Throwing caution to the wind, we moved house recently. In any case, we now own a septic tank - a new experience, of which I know very little.
The previous owner, a little old lady, lived here on her own, but had the septic tank emptied twice a year. At almost £200 a time.
Even with my limited knowledge this seems a touch excessive and so a thorough investigation into septic tanks and what to do with them was on my to-do list - just not as far up the list as decorating. I planned to look into it in the new year.
However... the waste contractor turned up unannounced the other day to empty the septic tank (and relieve me of £200).
As I hadn't asked him to empty it, I politely told him that I didn't want it emptied as it probably didn't need to be done.
Sensing weakness, he suggested we go and have a look... he lifts the cover and there's liquid up to some sort of collar-device near the top of the tank and evidence that it has been higher into the 'tube' at some point. "Look - it's full", he proclaims.
Not knowing much about it, but certainly not wanting a blockage, I allowed him to empty it - which took just a few minutes. After he'd finished, I had a look into the tank and I could see the bottom, so at least I know it's empty now.
The tank is about 12 years old. Lifting the cover reveals the main bore and two smaller pipes, which at a guess are vents. From the limited view I had, I would say the tank is one of those GRP ball types with a vertical tube out of the top.
Researching the septic tank FAQ, the archives of this group and furious googling, suggests that:
- emptying twice a year is excessive - £200 is steep for emptying it - in normal operation the tank would have appeared to be full anyway and this isn't a sign that it needs to be emptied
Is the above correct?
How do you know when it needs to be emptied? I'm obviously keen not to get 'done' but at the same time, I don't want to cause future problems by skimping on essential maintenance.
Views greatly appreciated.