Septic Tank Scheme

Empty your septic tank with a discount and help protect our rivers!

Many properties in West Wales are not connected to the public sewer network and are instead serviced by private sewerage systems such as septic tanks, package sewage treatment plants and cesspits. These can cause pollution to watercourses if they are not maintained properly, as any leakage can increase phosphate levels in rivers. Phosphate increases the growth of plants such as algae, which ‘choke’ the river surface and reduce available oxygen for fish and other aquatic animals. The result can be fish kills and a reduction in aquatic biodiversity.

Recent modelling indicates that up to 8% of phosphorous discharged into our rivers in West Wales is from sources including septic tanks and urban run-off. While this may be a small percentage compared with rural land use and sewage from treatment works and storm overflows, it is one area which the average homeowner can directly impact when looking for ways to improve the health of our rivers.

Discounts to help you and our rivers!

Most septic tanks are ‘living’ and can only perform as well as they are treated. In a healthy septic tank, naturally occurring bacteria breakdown the waste and if input guidance is followed any soakaway will not impact local watercourses. This means a clean river catchment for you to enjoy! You can help us to look after the rivers of West Wales by following this advice:

  1. Have your system emptied by a registered waste carrier regularly to ensure it doesn’t cause pollution.
  2. Maintain your system regularly, getting any faults or problems fixed immediately.

As part of our work on the Phosphate Reduction and Mitigation (PRAM) Project, we at West Wales Rivers Trust have partnered with a local company, D.I. Evans Cyf, to encourage more people to regularly service and maintain their septic tank by offering a discount to anyone living alongside the River Teifi and surrounding areas.

Book to get your domestic sewage treatment system emptied with D.I. Evans Cyf and get £10 off when you mention West Wales Rivers Trust!

We’re looking for more companies to partner with us to do their bit to help our rivers, so please get in touch if your company would like to take part!

Septic Tank

Empty annually, although small single occupancy households can do it every other year


Empty twice a year, more if it’s a larger household

Package Plant

Service annually and empty at least every two years

See & Smell

Looked after properly, your system will keep working happily for years. But how can you tell if something is going wrong? Here are a few tell-tale signs that might mean your sewage treatment system isn’t working as it should be:

  1. Drains are slow to clear or toilets are backing up. These are the most obvious signs that your system isn’t working. It could be that pipes are blocked, the tank is full of solids or the drainage field is clogged up.
  2. The ground above the drainage field or soakaway is spongy or has lots of lush vegetation and grass growing. This is also a sign that the drainage field might be clogged up.
  3. Dark, smelly liquid at the end of the discharge pipe. A clear liquid is normal, anything dark, smelly or containing solids means there’s a problem with your system.


Taking the time to check, maintain and empty your system not only saves you money in the long run, but also helps prevent sewage leaking into our natural environment. Skipping regular maintenance means you are risking costly repairs, or even having to replace it altogether. If you are not sure about how well your system is working, then ask your emptying contractor for advice – they may be able to carry out a system health check.


Additional guidance