How to Know When to Empty Your Septic Tank


If you’ve got a septic tank for collecting your wastewater, you’re most likely aware that it should be emptied once a year. There are, however, times when it might need to be emptied much sooner. Say, for example, you have visitors staying for a length of time. With more people using baths, showers, washing up and doing the laundry your septic system is bound to fill up much quicker. 

It pays to be vigilant when it comes to your septic tank because if it’s allowed to overflow the wastewater is going to have an impact on the environment and local wildlife. There’s also the risk of it damaging your soakaway or filtering method. Having your septic tank emptied is important because the process removes any indigestible solids and sludge materials which could cause a blockage and reduce the flow of wastewater away from your property. 

The signs to look out for include:

  • Wastewater is overflowing into your garden. This isn’t a very pleasant scenario; you’ll see the dirty water pooling above the ground near the location of your septic tank. It’s not the best kind of water feature to have in your garden. 
  • You may also notice an unpleasant odour when you stand near to where the tank is. It’s also possible you’ll notice the smell in your home. 
  • Water taking longer to drain away is another indicator that your septic tank needs emptying.

If you spot any of these signs, it’s best to get in touch with a drainage service provider such as Capital Drains. You can find out more by visiting

What to do if Your Septic Tank is Overflowing

An overflowing septic tank is a sign that it needs emptying. However, before you call your local drainage service company, you might want to do a little detective work yourself. Look for where the water is coming from. Is it water that’s pooling above the ground or is it coming through a manhole? Do your toilets take longer than normal to flush? Is the water draining away at the usual rate when you have a shower or bath? If the latter is the case, it’s probably something known in the trade as a soft blockage. A local drainage company will be able to fix this easily and quickly, or you can do it yourself

How to Stop Blocked Drains

A number of things can cause a blocked drain, but it’s usually because your drain is being used for disposing of things that should be in the rubbish bin. These items include wet wipes (even though it might claim to be flushable), disposable nappies and sanitary products. It’s also good practice to avoid putting fats or cooking oils down your sink. Kitchen cleaners and handwashes that contain antibacterial ingredients shouldn’t be put down the sink either because they can kill off the good bacteria in your septic tank. If you’ve got a problem with your drains or your septic tank needs emptying, they are easy enough things to fix. Sticking your head in the sand and hoping the problem will go away only leads to property damage and increased repair bills. 


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