Caring For Your Septic Tank During Lockdown

11 Sep 2020


If you have a septic tank or sewage treatment plant, you may have noticed some changes during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is likely due to more people being in your home for more hours during the day. To help you during this period, we have developed this easy to follow blog with some issues which may occur and some suggested solutions.

Reduced functionality

An increase in the number of people within your home can cause a rise in organic loading into your sewage treatment plant. This is because a sewage treatment plant works by growing bacteria to feed upon the contaminants in the water, and the number of bacteria in a sewage treatment plant is linked to the amount of waste being put into it. An increase in waste can result in reduced functionality in the short term. This is normal and nothing to worry about.


What can you do? Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this as we all need to use the toilet. However, it is only temporary and should return to normal functionality when we all return to our workplaces.

Using more cleaning products

As we are all very conscious of keeping things clean during the pandemic, and more people are at home, it is highly likely that more cleaning materials are being used and draining into your septic tank. An increase in cleaning materials can shock the bacteria, sometimes causing a biological “die off”. This can exacerbate the issue of having more biological loading (as detailed above).


What can you do? Try to use eco-friendly cleaning products, lessen the use of bleach, and spread out clothes washing through the week rather than trying to do several loads on one day.

Increased odour and grey coloured water

Some customers have called with concerns around an increased odour from their tank and a grey coloured water being discharged. This could be a short or a long-term problem. Therefore, we would recommend having your system serviced to help it work more efficiently.

How does servicing help?

There is no need to service your septic tank. However, if you have a sewage treatment plant, servicing it will ensure that the air blower is working efficiently and therefore maintaining proper oxygen levels in the treatment zone. A poorly performing air blower is just as bad as an overloaded septic tank. By regularly having your septic tank regularly serviced and maintained will help to increase its life cycle.

How does emptying help:

Septic tanks

The main job of a septic tank is to hold back solids, which will fall to the bottom of the tank and build up as ‘sludge’ ; this needs to be removed at least once a year to prevent the sludge building up and flowing into the drainage field.

Sewage treatment plants

In most sewage treatment plants; solids enter the primary chamber where heavy solids settle to the bottom. The liquid then flows into the treatment zone to be treated. Keeping a regular emptying schedule at least once a year will prevent settled solids building up and entering the biozone (which will result in the plant being overloaded with organic waste).

How Owls Hall can help

During the lockdown, Owls Hall are able to provide their septic tank servicing and emptying service as well as their installation service. The emptying of septic tanks both commercial and domestic are an essential public service and we will continue to work as normal during the pandemic. If you require your septic tank emptied or serviced or have any concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact our service team, either via email, by telephoning us, or by completing our online form.

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