New REGULATIONS : Information about septic system usage, best practice & the law.
01432 353888

How much do you know?
Understanding & looking after your septic system.
Why regular servicing & emptying is important.
The Environment Agency & the new EU regulations.

W E   A R E   T H E   P E O P L E
Read more below or use the MENU bar above

Wormbridge 01981 441888 ¤ Worcester 01905 630888 ¤ Gloucester 01452 595888 ¤ Monmouth 01600 700888 ¤ Registered Office : 85 Aylestone Hill, Hereford. HR1 1HX : © 2014
New Regulations & 'The Environment Agency'
New regulations will dictate that you must register your septic system. This new legislation is an EU directive and is already in force in Wales, Scotland and Ireland and it is expected to be enforced in England soon. People with septic systems in England do not currently have to comply with these regulations but we do recommend that you are familiar with them and it would be prudent to plan ahead and get an idea of where your system will stand and whether or not you need to budget for any future expenditure. Different systems, locations and the potential for a system to pollute, will dictate how the system needs to comply with these new regulations. There are many variables to consider but the overall process of establishing what applies to your system is straight forward. Some owners of existing and certainly installers of new septic systems will for instance be required to apply for 'A Consent To Discharge Clean Water' so that they can discharge a 'cleaned water' output from their sewage treatment plant, directly into a river. In this scenario; if we are talking about any NEW systems, then The Environment Agency will also need a certificate from 'Building Control' department before they will grant any consent, to show that the system has been installed according to ‘Building Regulations' and so on. However DON'T PANIC! Most domestic systems will achieve an 'Exemption Certificate' but people will still be expected to empty and maintain their systems on an annual basis and to keep records for any potential inspection by The Environment Agency in the future. We recommend that you first contact 'The Environment Agency' and you should find them very helpful indeed:

Please follow this link if your system is located in

Please follow this link if your system is located in ENGLAND.

We expect them to advise and support you through the process and give you confidence that you are taking the correct route forward and making the right decisions about your septic system. Contact us if you need advice about your soakaway or if you require a quote for any new septic system installations, we are @ your disposal.

Your septic system & how it works
The folklore of septic systems could probably fill a small book. Like most folklore, the stories reflect elements of truth but they also evolved from ignorance and humour. It is time to get down to the facts. Septic tanks are in general a natural, sewage treatment system. These systems rely on common bacteria to literally digest & process the sewage turning solids into liquids & gas (smelly!). The overflow liquids are then piped to an in-ground soak-away system, where final purification is done by soil organisms. It is important to make sure that the soak-away; or drainfield or septic drainage system as it is also referred to, is kept free from any solids and so the septic tank needs to be emptied on a regular enough basis and the t-pieces must be in place. Sewage treatment plants are much better at assisting this water purification process and they can disperse a relatively clean waste water, although we wouldn't recommend drinking it. Sewage treatment plants can discharge directly into a water course, providing a 'consent to discharge' from 'The Environment Agency' has been granted.

The impact of modern living
Because of our busy, gadget dependant lifestyles, modern cleaning and washing habits and the availability and use of many household products, the modern septic system struggles to tackle the increased quantities of liquid wastes that are flushed from the average household. The working bacteria are compromised by bleaches and other household products and cannot function as they would have done in the olden days. Therefore, any solids/sludges which the diminished bacteria is unable to break down, needs to be taken away periodically for disposal and further more intensive treatment at the local sewage works, where everyone else's sludges go. A 'system empty' needs to be done usually every one or two years depending on the size, type & condition of the individual septic system however, 'The Environment Agency' and new regulations are recommending that this is an annual event. Your system may even need a more regular empty than this, where the 'water table' is normally an issue or where a treatment plant is not large enough. In any event, detergents & other household products which we all use today, only go to slow down natures process in the tank. This means that the sewage needs to be disposed of at more regular intervals to prevent 'system overflows' (pollution). This will also prevent soak-away and septic drainage pipes from becoming packed and when jetting cannot unblock these pipes, a solution can become very expensive indeed.

What about using system additives?
So far, no additives like enzymes or chemical de-greasers have been scientifically proven to reduce the need to have your tank emptied less often as they claim to. These products or other bacteria's added would only compete with the natural bacterial process further. If one really wants to reduce the frequency of emptying the tank, try to reduce the introduction of none biodegradables or household chemicals into the system. This means do not pour bleaches or chemicals down any of your sinks or toilets and try to use baths, dishwashers and washing machines much less frequently. There are environmentally friendly household products widely available from your local superstores which can help you achieve some success. Please remember that whatever anyone claims to achieve, 'the Environment Agency' advice does not discuss additives at all and the new regulations are gearing up for everyone on a private septic system, to have their systems emptied at least once a year!

Other common myths
Most theories about 'starting up' or 'priming' a new septic system deal with the notion of 'seeding' so as to get good bacterial activity going at the start of a new septic system. This traditional advice ranged from seeding with a pound of yeast, with animal manure and even by placing a 'dead cat' or other dead animal into the tank! Like us, 'The Environment Agency' simply recommends that you do nothing. The simple act of using and emptying the system on a suitably regular basis is all you need to do for your septic system to function as it should.
Remember: Don't sit on it for tooo long!
It is good to be 'regular'! Those who never have their tanks emptied at all are running a serious risk of damaging or packing their soak-away systems permanently & incurring large repair costs as a result! Furthermore, the town sewage treatment works where all of your domestic sewage waste is disposed to are now testing the density of the sewage loads disposed. The longer a septic tank is left then the denser the solid mass is and through waste testing, one may incur a premium charge to dispose so . . . don't sit on it tooooo long!

Haven't you tried us yet?

Call 01432 353888 now or contact us

using one of the following links - thank you.
DOMESTIC enquiry form
COMMERCIAL enquiry form
BOOK a Septic Tank Empty