half price. Will be asking him to do more work as I need to

Darren Drysdale Builder services

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Hi there. Welcome to Darren Drysdale building services. I am a bricklayer and have been in the trade for the last 15 years. I specialise in Brickwork, Blockwork, Stonework, Slabbing, Fencing, Decking, Extentions, Garage Conversions and all General Building work.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by George on 27/1/2020

I cannot recommend Darren highly enough.He and his assistants worked hard,cleaned up after them and did extra work to stabilise my neighbours wall At no extra cost.I am more than happy to recommend.

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Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning specialists - what you need to know

What is a septic tank?

A septic tank is a type of sewage system for the home, and is generally used in rural properties that can’t be connected to a larger sewer system.

How does a septic system work?

All sewage and wastewater leaves the house via a main pipe, and goes into the septic tank which is buried underground. The tank is usually made of concrete, fibreglass, PVC, or plastic.

Inside the tank, solid waste sinks to the bottom and is partially decomposed by bacteria. Other elements like fat and plastics rise to the top, creating a crust. What’s left in the middle is relatively cleaner water – and we stress the word ‘relative’ here. It’s a long way from being drinking water, but it can be drained into the ground, which disposes of it naturally in the local ecosystem, rather than contributing to the work of a large sewage facility.

When the water leaves the septic tank, it goes into a distribution box. This box feeds the water into a set of underground pipes, which then releases the water into the soil. The ground above these pipes is known as the draining field or soakaway.

The whole system can easily work using gravity, with each component being lower than the last, but if this isn’t possible then pumps can assist in getting the water where it needs to go.

Some water evaporates into the air, and the rest soaks down into the soil. The soil itself filters out chemicals and minerals, while microbes in the soil break down impurities in the same way the septic tank does.

Releasing water back into the ground keeps it moist, and helps plants grow.

The system also requires a vent to release noxious gasses from the septic tank, as well as allow air into the system.

What can a septic tank specialist help with?

Cleaning

The most important thing you’ll need a septic tank specialist for is to clean out the system. The solids at the bottom of the tank, as well as the crust at the top, build up faster than it decomposes. These elements need to be removed from the tank periodically, which is why the tank has access hatches built in. About once a year, you’ll need to arrange for someone to pump out the excess waste. If this is ignored, then the waste will build up and eventually block, backing up into the house.

Installing or replacing a septic tank

Over time, you might need to replace parts, or all, of a septic system. If the system requires cleaning every few months then that’s a sign of blockage or inefficiency. Maybe you can see waste water or sewage coming up from the ground, which could be a sign that the tank is no longer watertight. These are severe cases but they’re the biggest reasons why you might need to replace the system.

You might have a large house with a lot of water usage, in which case you could consider a larger tank. It’s also possible to link two or more tanks together if you need larger capacity.

Costs for septic tank installations and maintenance

  • Tanks start at around £800.
  • Installation is around £1500.
  • The drainage field, or soakaway, costs about £5000 to lay, for about 100 metres of drains. This is the total length of the pipes – you don’t need a 100-metre stretch of land to accommodate it.
  • Emptying the tank annually will cost around £150.

Maintenance of your septic tank system

If you want to maintain your system in the best possible way, there are 3 things you need to know.

How the system works.

Everything happens underground and out of sight, so it’s important you know what’s going on. This page tells you everything you need to know, so you’ve got that covered.

Where the pipes are.

If you’re installing a septic tank system, get your installer to show you where everything is, plus you should always keep plans of the work for future reference. If you’re buying a house that already has a system installed, you should ask for the plans. If they’re not available then use a septic tank specialist to help you find out where everything is.

Potential ways you could damage the system.

You shouldn’t build anything on top of the drainage pipes. If you put any sort of shed or building on top of the pipes, you’re almost definitely going to cut or damage them. Also it stops air from getting into the soil, which would hinder the soil’s ability to filter the water.

Likewise, don’t drive over the pipes, or park a vehicle there. This weight will compact the soil and stop it from being able to accept water at all. In severe situtations, the weight of a car could even crush the pipes. You shouldn’t keep large animals there – like horses or cows – for the same reason.

Don’t pour waste chemicals, paints, or cooking oils down the sink. These can kill the microbes in the septic tank that break down the solid substances. They can also clog the drainage field which would eventually fill the tank, and back up into the house.

Always know where your access hatches are too, and keep them clear of obstruction.

Lastly, don’t plant any trees or bushes too near the system as the roots could disturb the pipes too.

8 things to check when buying a property with a septic tank

  1. Ask if the septic tank has been maintained regularly – ask for invoices or receipts for tanker visits or service calls. A septic tank usually needs to be emptied annually.
  2. Find out how often the system is currently being emptied. If it’s being emptied every few months, this could be a sign of a problem.
  3. Ask the current owners how much their service costs, so you can work out how much it’ll cost you annually.
  4. Don’t rely on homebuyer surveys to tell you what’s going on underground – they only take a basic look at drainage systems. It’s crucial you get a full pre-purchase drainage survey before buying somewhere with a septic system. Get the tank emptied at the same time, to make sure the walls and pipework of the tank can be inspected.
  5. Ask for a plan of the drainage system.
  6. Find out if any part of the system is on someone else’s land. You need to know what the relationship is like with the landowner as you’ll need access for repairs, replacements and maintenance. 
  7. Think about access to the property. Tankers need to be within 30 metres of the tank to empty it. Are you planning an extension or similar? If so you’ll need to make sure this access is maintained.

Where does the waste water go when it leaves the tank? If it goes straight to a watercourse or a ditch, this isn’t legal any more. By 2020, you’ll need to have it

Planning permission for septic tanks

If you’re installing a new septic tank system

For installations in England, you need planning permission and building regulations approval.

There are different rules for septic tanks and treatment plants in Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.

If you have a system that didn’t get permission and approval

In England, you need to apply retrospectively for both planning permission and building regulations approval.

 

You don’t need to do this if your system was installed before 1 January 2015.

Regulations for operating a septic system

You must follow the general binding rules if you’re the operator of a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant.

The sewage must:

  • Be domestic, for example – from a toilet, bathroom, shower or kitchen of a house, flat or business - contact the Environment Agency if you’re not sure if the sewage is classed as domestic.
  • Not cause pollution - find out how to check for pollution.

There are other rules depending on whether you’re releasing sewage to the ground, or into surface water.

Releasing to the ground

You have to use a septic tank or a small sewage treatment plant and a drainage field (infiltration system).

You need to apply for a permit if you release (‘discharge’):

  • To a well, borehole or other deep structure.
  • More than 2 cubic metres (2,000 litres) per day.
  • In a groundwater source protection zone (SPZ1).

Releasing to a surface water

You must use a small sewage treatment plant. You must apply for a permit if you’re discharging more than 5 cubic metres (5,000 litres) per day. Use the calculator to work out how much you discharge per day.

Find out more on the government’s website.

Insurance for skill work

All tradespeople should have public liability insurance, which protects you, and them, against any accidents or injury.

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How our service works

  1. Create a job - it's free

    We'll connect you with the right tradesmen, from over 30 different trades.

  2. Get quotes

    Up to 3 tradesmen can provide a quote, but on average you'll get 1-2.

  3. Check ratings

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  4. Pick a tradesperson

    Use our homeowner checklist for extra tips on choosing a tradesperson.

  5. Job done

    Leave a rating for your tradesperson based on quality, reliablity and value.

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