How Septic Tanks work and When to empty them!

Waste Disposal Hub
Waste Disposal Hub
Published in
6 min readSep 27, 2016


A septic tank is an underwater sedimentation tank used for wastewater treatment through the process of biological decomposition and drainage.

Septic tanks allow a safe disposal of wastewater and hence are widely popular in areas that have a poor drainage system or are off the mains sewage network. They work by collecting the excreta and wastewater in one big underground tank, they are predominantly used in rural areas.

Septic tanks are not used much in urban areas as waste in cities and towns is dealt with and transported through the sewage system, these are maintained by the water company in your local area.

Basics of septic system for homes:

A septic system has a simple design. It is an underground watertight container (mostly rectangular or round) made of fiberglass, plastic or concrete.

The tank is connected with two pipes (for inlet and outlet). The inlet pipe collects the water waste in the septic tank, long enough that the solid and liquid waste is separated from each other. The outlet pipe also called the drain field, moves out the preprocessed wastewater from the septic tank and spreads it evenly in the soil and watercourses.

After a while, the wastewater separates in 3 layers.
The top layer is oils and grease and floats above all the waste. This is called scum.

The middle layer is the wastewater along with waste particles.

The bottom layer consists of heavier particles that are heavier than water and form a layer of sludge.

Inside the tank bacteria from the wastewater breaks down the solid waste.
These bacteria decompose the solid waste rapidly allowing the liquids to separate and drain away more easily.

Cleaning of the Septic tank : A requirement every few years

If a septic tank is not cleaned regularly (within 1 year for smaller tanks), toxins and antibacterial substances build up killing the vital bacteria that break down the waste.

Many household cleaners build up sludge and solid waste in the septic tank and drainfield lines. This leads to the septic system failure, by failure we mean that the solid waste blocks the system and overflows into the watercourse or out of the access grating.

Failure in the septic system is not only an expensive affair but also an invitation to waterborne diseases, it also smells fowl!

Depending on the severity and the damage to the entire septic system, it is important for people to understand how important septic tank cleaning is.

Contribute your share to make your home a better place

Follow a strict septic tank cleaning routine to protect the system against clogging and break down. You can contact the best waste treatment companies to take care of the septic system and ensure its proper functioning.

Cannot remember when you last cleaned the tank: Here’s what happens -

The decomposition process in the tank slows down, leading to blockage and overflow. Over time, soil, sludge, excrement and solid waste build up, as a result, the solid waste starts to build up. This process gets worse and finally the septic system gives up and backs up completely.

It might be hard to tell when a septic system is in trouble. It can vary from as little as 2 years to as long as 100 years! Rather than waiting for the septic system to reach its breaking point, it is advisable to act upon it beforehand, cleaning the tank out every 1–3 years is advisable.

One of the best ways to do it is by cleaning the water before it leaves the tank. Applying a strong monthly septic tank cleaner upstream of the drainage zone as it abolishes the ill effects of soaps and cleaners that kill the bacteria in the tank. For decomposition of solid waste, it is very important that bacteria stays in the tank.

Finding an easy alternative way — Hire Professionals

Hiring a professional waste disposal company is the ultimate way to take care of the cleaning process.
With years of expertise in disposing off all kinds of waste, they help you out with the best solutions to maintain safe and disease free surroundings.

When you hire experts from a well-reputed firm, they make sure that not only the waste is treated but also help in eliminating the unpleasant odor from the area.

This is what experts suggest you to do:

Your septic tank cleaning majorly depends on the people living in the household and its usage. Therefore, the cleaning process can vary for every household. Experts suggest cleaning the septic tank within 12 months of usage.

Waste disposal companies start by emptying the tank and removing all the solid waste that has been collected.

The waste is collected in a gully sucker (commonly called gully emptier) which is a tank truck with suction gear. This pump sucks wastewater and sludge from the septic tank into the tank on the lorry.

However, if the septic tank has not been cleared for years, there are greater chances that the drain field is clogged.
Waste disposal company makes sure that the heavy sludge is removed making space for proper drainage. They use gully suckers to do the heavy cleaning.

Keeping surrounding clean is the job of every individual. Moreover, when you own a septic tank, it also becomes your legal duty to maintain it for its proper functioning. The major reason that we stress on cleaning the system in a year is — you start to notice the smell if you leave the septic tank unattended for years.

In addition to it, you cannot escape from septic tank cleaning as the sludge becomes a problem for your property.
Also, if you get late in hiring the professionals, your septic tank will stop functioning, this can cost a lot more to rectify if inlet and outlets have to be cleaned as well.

Recycling: Good for the Economy, Good for the Environment.

Since all of the waste collected from a septic tank is organic, sending it away in a landfill is completely prohibited.
However, the heavy sludge can be sent to a landfill by removing the liquid waste (this can be done only when the company has the permit to do so).

This sludge can also be converted into fertilizers for agricultural use by the process of anaerobic digestion. The most common treatment of this sludge is to create biogas and energy such as electricity.

Waste disposal companies remain the best in handling the waste in the right manner. They send it to the recycling centers, find new ways and use the latest technology to be the best at their work. Today, a large agricultural sector is benefitted from this water waste.

Choosing the right company will wipe out your worries

  • One that is licensed to carry all kinds of waste
  • One that is equipped with the right facilities
  • One that is registered to treat sewage waste

Get in touch with Waste Disposal Hub to find the list of licensed waste treatment companies that will help you in septic tank clearance.
Call us on this Phone number: 02071 128441 or send an E-mail to



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