Skip to main content

Septic Tanks – what are the requirements?

Did you know that since 1st January 2012 updated regulations have been imposed on occupiers of properties – note occupiers not owners- whose properties require septic tanks. The requirements, currently still under review in England, will impose a duty to register the existence of a septic tank (if not already registered) and impose strict duties with regard to siting, design, maintenance and emptying/desludging and the use of competent persons to carry out such work. Legal opinion recommends that persons occupying properties served by small sewage treatment plants are recommended to heed the advice to avoid potentially large liabilities in the future.

Now the Environment Agency has announced that “You must make sure that the effluent from your septic tank is further treated.... before you dispose of it to a watercourse “

Did you know that septic tank soakaways have a high failure rate? Every year it is estimated that around 2 thousand soakaways fail. Would you be aware if your septic tank was affected? Do you know if you currently comply with the regulations?

If you are in any doubt you should definitely seek expert advice – as this could save you serious penalties in the future. There is no need to panic. An existing septic tank or cesspit can have a mini sewage treatment plant installed.  This would be connected to the overflow of the existing tank and will treat the sewage and will give a final sample of effluent that is permitted by the Environment Agency and that can be legally discharged to a water course. They can be sited above or below ground.

Costings for a mini sewage plant are approximately half the cost of a new sewage treatment plant, not to mention half the mess in the garden and half the time to install .These systems are designed to meet European Standards so final discharge can be achieved in accordance with the regulations.

An experienced waste disposal company will have been involved with projects to install above and below ground sewage treatment plants.  For above ground installations they will be able to reassure you on the saving in excavation costs. These plants are small and compact and can blend in the garden with screening, trellis or hedging. Tanks can be constructed with extra stabilisers for the feet to site on level ground. The effluent is then pumped from the existing septic tank or pump station to the new tank via installation of correct pipe work – again an experienced installer is vital. Effluent is then processed in the mini treatment plant and can be discharged to the existing overflow or pumped from the final effluent process of the tank to the water course.

Whatever your requirements – if you just need a site survey to check your current compliance, if you need a mini sewage treatment plant above or below ground, or you are looking for a complete new installation then remember when you seek advice that the requirement is to use competent persons. Please contact us for a no obligation chat and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Return to index