CSG Roadshow - Learn to Love Your Septic Tank

Many rural householders forced to rely on septic tanks and cesspits for their domestic sewage disposal are unwittingly damaging their drainage systems and risking costly repair bills.

Fareham-based Cleansing Service Group (CSG), which empties and maintains more than 80,000 septic tanks and cesspits throughout the UK every year, says more and more off-mains drainage systems are not working as well as they should because they’re being used as “rubbish bins.”

The company is taking its campaign to keep Britain’s septic tanks healthy to a number of County Shows during 2011 and at every one experts will be on hand to answer all questions about off-mains drainage and give advice on how to keep septic tanks operating efficiently.

And this means knowing what not to put down them.

CSG say the tanks are a proven and efficient way of treating domestic sewage and need never be a disadvantage for country-dwellers.

“Normal domestic use in which the tank handles drainage from lavatories, baths, sinks and kitchen appliances like dish-washers should pose no real problems, but the systems do need a bit of extra TLC and maintenance,” said CSG’s commercial manager (sewage) Chris Febrey.

“Rural householders who do not enjoy mains drainage will need to remember that septic tanks are living systems which rely on bacteria working within the tank to treat the waste. And that means watching what you put into them.

“Unfortunately we’ve noticed an increasing trend for them to be used as rubbish bins which is creating problems, many caused by increasingly powerful household cleaning products. Many tanks we see are not operating efficiently, are leaking, filling up too quickly, creating smells and getting blocked. They can even pollute local watercourses.”

CSG tanker drivers answering emergency calls to empty systems often arrive to find drain covers lifted out of the lawn by pressure from the overflowing tank and balancing on top of a spreading slick of sewage.

“It’s easy to forget that an average family of three produces about seven cubic metres of sewage in around three weeks. Imagine that over a year and you’ll see just how hard a septic tank has to work or how quickly a cesspit can fill up,” said Mr. Febrey.

He said the company’s Top Five tips for keeping a tank in good order were –

  • Don’t put rags, nappies or sanitary items in the system
  • Don’t pour paints, solvents, pesticides or fats down the drain
  • Use bleaches and disinfectants sparingly
  • Use only boiling water or drain rods to clear blockages
  • Have the tank desludged at least once a year


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