Gilson Environmental Services specialise in dealing with sewage treatment plant and septic tank problems in Suffolk and Norfolk. Here we outline some of the tell-tale signs to look out for and when to act, as well as our round-the-clock emergency service should any problems arise.


Bad Smells

This applies to both septic tanks (above) and sewage treatment systems and can often be detected close to drains on your property. A bad smell may be a sign that you have been putting too much oil or grease down your sinks (particularly in the kitchen; this may be an issue during the festive season in particular).

We are partners with Biogreen UK, who specialise in eco-friendly solutions to problems involving fats, fatbergs, oil and grease.

Alternatively, you may have been using chemicals, or putting paper towels, wet wipes or nappies down the toilet – none of which should be disposed of in this manner.


The Pump Not Turning On or Off

This applies to sewage treatment systems only (because septic tanks have no electrical components). This may be a simple electrical fix, such as just one part that needs replacing. However, it could also be a sign of something more serious, for example, a blockage that has its root cause in something else.

If a pump won’t turn off or is sometimes using more electricity than it should, then the same applies – it may be a simple electrical fix, such as the motor or the float switch, or it may be a sign of problems elsewhere.


Waste Water Backing Up Into the House

This may be applicable if you have a septic tank and haven’t emptied it as regularly as you should. As with cesspools, they need to be emptied by qualified professionals. With too much waste, the bacteria in the tank can’t act fast enough to prevent a build-up of sludge and water backing up into your home.

This issue can be remedied fairly simply by getting a qualified expert to come and empty the tank, or by being more careful with what you put down your sinks or toilets. If you have this issue, don’t leave it too long; otherwise, it may cause major damage to your tank.



With septic tanks, this can happen on the soakaway or drainage field. This may be caused by a fractured or blocked pipe, the commonest cause of which is usually the root of a tree that  has been planted too close to the system.

Another problem may occur with the soakaway if you overload your system. This is quite easy to do if people are staying over during the festive period and your tank is not able to cope with the extra wastewater going into it. So have showers rather than baths and limit the amount of washing you do.

Flooding may also be a sign that the ‘friendly’ bacteria in the tank may not be able to break down all the solids before they go into the soakaway or drainage field.


24-Hour Emergency Cover from Gilson Environmental Services

Gilson Environmental Services offer 24-hour emergency cover for any septic tank or sewage treatment plant emergency in Ipswich, as well as across Suffolk and into Norfolk.

We can deal with issues such as blocked drains, broken pipes and bad smells. Whatever the problem is, we have very probably encountered it in the past and will be able to help you. For a full list of the types of problems we regularly deal with, follow this link.We are not tied to any particular manufacturer either and are adept at dealing with many different brands.

If you need us in a hurry, then just call us on 01473 741530.