What size is my septic tank

What size is my septic tank?

One of the first questions we tend to ask when we receive an enquiry for a septic tank empty is “What size is your septic tank?”.

Although you may assume you should know, we completely understand that it is not necessarily an easy question to answer. You may have recently purchased or rented the property and there may be little knowledge on the waste system.

We normally ask the question however, in order to assess the amount of waste we need to collect. This helps us organise the correct equipment and vehicle for the job in hand.

As this information is quite difficult to know off-hand, we have put this blog together to help you find out the size of your Septic Tank.


Tip 1 – Documents.

In some circumstances, the property owner will have documentation of the septic tank installation. This documentation will normally hold the information we need to identify the exact size of the tank itself, or at the least give us a good indication.


Tip 2 – Inspection.

We will normally conduct an inspection of the tank upon arrival for the empty. If no information can be found then an inspection is the best way for us to gather the information we need.

In this scenario, we will normally bring what we assume will be the correct equipment for emptying the tank, on the day of inspection, so we can get right to work if we feel we are fully prepared to empty the tank there and then. You’ll be pleased to know this is the case the majority of the time.

If you wish to book an empty or inspection, please Click Here and fill out one of our enquiry forms and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

Alternatively, you can call us direct on: (01646)629089


What is the cost of installing a septic tank?

What is the cost of installing a septic tank?

What is the cost of installing a septic tank? Well unlike a cesspit, the septic tank has some extremely unique features which can affect the cost of maintaining the unit.

In short, a cesspit is a wastewater system which holds the waste until emptied. A septic tank is a wastewater system which not only holds the wastewater but also treats and discharges some of its contents into the environment around it (through a soakaway). This is similar to a Sewer Treatment Plant system.

If you are currently researching the costs of installing one into your home, then there are a few things to consider.


It is very important you have the correct information and permissions in place before beginning your project.

A septic tank can be quite a large size with its tank and soak away to consider. With this in mind, you will need to make sure your ground is suitable for a soakaway and you have the correct planning permission on your land in order to excavate without any trouble.

Even if you would like to install an above ground tank, planning permission will be required.

The size of the tank.

The size of your septic tank will inevitably affect the cost.

The larger the number of people living within the property, the larger the tank will need to be. It is common to think that a larger property will require a larger tank, but if it can only hold a small number of individuals, then the amount of waste created will be less.

A small-sized septic tank can cost upwards of £750, whereas a larger system can cost £1000 – £2000 and beyond.


Location can be everything when researching which system would be the most beneficial. Smaller above-ground systems can be extremely cost-effective, but they can be somewhat of an eyesore.

However, in some circumstances, you may have no other choice but to install a below-ground system.

Consult with an adviser when researching for planning permission before making any financial decisions.

Labour and materials.

Like most things, the materials your system is made from will unsurprisingly affect the cost of the unit. You would potentially assume that all tanks are one and the same, but this is a misconception. Our advice would be not to cut corners and invest in a unit that will give you longevity. The Septic Tank will give you a return on investment over time so make a wise choice.

There are various different trades which offer an installation service, but it is recommended that you discuss an installation with your local waste management company. They will have the best knowledge on what to avoid and the best course of action.


So in an a nutshell, the answer to “What is the cost of installing a septic tank?” is:

Overall, your investment levels will vary depending on the choices made, but on average, the whole project should cost between £3000 – £6000 for supply and installation of a Septic Tank depending on size and ground conditions.

If you wish to learn more about our installation services, please feel free to contact us at any time at 01646 629089 or click here to fill out one of our instant quotation forms. Read our Top Tips for Septic Tank Maintenance here.

what is a soakaway?

What is a Soakaway?

Soakaways are installed to manage any surface water from either a rainwater or sewer system.

It can be a highly effective way to deal with any surface water which collects in the surrounding ground/earth.

Soakaways are important to control the levels of surface water, avoiding flooding from excess rainfall as well as other things.

Domestic Soakaways are most commonly found in the rear garden adjacent to a wastewater system, such as a Septic tank or a Sewage Treatment Plant. You will know if you have a Soakaway if you follow draining rainwater to the bottom of a garden, you will most likely come across a dip in the earth. This is a very good sign your property has a Soakaway.

Maintaining a Soakaway is important to the environment which surrounds it. When you have issues with your Soakaway it can be quite easy to notice. When inspecting your Soakaway, be on the lookout for waterlogging. This is the best indication that your soakaway is not dispersing the water effectively enough.

It’s advised that you regularly check for issues.

It is extremely important to know where a soakaway cannot be used before looking to install one.

The Environmental Agency has specific general building rules when it comes down to installing a Soakaway. Their regulations have changed recently for Septic Tanks, so if you already own a septic tank, click here to view the updated regulations.

Soakaways are not well known for handling wastewater drainage. This being said, your Septic Tank or Sewage Treatment Plant will have its own process to break down the effluent so that the Soakaway isn’t affected. Bacteria in the systems take care of the majority of the work when breaking down your waste, but having a good clean airflow into the tank will help feed the bacteria in order to carry out their job efficiently.

Once this process is complete, the waste that is discharged is environmentally friendly and should cause no harm to the environment that surrounds it.

If you wish to learn more about a soakaway, please feel to contact us at any time on 01646 629089


Top Tips for Septic Tank Maintenance

Top Tips for Septic Tank Maintenance

Your septic tank will efficiently manage your waste water, however, like all things it requires a bit of maintenance to ensure it continues to do so. A lack of maintenance will increase the likelihood of damage to the tank and surrounding environment and it could potentially shorten the tanks lifespan, all of which can be expensive issues to fix. So here are our Top Tips for Septic Tank Maintenance:

Keep an eye on your septic tank and have it regularly pumped to keep it working optimally.

-Carry out regular inspections and keep records to spot faults early. If you are in doubt about whether septic tank is working properly, West Wales Waste will be happy to advise.

-Have the tank de-sludged regularly. The more waste your tank holds, the less efficiently it will run. This should be done ideally every six months but there are factors to consider which will influence this. Check out our guide ‘How to know when your septic tank needs emptying‘, how much it will cost to empty your septic tank will vary too.

Properly dispose of waste and use biologically friendly cleaning products.

-Don’t allow commercial chemicals, medicines or hygiene products to enter the system

-Don’t use large quantities of biological cleaning products or bleach

-Bacteria in the tank is vital to the biological process and can be harmed if you dispose of anything other than human waste, toilet paper and a small amount of biologically friendly cleaning products.

Think about how much water you are using.

-Overloading your septic tank system with too much water can the septic tank to become weakened, damaged or blocked.

-Fix leaky taps or toilets, install energy efficient toilets and shower heads, and only put that washing machine or dishwasher on when they’re full. Try and space your use of the washing machine and dishwasher use out over a few days or use a small load settings for small loads.

-You could also try and spend less time in the shower, think before you flush and use toilet tissue which breaks down easily when wet too!

Protect Your Drain Field.

-The drain field of a septic tank is as important as the tank itself because the tank works as a system rather than a storage facility for your waste water.

-Prevent backlogs and overflows by not parking on your drain field and avoiding planting trees to ensure roots don’t interrupt the flow of the waste water.  Talk to a septic tank professional if you are unsure as to how far away would be an appropriate distance.

-Try to keep other drainage systems away from your drain field. The location of roof and rainwater drains and sump pumps should be thought about to prevent it slowing or stopping the wastewater treatment process.

West Wales Waste offer septic tank pumping services. If you would to find out more about our septic tank services, please click here to fill out our contact form.


How do you know when your septic tank needs emptying

How to know when your septic tank needs emptying

Septic tanks are an effective way to store liquid waste, but when they fill up, they have to be maintained and emptied to prevent any damage to the environment around them.

Understanding the signs your tank is full is extremely important in order to prevent costly issues.

The answer to ‘how to know when your septic tank needs emptying’ will be indicated by the following signs, and should be acted on as soon as possible:

Seeing puddles around your tank:

This is a good indication that the solids within your tank have blocked up the system and is forcing the liquid waste to the surface. The problem needs to be investigated as soon as possible and emptied swiftly if need be.

Unpleasant smells:

One of the clearest signs is an increase in the amount your tank will smell. You can envision the kinds of scents to expect and they will become worse/more noticeable when the cesspit needs to be emptied.

This will usually indicate that your system is due an empty.

Slow working drainage:

It’s not uncommon for us to be called out to a blocked drain to discover a full septic tank is the cause. The best way to know if you have either a septic tank issue or a blocked drain is to identify the number of drains affected by slow draining fluids. If only one drain is affected, then this is an indication that you have a small blockage. But, if all of your drains seem to have the issue, then most likely you have a full septic tank.

Greener grass:

As much as it’s great to see a nice lawn, lush green grass around your septic tank could spell trouble. You will most likely see the grass greener in patches rather as the septic tank will leak in various directions.

Drains backing up:

The biggest headache of them all is when your drainage backs up. This will leave you with a very unpleasant clean up and a costly bill on disinfectant and cleaning materials. The tank will usually affect the drains at the lowest parts of the property first, but it is obviously good to identify the issues before it gets this way.

Keeping tabs on your septic tank is important as overflows will become a regular issue if the problems aren’t addressed. It is also important to maintain contact with your local waste management company in order to keep a record of how often they have emptied your tank.

If you would like to choose West Wales Waste as your provider, please feel free to contact us at any time or fill in one of our instant quote forms.

What is a Septic Tank?
How much does a Septic Tank cost to empty?

The new 2020 Septic tank regulations – don’t get caught out!

The new septic tank regulations 2020

The new septic tank regulations 2020 – explained

The new septic tank regulations 2020 – explained

Regulations around discharging into surface water or watercourse(s) from a septic tank and similar wastewater systems have changed in England & Wales as of January 1 2020.

These regulations mean septic tank owners have been asked to upgrade their drainage if they have a particular type discharge process. However, the new regulations do not affect everyone.

If the owner has a septic tank which discharges indirectly away from a watercourse then the tank is still seen as lawful. More explanation is given below.

All sewage treatment plants which have full certification are and will be exempt from these regulations and will be operating within the law.

How will I know if I’m within regulations?

Your drainage from your septic tank will happen one of two ways. The best way to know if your system is within these regulations is to know the difference between the two.


A waterway allows the effluent discharge through a pipe and directly into a stream, lake or river. This is commonly known as ‘Direct Discharge’.

This method is affected by the 2020 septic tank regulations.

The law now states that direct discharge will no longer be permitted, and the owner will be advised to upgrade their system.

Drainage field:

A drainage field releases wastewater through a series of pipes into surrounding subsoils. This provides an additional form of treatment to the effluent from the septic tank. This helps the whole process become more environmentally friendly as it does not cause pollution.

This method is not affected by the new septic tank regulations.

Are any other wastewater systems affected?

As it stands, Cesspits are not affected by this particular regulation.

If you are concerned about your septic tank drainage, please contact us today and we will be happy to help.

How to know when your septic tank needs emptying

Drainage and wet waste specialists

Room F1, Captain Superintendents Building, Admiralty Way, The Dockyard, Pembroke Dock SA72 6TD.
01646 629089