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For emergency or routine tank emptying please call 0800 181 684


Private Sewage Systems

ASL Limited: specialist help and advice for all aspects of private sewage systems.

What's the difference: cesspit, septic tank & treatment plant?

If your property cannot connect to a public sewer, you will need either a cesspit, a septic tank or a sewage treatment plant. What is the difference between a cesspit, a septic tank and a treatment plant?

A cesspit (or cesspool) is an underground holding tank for sewage. It must be emptied regularly. Cesspits are generally regarded as last resort option when conditions preclude septic tank or sewage treatment plant installation. Read our blog entitled 'What is a cesspit?'

A septic tank is a multi-chambered underground tank to treat and discharge sewage water through biological decomposition and drainage. It must be emptied regularly to clear sludge from the bottom of the tank. Read our blog entitled 'What is a septic tank?'

A sewage treatment plant is a multi-chambered underground tank to treat and discharge sewage water in the form of a clean, non-polluting effluent. It must be emptied regularly to clear sludge from the bottom of the tank. A treatment plant is often looked on as an upgrade from a septic tank. Read our blog entitled 'What is a treatment plant?'

Read more about the differences between cesspits, septic tanks and sewage treatment plants

Septic tank or cesspit upgrades

Newer cesspits usually consist of a fibreglass holding tank with inlet – as opposed to older tanks which are usually made of brick or metal. 

Generally speaking, we would always advise customers against installing a new cesspit – there are much more cost-effective and efficient alternatives.

If however, this is the only option available to you, we’ll make sure you have the cesspit most suitable for your household needs.

Treatment plant & septic tank installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, repairs

Anyone installing a treatment plant or septic tank system must be aware of the law that came into force in January 2020, regarding the standards(https://www.gov.uk/permits-you-need-for-septic-tanks) that must be adhered to. 

If your system happens to be in breach, don’t worry. ASL will quickly help you put things right and take complete control of all aspects of your installation.

Find out more about our installation, repair and maintenance for septic tanks and treatment plants

Pumping stations

If the main drains are higher than the drains around your house, you’ll need a pumping station to connect to them.

Pumping stations are also needed for moving sewage away from septic tanks and treatment plants. 

ASL can employ any of these ‘dig’ or ‘no dig’ methods to install the pump, depending on circumstances:

  • Directional boring – for installing pumping mains without disturbing the surface. (Also referred to as ‘trenchless technology’)
  • Chain trenching – for cutting a narrow trench and leaving the soil in powder consistency for fast and easy backfilling
  • Excavator trenching – for places where ground condition or distance preclude use of the chain trencher

ASL’s commercial, industrial and domestic sewage pumping service:

  • Sewage and water pumps from leading manufacturers
  • Installation, maintenance and repairs
  • Control panels and floats
  • Service contracts
  • Expert engineers
  • Emergency callouts

Read our blog entitled 'What is a pumping station?' for a better understanding.

Need to find out more about our pumping station services? Call ASL today: 0808 253 3610

Tank emptying - cesspits/cesspools, septic tanks, treatment plants

Thorough emptying of your tank to remove solids at the bottom will prolong its life and help it to operate at maximum efficiency. 

If this sludge is not removed regularly, there will be less space in the tank for the separation process to occur, meaning that unwanted fats and solids may be allowed to pass through the system and into the drainage field.

Our engineers and recycling tanker drivers are also thoroughly trained and equipped in emptying treatment plant tanks. 

They’ll advise you about running the taps to ensure the holding tank refills so that the treatment plant recovers enough to produce clean water.

When emptying tanks, we appreciate it’s not always easy to access private sewage systems. 

Damage to trees and shrubs, hard landscaping or buildings can be the result of large, cumbersome tankers trying to access your property.

However difficult your location – narrow road, over or under a bridge, narrow access point – our ASL team will have a suitable tanker to get in and empty your private sewage system. 

Simply tell us about your location and property and leave everything to us.

And to cheer you up further, did you know that domestic waste sewage removal is VAT free? So the price you are quoted is the price you pay.

"Excellent service - quick to respond, with clear communications. The engineers who showed up were efficient and friendly. I think ASL were top class."

Call ASL and get a quote today: 0808 253 3610

Call our friendly office for advice on the best system for you.


FREE downloads:

FREE download for displaying onsite when workman may be working on your drains.

FREE download notice for displaying on your toilet door to help visitors understand what not to put down the toilet.

Don’t delay we can help you today!

Call 0800 181 684 for all your drainage needs.

Our HQ is based in Guildford, but we cover the whole of Surrey, Parts of Berkshire, Hampshire, West Sussex and South West London.

See the map on our 'areas covered page' for our services reach and use our postcode checker.

Send us a message below and, we'll get back to you ASAP.

Does the property have a private sewage system?
(eg. a cesspit, septic tank or treatment plant)
Are you happy for us to contact you with information in the future?