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The do’s and don’ts of maintaining a sewage treatment plant

Updated: Apr 2

When it comes to sewage treatment plants, undertaking regular maintenance is the key to its long and happy life. When properly looked after, sewage treatment plants can last up to twenty years, meaning regular servicing is essential to keep your system working for as long as possible. This blog will tell you more about how best to take care of your sewage treatment plant and some important things to avoid.


  1. Regular maintenance

An important factor when maintaining your sewage treatment plant is arranging annual servicing with a professional engineer. This will ensure that any faults or blockages can be quickly identified and addressed, which avoids costly repairs later down the line. Regular servicing will give you peace of mind that your treatment system is fit for purpose, and that there aren’t any underlying faults which may affect the performance of the tank.

  1. Regular emptying

Having your sewage treatment plant emptied regularly will ensure that bad smells from a build up of sludge are avoided, and that the tank does not overflow. Pollution from sewage treatment plants can be disastrous for local wildlife, as well as incurring a heavy government fine too. We recommend that you have your sewage treatment plant emptied every six to twelve months, depending on its location and size.

  1. Keeping a log of the work completed

This will help you to prove that your sewage treatment plant is compliant, and in good working order. Although this is not a legal requirement, proof of maintenance will always work in your favour should you ever need to present it to your local council or regulators. At Cotterill Environmental, we provide a full, detailed report with images of the work we have carried out which is sent to you electronically. Printed copies can be provided upon request.


  1. Neglect maintenance deadlines

Neglecting maintenance deadlines can lead to unidentified issues with your sewage treatment plant, which could result in it malfunctioning. It is essential to be aware of when your next service and emptying is due to keep your tank in good working order. We sent out reminders to our customers the month before their service is due, to make this process easier.

  1. Ignore smells coming from the tank

Bad odours coming from your sewage treatment plant is a bad sign, and indicates that your tank needs emptying. Ignoring this warning sign could result in your system overflowing and causing significant damage to the local area and in surrounding watercourses, which will leave you with a heavy fine. If you smell bad odours from your system, give us a call and we can come out to diagnose it.

  1. Pour things down the drain that shouldn’t be there

Sewage treatment plants should only be used to treat human waste, and there are many common mistakes when it comes to what can and cannot be put down the drain. Here are some items which should never be put down the drain, as they can block the sewage treatment plant and cause significant issues:

  • Cooking oil and fat

  • Nappies

  • Large quantities of bleach or washing detergent

  • Baby wipes, sanitary products, cotton wool etc

  • Excessive chemicals from cleaning products

  • Food waste

  • Medicines

Putting any of these items into the sewage system risks its performance and functionality, so it's important to be mindful of what’s being disposed of.

If you have any questions or concerns about your sewage treatment system, then Cotterill Environmental can help. Our team of experts have over 25 years of experience in the industry, and can offer guidance and advice based on your requirements.

We offer full servicing and repairs of sewage treatment plants for domestic and commercial properties. For more information and pricing, call our team today on 0121 461 4861.

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