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Find a local septic tank installer or cleaner

This page has everything you’ll need to know about finding and hiring a local septic tank specialist.

Browse Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning specialists

Take a look at our Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning specialists profiles, read reviews and request quotes directly.

Clive salems plumbing

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Over 10 years experience specialising in bathrooms no job to big or small

Trades serviced: Bathroom Installation, Bathroom Repair, Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing, Complete Bathroom Refurbishment, Drains - installation / unblocking / cleaning

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by JIM on 26/5/2018

communicative and knowledgeable.......clean workers..........recommended......

C schofield plumbing & heating

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Trades serviced: Bathroom Installation, Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing, Drains - installation / unblocking / cleaning, Electric boiler - installation / service / repair, External Tiling

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Emma on 26/5/2018

I contacted the company via this website as an emergency job and they quickly responded. They returned the next day to fit the new boiler HOWEVER the job was not completed and it is leaking. We have contacted them on several occasions and they have reassured us that the leak is not a problem (but we don't know that) and they have the part we require. It has now been 6 weeks and they have not returned. .We will now we looking for someone else to complete the job

T.P Home & Gardening Services

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Home and garden work Handyman work No job to small or to big family run Free quote and friendly advise give

Trades serviced: Bathroom Installation, Bathroom Repair, Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing, Brick & Stone Cleaning, Brick / Block Paving

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Arthur on 25/5/2018

arrived npromptly and did a very good job

Machmade Ltd

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

We are Dyno plumbing and Heating . We undertake all aspects from dripping taps , blocked sinks & drains to full bathroom and heating installations . All are work is undertaken by fully WIAPS approved plumbers and Gas safe installers with a full guarantee

Trades serviced: Bathroom Design, Bathroom Installation, Bathroom Repair, Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing, Complete Bathroom Refurbishment

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Michelle on 24/5/2018

Total waste of time! Turned up to take notes for a quote but that's it. Even after calling 3 times and being told someone will call me back, no one did. Ended up using a different company.

Gel Landscaping & Groundworks

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Exciting company with fresh ideas. We are a clean and respectful business that focuses on customer satisfaction and affordable pricing.

Trades serviced: Brick / Block Paving, Drains - installation / unblocking / cleaning, Garden Clearance, Garden Design, Garden Maintenance

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by lynsey on 24/5/2018

Adam and team did a great job with putting in a new patio plus steps. He kept us well informed throughout the job which was a breath of fresh air compared to other tradesmen we have dealt with before. They were very respectful of our home and tidied up more than we expected at the end of the job. Would tecommend Gel Landscaping. Wayne and Lynsey, BS10.

stanley services

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Professional company with years of experience providing work from garden clearences, rubbish removals to house clearences. No job is ever to much trouble for our team. We work with a smile and always get the job done to your satisfaction!

Trades serviced: Brick & Stone Cleaning, Brick / Block Paving, Carpet Cleaning, Cellar & Basement Conversion, Commercial pest control

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Anna on 23/5/2018

Great job clearing our jungle of a garden. Did what we discussed in good time. Reliable and was great not to feel the pressure of having to decide what to do next. Will hopefully decide what we want and get back to James over the coming weeks.

LHLADE CARPENTER LTD

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

@CARPNTRY @ALL ABOUT WOOD. @ ALL ABOUT WHORDROBE. @ALL ABOU FLORING. @DOORS @STAIRS @ ...... and many others

Trades serviced: Bathroom Design, Bathroom Installation, Bathroom Repair, Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing, Bespoke furniture

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Chris on 22/5/2018

Posted job this afternoon phoned quickly and all done by 17.00. as per quote

Smart sat

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

(183) Read reviews

Smart ...Plumbing Repair & Maintenance, Our aim is to provide a reliable qualit

Trades serviced: Bathroom Design, Bathroom Installation, Bathroom Repair, Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing, Cellar & Basement Conversion

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by David on 22/5/2018

Excellent job replacing drain pipe but expensive

C L Drainage Solutions

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Working within the drainage sector for the last 15 years working with key customers like Southern Water and Thames Water we bring a wealth of knowledge from simple blocked drain to sewer reline ' cctv surveys ' excavation '. All drainage problems covered

Trades serviced: Drains - installation / unblocking / cleaning, Guttering and Rainwater Pipe, Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Peter on 21/5/2018

Chris was quick to respond to our request for a quote and even quicker to get the job done. Very happy with the service

LSR services

Septic tanks - installation / emptying / cleaning

We are a small company based in North Bucks, providing a friendly service and taking pride in every project however big or small.

Trades serviced: Bespoke furniture, Bespoke kitchens, Brick & Stone Cleaning, Brick / Block Paving, Carpet Cleaning

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Caroline on 20/5/2018

Lee did a great job with our garden. We are very pleased. There were a few extra items Lee was happy to help with throughout the process. You can tell he takes great pride in his work.

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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

    Look at each tradesperson's profile to see their ratings and reviews.

  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.