New Year – New you – New tank?
Friday, 04 January 2019
So here we are, once again January is upon us before we have even had time to digest our Christmas dinners properly, and as it is now 2019 it is officially the final countdown…
Okay admit it. You all just sang that in your heads… Doo da doo doo… doo da do do doo…
All joking aside, we are now stepping into the penultimate year to sort out any discrepancies there may be in the compliance of your septic tank/ Sewage treatment system in accordance with the new regulations brought out in 2015 - any tanks that do not comply with these new regulations must be adapted either by 2020 or before the property is sold, failure to do so could land you with a rather hefty fine!
Now just in case you were unaware of such changes taking place I’ve outlined the very basics of this below but more details can be found here on the government website - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/general-binding-rules-small-sewage-discharge-to-a-surface-water#enforcement-and-sanctions
Before January 2020 the Environment agency have outlined that all Septic tanks that discharge to a watercourse, ditch etc must either be replaced with a package sewage treatment plant or must be diverted to discharge to a soakaway/ drainage field. This is regardless of age, construction and functionality.
The main aim is to stop untreated effluent polluting our rivers, streams, wildlife, livestock etc (we can’t really argue with their purpose there!).
If you are unsure as to your compliance this is where we can step in, our knowledge in the industry allows us to evaluate each situation and determine which is the most viable option if change is required.
Things to consider:
• A soakaway size is determined by the population (size of the vessel) and the porosity of the ground, for this to be accurately measured percolation tests must be carried out. The results of these tests will identify is a drainage field is viable.
• Another thing to note is that there are certain parameters that must be adhered to including the distance from the house, property boundary and watercourse along with the construction of the soakaway itself.
If the above means that a septic tank would be unacceptable under the new regulations then the best option may be to install a package sewage treatment plant, I have briefly identified the main differences below:
• A Septic tank has no mechanical parts and acts as a holding vessel retaining solids whilst allowing the liquid waste to drain away.
• The Sewage treatment plant on the other hand has mechanical parts (an electric supply is sometimes the easiest way to pinpoint this) – there are multiple variations of Sewage treatment plants however they all aim to treat the waste using aeration to develop the healthy bacteria to break down the solids creating a better quality discharge allowing it to safely enter the watercourse without the potential risk of harm.
• As the property holder one of the key differences is that a Septic tank will need regular desludging by a licensed waste carrier whereas a sewage treatment plant will require routine servicing (determined by the size of the plant) alongside desludging.
It can be quite a daunting experience when looking into all of these details on your own and this is where we can help, even if it is just to get peace of mind that you are compliant or if you need help with any aspect of your wastewater why not give us a call on 01388 537030.