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Libspero

Septic Tanks

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41 minutes ago, Libspero said:

Sounds like we'll need to get it emptied..   not sure how that works,  they'll either need to drive into the field behind which looks pretty boggy,  or run a long hose through the house and down to the end of the garden.

I guess the pros will know what they're doing  :/

Thanks for all the help :Passusabeer:

There are companies that have tractor pulled kit so probably wouldn't be a problem from the field of you don't want them through the house.

Whatever you do don't commit to anything where you take on liability for recovery costs if the company's vehicle gets stuck a lot of company's now whose vehicles go offroad, on customer's land, have these, for understandable reasons, but if a 32t Whale tanker truck got stuck the recovery cost could easily be in the multiple thousands. 

Edit to add: The fact the field is pretty boggy is probably part of the problem once the surrounding area gets waterlogged the soakaway's not as effective.

 

Edited by SNACR

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In principle, septic tanks should decompose the waste and never need emptying. A tank that needs emptying is a cess pit.

However, they often date from an age when running water was not available (my last house had a septic tank, and once also had a well). 'Modern living' produces far more waste water (washing machines, regular baths, dishwashers, etc.) which overloads the biodegradation process. Worst, apparently, are household detergents of various kinds that tend to kill off the bacteria upon which a septic tank depends.

As a rule of thumb they need emptying once every year or two.

A simple test is to see if you can walk on the crust floating on top. If you fall in, it doesn't need emptying.

Patterned bog roll kills the bacteria too. Bacteria don't like the pretty patterns.

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51 minutes ago, spunko said:

CCTV check alone is about 300 quid down here. If they don't know why it's blocked that's normally the first step. 

Every 2 years is the maximum I'd do, although if you have a large family definitely yearly. 

Muck munchers is to stop any smells I only do mine when it's starting to pong a bit when standing by the tank. 

They'll empty it with a huge pipe, they can stretch up to 50m IIRC off a standard one. Costs about a hundred quid in the SE, you don't need to be in. In fact id recommend not being in due to the smell...

You are in Somerset if I recall correctly.

I know a firm much more reasonable. I have had him here for 3 days (not related to sewers) and paid only £300. He is within reach of Bristol but Bridgewater (is that where you are???) is likely too far.

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5 minutes ago, man o' the year said:

You are in Somerset if I recall correctly.

I know a firm much more reasonable. I have had him here for 3 days (not related to sewers) and paid only £300. He is within reach of Bristol but Bridgewater (is that where you are???) is likely too far.

That's a lot of money to have someone stick an endoscope up your bottom.

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37 minutes ago, man o' the year said:

You are in Somerset if I recall correctly.

I know a firm much more reasonable. I have had him here for 3 days (not related to sewers) and paid only £300. He is within reach of Bristol but Bridgewater (is that where you are???) is likely too far.

Unfortunately not, I am in Kent, had family in Somerset only. Have to pay almost London prices round here :(

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6 hours ago, Libspero said:

Without wishing to hijack the other toilet related thread I wanted to start a separate one on septic tanks after someone mentioned it on the other thread.

In brief,   we moved in about 5 years ago and the tank has never been emptied.  I had cause to look in it a few months back after we had a blockage in the drain near the tank  (ultimately traced back to a pink unicorn..   gotta love kids and their "flushable" toys 9_9).

Anyway..  after getting covered head to foot in butt chocolate I thought I might as well take a look in the tank,   and it was looking pretty full.   I started putting muck munchers in it,  but to be honest I know nothing about septic tanks and never grew up with one.

Some neighbours empty theirs every few years

Some neighbours say they've never emptied them

 

To any / those of you who have them..  what do you do  ?

It will always be full as the land drains (outlet) that dispose of the effluent are just below the inlet. The tank needs to form a crust underwhich all the biological processes go one. 

Avoid sticking bleach and other disinfectants down the bog / sink as it kills off the bacteria that break down much of the organic solid mass. 

Kill anyone who flushes wet wipes, tampons, kitchen roll down the loo. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

It will always be full as the land drains (outlet) that dispose of the effluent are just below the inlet. The tank needs to form a crust underwhich all the biological processes go one. 

Avoid sticking bleach and other disinfectants down the bog / sink as it kills off the bacteria that break down much of the organic solid mass. 

Kill anyone who flushes wet wipes, tampons, kitchen roll down the loo. 

 

So if a crust is normal, how can one tell (by simple) inspection if tank needs to be emptied soon?

I was very good re no bleach for past 4 yrs but am starting to use a bit to keep the loo clean. Assume small quantities will not kill off the biome completely?  (Shd I start chucking a tablet once a week in to compensate if I want to keep using a bit of bleach?)

Talking to other septic tank owners, they all seem to use a bit of bleach for the loos. For other bleaching events (eg clothes, kitchen stuff) easy enough to use a bowl and empty the diluted (spent) bleach somewhere in the garden rather than into the septic tank. But for cleaning the loo, it had to go down to the tank eventually? 

 

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4 hours ago, dgul said:

That's a septic tank.  Ought to empty annually otherwise the discharge side will get sludged up.

Newer 'septic tanks' will actually be 'treatment plants' that have a much cleaner output -- they have a third chamber with bubbles in.  Apparently.

I once viewed a house in Scotland with a 'treatment plant' instead of the usual septic tank and I thought it was very noisy. They said it was using electricity 247.

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