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Septic Tank Emptying

septic tank emptying

Septic Tank or a Waste Tank – what’s the difference?


It is important to remember the difference between a septic tank and an effluent holding tank. Some people get confused between a septic tank and a waste tank. It’s a simple mistake that we can explain.

In general, septic tanks will be found in more remote areas where there is no mains sewage disposal system. This can be a small domestic tank, a medium to large tank catering to a rural hotel. Furthermore, larger tanks for industrial premises that are out of town. Domestic tanks are buried with only the access port above the ground. The one thing they all have in common is their chemical action on the contents.

A waste tank is simply a holding tank for waste. The tank is used in which liquid waste is flushed. The tank should be monitored and emptied on a regular basis when it is nearer to fill (meaning then it is approaching full). This is because there is no chemical action or mechanism where harmless water soaks away into the surrounding soil as happens with a septic tank.

The common use for waste tanks is non-permanent use on construction projects. They are often used under a welfare cabin or toilet block and in a similar arrangement at events and festivals.

Septic Tank Emptying

We provide septic tank emptying services nationwide. The best way to maintain your septic tank is to empty the tank before its too late and causes drainage problems. Despite the unsavoury name, they do a wonderful nature-friendly job. They work “naturally” by biodegrading your waste over time. Despite their clever design, they do at times, need emptying.

When does a septic tank need emptying?


Generally, your nose will alert you, especially during the summer months. Sometimes you find the ground can be wet around the area where the tank is buried. Also, your sinks, washing machines etc will empty slower than usual. It is often known to empty your septic tank at least once a year. That’s when it’s time to call Tardis and arrange to have the tank emptied.


When it comes to emptying a septic tank, we need to know the lay of the land in advance. Why? We send large tankers (26 – 32 tonnes) out daily to empty a variety of vessels. One problem we often encounter is a property where an HGV has no chance of access. We do need to know for example, how far the tank servicing port is from the road. Alternatively, we have a small towable service unit that we can bring along with a Land Rover, so if we know in advance, the job will run in a smooth manner. If you are unsure about this, please give us a call and we can sort this before arriving on the job and ultimately emptying your tank quicker!


For more information on maintaining your septic tank, click here.


If you have questions on septic tank emptying that can’t be answered by looking through the advice page, then give the team a call on 0800 731 0589. Our team will talk you through the procedure and help arrange a smooth job.