Septic Tank Emptying Information

Sapphire Environmental does not empty Septic Tanks. You nee a Licenced Waste Disposal Company for disposing of sewage effluent, NOT a sewage treatment plant service engineer.
This page is for INFORMATION only.

Septic tanks should be emptied at least once a year. This is because septic tanks are designed to hold a maximum of 12 months worth of sludge before they stop Septic tank emptying prevents soakaway failureworking correctly. Excess solids will then exit the tank and enter into the soakaway drainfield. These solids will block the soakaway, which then needs replacing. Annual emptying of your septic tank reduces the chances of developing blockages in your system and extends the life of the drainfield.

Cesspits, also known as cesspools, require emptying when full, usually every 6 weeks or so.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD SEPTIC TANKS BE EMPTIED? Pollution from a badly maintained sewage system

The frequency of septic tank emptying depends on a number of factors including:

  • Size and volume of the tank
  • Type of septic tank
  • Use of the septic tank
  • Volume of waste produced
  • Amount of non-degradable solids entering the system
  • Age of the septic tank system
  • Condition of the septic tank soakaway

We (and the Building Regulations) recommend emptying septic tanks at least once a year to avoid soakaway problems.


There are many signs that the septic tank needs emergency emptying including:

  • Drains that gurgle and are slow to clear
  • Water standing in the inspection chambers of the drains
  • Backups of the septic tank system
  • Unpleasant smells from the septic tank
  • Standing water in the garden
  • Standing water over the septic system


  • Frequent pumping out of the septic tank to prevent backing-up of the drains
  • Excessive water in the tank
  • Boggy areas in the garden
  • Water constantly standing in the manholes and drains

If you have any of the above problems, it is almost certain that you have soakaway drainfield problems. Please ring this number immediately for help.

WTE Ltd. Yorkshire, Tel 01759 369915