What is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is a key component of the septic system, a small-scale sewage treatment system common in areas that lack connection to main sewage pipes provided by local governments or private corporations. The term “septic” refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the tank which decomposes or mineralizes the waste discharged into the tank.

What is a Cesspit or Cesspool?

A cesspit or cesspool is an underground holding tank (sealed at the bottom) or a soak pit (not sealed at the bottom) that is used for the reception and temporary storage of sewage.

What is a Soakaway?

(or Septic Tank Soakaway)

Every septic tank has a soakaway drainage system attached to it. What forms the drain soakaway, is a pipe or tench which the waste water drains into. From there the waste water slowly drains out into the soil (otherwise known as the soakaway pit). Once the waste water has entered the soil, a natural organic ‘aerobic’ process then takes place in the soil.

Septic Tank Soakaway Problems London

The most common septic tank soakaway problems with either brick or fibreglass, is due to the blocked soakaway drain and not the septic tank itself. 99% of problems is due to the soakaway drain being blocked – eventually a blocked soakaway will occur with the majority of drainage soakaways due to them being silt up with sludge, grease and fat.

How quickly a septic tank soakaway fails depends on several factors, which include how well the septic tank has been maintained, the nature of the soil, the height of the winter water table, heavy rain periods and the deterioration of the septic tank itself.

Signs of a Blocked Soakaway Septic Tank:

  • Septic tank effluent surfacing on your land
  • Bad odours coming from the septic tank or soakaway drainage system
  • Toilet overflowing and gurgling in the drains
  • Overflows at washing machines and into shower or bath when the sink is discharged etc.

Reasons of a Septic Tank and Garden Soakaway Failure:

  • Poor septic tank care and maintenance
  • Depth of the septic tank soakaway
  • Nature of the soil and its effect on the soakaway performance
  • Winter water table and its effect on the septic tank soakaway
  • Deterioration of the septic tank
  • Sodium binding in the soil
  • More people using the septic tank system
  • Heavy rain and its effect on the septic tank system

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