Septic Tank Specialists
Taking care of all of your Septic Tank needs from Design to Implementation
As of the 1st of January, it is now illegal for a Septic Tank to discharge directly to a stream, drainage ditch or river. If you have a Septic Tank that does this, you will either need to have it replaced with a Sewage Treatment Plant or move the discharge to a Drainage field. The Environment Agency are carrying regular checks across the country. Generally, a notice is issued instructing that the system needs to be updated within a given timescale. If the timescale is not met a fine is issued, this is generally around £20k. In addition to the ethical and legal complications, it will be very difficult to sell a property that has an illegal discharge. We are increasingly being asked to carry out homebuyer surveys with some mortgage companies refusing to grant a mortgage without a guarantee of compliance.
If you have a Septic Tank that currently discharges to ground you will need to ensure that this either complies with the General Binding Rules or you have a B6.5 permit to discharge. The new rules known as the General Binding Rules which came into effect in 2015 stipulate that a Septic Tank must discharge to a Drainage Field. A Drainage Field is not a soakaway, if you are unsure it is more than likely that you do not have a Drainage Field. When your old soakaway fails you will have to have this replaced with a Drainage Field. If you have a discharge that was installed prior to 1983, and you can demonstrate this, then you will not need to update your discharge until it fails. If the discharge was installed between 1984 and 2006 then you will need to be able to demonstrate that the discharge complied with the best practices in place at the time. This can be achieved by presenting the Building Control Certificate for the installation. If the discharge was installed from 2007 onwards then the discharge must be a Drainage Field and this must be certified by a Building Control officer.
One word of advice. If you are having any form of foul water work carried out at your property you must have it signed off by Building Control. Failure to do this will cause a headache when you come to sell your property. Many mortgage lenders and solicitors require an inspection of a property and an assessment of its compliance at the point of sale to facilitate lending and completion.
If you are looking for a new system then a Septic Tank and a Drainage Field may be an option. You should also consider a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). A STP requires a smaller Drainage Field as the effluent is already treated and has more flexible options if you do not have sufficient space for a Drainage Field. Please get in contact and arrange a free visit and quotation and we can design a bespoke solution for you.
Please read the following blogs to get up to speed on the rules and what a Drainage Field is.
What’s the difference between a septic tank, cesspit, and a sewerage treatment plant?
Essentially a Cesspit is a single-chambered vessel that collects and holds your waste and needs emptying regularly. A Septic Tank is a two-chambered tank that separates solids and liquids using gravity. The heavy waste sinks leaving the liquid at the top which passes to the second chamber. The Soakaway system or Drainage Field then receives the discharge from the second chamber. A Sewerage Treatment Plant is more sophisticated. It operates two chambers with a filter and pump between which keeps all of the nasty stuff on one side and a non-polluting clean liquid on the other. The Soakaway then receives the clean discharge which is then emitted. Basically, a sewerage treatment plant is good the others are bad for the environment.
Our Core Septic Tank Services and Information
Septic Tank Installation UK:
If you are considering having a Septic Tank installed please get in contact. We can come out and give you a free quote for your job. All of our quotes include Building Control sign-off, provision of all materials and tanks as well as a tidy and reinstatement of your garden.
We are based in the New Forest, Hampshire but operate throughout Hants, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Berkshire, and West Sussex. We will venture further afield, just give us a call for the best value quote you will receive delivered by our expert engineers. Please go to our in-depth Installation page. It is also important to check any potential installers’ financial position to ensure that they are in a good enough financial position to undertake the work and be around in the future if anything goes wrong. Please see the following guide: Checking an Installers financial position.
In addition, we have written an article on choosing a Septic tank or Sewage Treatment Plant Installer. Please see the following article: Choosing a Sewage Treatment of Septic Tank installer.
Septic Tank Problems:
Give us a call we may be able to help you over the phone. Failing that for more complicated issues we can dispatch an engineer to investigate. Please also have a look at our Problems page, this has some easy-to-follow steps for identifying and rectifying issues. Problems really fall into three categories, inlet issues such as a blocked or collapsed pipe. Tank issues, are generally structural in nature, meaning they leak. And, Outlet issues, such as a blocked or failed soakaway.
Septic Tank Maintenance:
Legally you have to have your tank serviced annually and emptied to avoid any pollution. We can help you here and offer a no-fuss annual servicing plan. Generally, the dirty side of a Septic Tank has a capacity of around 800 to 1,500 gallons. This can be recovered be a normal empty truck and will cost (in the South of England) £135 to £185. Always check that when the tank has been emptied that your T-Pieces have not been dislodged, especially on the outlet. This will help prevent any irreparable damage to your discharge.