Septic Tank Emptying Frequency

Below are some commonly asked questions
– Should you not find the answers you are looking for, please call us on (053) 9244654 or email us

Signs that you need to empty your Septic Tank

How do I know my septic tank is failing?

Anytime your septic tank is not treating and disposing of sewage in an effective manner, the system is failing. Look for the following symptoms:

  • Sewage backs up in your drains or toilets
  • Slowly draining sinks, bathtubs and toilets
  • Wastewater on the ground surface above and near the system
  • Lush green grass over the septic tank/soakpit, even during dry weather
  • Unpleasant odours around your house
  • Excessive growth of aquatic weeds or algae in surface waters adjacent to your home
  • The presence of nitrates or bacteria in your drinking well test results
Septic Tank DO’s
  • Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated. For example, washing clothes over several days will put less stress on your system
  • Repair any leaking taps or toilets. To detect toilet leaks, put some food colouring in the cistern and see if the dye ends up in the bowl (without flushing)
  • Divert downpipes and other surface water away from your septic tank/soakpit. Excessive water keeps the soil from adequately cleansing the wastewater
  • Have your septic tank inspected yearly and pumped regularly by a licensed septic tank contractor. See pump chart for suggested pumping frequencies.
  • Keep your septic tank cover accessible at all times
  • Call a licensed septic tank contractor if you have problems
  • Keep a record of repairs, pumpings, inspection and other maintenance activities
Septic Tank DONT’s
  • Don’t drive over your septic tank or soak area or compact the soil in any way
  • Don’t dig in this area or cover with any hard surface such as concrete etc.
  • Don’t plant anything over or near the soak area or septic tank as roots may damage the drain lines
  • Don’t use your toilet as a bin and limit the use of chemicals and cleansers down the drain. Harsh chemicals kill the bacteria that help purify your wastewater.
  • Don’t waste money on septic tank additives. The bacteria needed to treat wastewater is naturally present in sewage. Additives do not eliminate the need for emptying your tank regularly.
  • Never enter a septic tank – toxic gases from the tank can kill. If your system develops problems contact us immediately.
Why should I maintain my septic tank?

There are three important reasons for maintaining your septic tank:

  1. It saves you money in the long run (repairs and replacement costs)
  2. Untreated sewage water contains disease-causing bacteria that could affect you, your family, your community and the environment (groundwater, wells etc.)
  3. Contamination of water bodies by failed septic tanks affects the economy. Water pollution, offensive odours, fish contamination etc. all have a detrimental effect on tourism and the economic viability of the area

Committing a bit of attention to the care of your septic tank system, can help avoid the nightmare of it failing. Providing your system was properly located, designed and installed, by following the recommendations below, you can help your system to work properly for years to come.