How to Avoid Septic Tank Overflow and Prevent Problems in Gloucestershire

If you have been living in the rural area of Gloucestershire, septic tanks must be the least of your worries. As they say, things that are out of sight get out of mind. It is easy to get it installed and forget about it until something goes wrong. 

These unpleasant incidents, such as overflows, occur when septic tank maintenance is ignored. This affects not only the home environment but also the surrounding landscape. Understanding the basics of septic systems plays an important role in preventing overflow. Ensuring a clean and safe environment is maintained. In this blog, we will discuss how you can avoid mishaps by using timely septic tank cleaning services.

What is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is an important component of the wastewater treatment system. It collects wastewater from household plumbing fixtures and puts it into a large tank. Here, the waste is naturally and mechanically broken down. The tank separates liquid and solid components. This allows the treated water to flow out to the drain field. Solids are removed periodically by cleaning services.

In rural areas of Gloucestershire, homes are often spread out. This means that they are not connected to the main sewage lines. It makes septic tanks especially common. They provide an efficient, local solution for waste management. This allows homeowners to manage their wastewater sustainably and effectively.

How Does It Work?

When waste enters the tank, it’s divided into three layers: 

  • Solids settle at the bottom, forming sludge
  • The middle layer consists of relatively clear water
  • Oils and fats rise to the top, creating scum

Bacteria in the tank naturally break down the solid waste, reducing its volume and making it easier to manage. The liquid waste then flows from the tank into a drainage field, where it is further purified by the soil. This system ensures that waste is treated safely and sustainably, minimising environmental impact.

Signs of Septic Tank Problems


Bad Smells

If you smell unpleasant odours around your yard or home. It might indicate that the septic system isn’t processing waste correctly. This can cause potential health risks. Investigate these smells and consider getting a professional septic system inspection done.

Slow Drains

If your sinks, bathtubs, or toilets are draining slower than usual, this can be a sign that your septic tank is nearing capacity or there is a blockage. Look out for these symptoms and schedule a septic tank inspection if they continue.

Puddles in the Yard

Wet spots or puddles near your septic tank or drainage field might suggest that your septic system is overflowing or leaking. It’s advisable to steer clear of these areas and reach out to drainage tanker services near you.

Lush, Green Grass Over the Septic Area 

Everyone enjoys lush green grass on their lawns. However, if the grass is unusually lush and green over the drain field, this might indicate leakage. The release of excess nutrients from wastewater into the soil can provide nutrients to grass. Monitor this growth carefully and schedule a septic tank inspection accordingly.

What Can You Do to Ensure a Healthy Septic System


Regular Maintenance 

The best way to avoid overflow problems is to understand the intervals you need to empty the tanks. Keep a well-maintained log for this. Usually, it is recommended that you employ a septic tank emptying service every 3 to 5 years. This can vary based on household factors. Staying on top of regular maintenance can help avoid overflowing septic tanks.

Keep an Eye on Roots

This might sound absurd, but keeping an eye on tree roots can help prevent drainage problems. Trees naturally seek out water sources and can damage the drainage pipes of your septic system. This can lead to costly repairs. It’s advisable to keep trees and deep-rooted plants at least thirty feet away from your septic components. Avoid planting new trees near your system to ensure the longevity of your septic setup.

Pay Attention to What You Flush

What goes down your drains significantly impacts the efficiency of your septic system. Non-biodegradable items and harsh chemicals can destroy vital microorganisms. These organisms are important as they break down solids in the tank. It is advised to avoid flushing down items like:

Feminine hygiene products

  • Diapers
  • Condoms
  • Coffee grounds
  • Plastics
  • Dryer sheets
  • Paper towels, etc.

Safe Cleaning Practices

Use septic-safe cleaning products. Such products do not contain harmful chemicals like bleach. This saves the beneficial bacteria in your septic system. Choose biodegradable and non-toxic cleaners. These ensure that your septic system remains effective in breaking down wastes.

Rainwater Diversion

You can use the measures to divert rainwater away from your septic tank and drain field. Using gutters, downspouts, and landscape grading can be helpful. This can prevent flooding and overloading of the septic system during heavy rainfall. Reducing the risk of overflow and system failure.

Emergency Tips: What to Do if Your Septic Tank Overflows

  • Immediately stop all water use in the house to prevent further overflow.
  • Check drains and toilets for blockages.
  • Call a septic tank cleaning services provider for urgent inspection and repair.
  • Stay away from any overflow areas to reduce health risks.
  • Take photos and notes of the overflow for service records and insurance claims.
  • Once resolved, discuss with your technician ways to prevent future overflows.


Regular maintenance is crucial for maintaining a trouble-free septic system. Keeping your system in optimal condition enables you to avoid unexpected problems. For decades, DC Merrett has served Gloucestershire. We offer expert septic system services that protect your home and environment. Our extensive experience ensures efficient, high-quality solutions tailored to your needs. 

Contact DC Merrett for advice and professional support. Let’s safeguard our community together.


  • What steps can I take to maintain my septic tank?

Regularly pump the tank and avoid flushing non-biodegradable items to maintain your septic tank.

  • What should I do if my septic tank is overflowing?

Stop using water, check for blockages, and call a professional immediately if your septic tank is overflowing.

  • What is the best thing to add to your septic tank?

Add high-quality, septic-safe bacteria boosters to maintain a healthy balance in your septic tank.

  • How can I prepare my septic tank for seasonal changes in Gloucestershire?

Insulate your tank, clear debris from the drain field, and schedule a pre-winter inspection to prepare for seasonal changes.