Residential Sewage Services, Owls Hall

Should I Turn Off My Sewage Treatment Plant?

We are often asked whether you should ever turn off your sewage treatment plant? Under normal circumstances your sewage treatment plant should remain on and operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week. However, if you are planning to go away for a long period then this may be the time to consider turning it off. In this article we aim to provide guidance on when you should turn off your septic tank.

When shouldn’t I turn off my sewage treatment plant?

A sewage treatment plant works by breaking down solid waste to produce a cleaner, more environmentally friendly effluent. It does this by growing bacteria which feeds on the contaminants in the water. To help the growth of the bacteria the water needs to be oxygenated. Therefore, if you are going away for a weekend or even 2 weeks your system will still be digesting the waste and will require oxygen. Hence, you should leave your plant on during these times.

When should I turn off my sewage treatment plant?

If you are planning a longer period of time away which equates to more than three months, it is recommended that your sewage treatment plant is switched off and decommissioned. This is because during longer periods the bacteria in the system is likely to die off which will probably turn the water septic. Then when you return home and water starts to flow into the system again there is a chance you could pollute your environment with the septic water. Consequently, it is advisable to decommission your system. Decommissioning requires the system to be emptied of all the water and refilled with clean water. At the point when you wish to use your system again it can be commissioned and bacteria will start to regrow. This process happens faster than if you had left your system without decommissioning it. Plus, it will also save you money on your electric bills whilst you are away.

Holiday mode

Some sewage treatment plants have a holiday mode. This allows the system to keep running with lower oxygen levels. This works well if you are away for short periods of up to 2 months though, if you are away for longer periods, it is still recommended to decommission the system.

How do I decommission my system?

If you are planning to be away for an extended period and require your system to be decommissioned it is advised that an experienced sewage treatment engineer complete this for you. Owls Hall Environmental engineers are able to complete the decommissioning for you, including emptying the system and switching it off. On your return our engineer will visit your home and commission your sewage treatment plant ready for use.


Owls Hall Environmental Ltd have over 50 years’ experience in wastewater management. Our knowledgeable engineers provide the service you need to maintain your sewage treatment plant. If you require your sewage treatment plant decommissioned, commissioned, emptied or serviced or have any concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact our service team, either via email, call us, or complete our online form.