I've noticed a small cottage for sale which has a total site area of
0.1 acres. It has a septic tank, and apparently there are no mains
sewerage services in the area, though there is mains water.
Unfortunately the septic tank is located on someone elses land as the
site is quite small. The land on which the septic tank is located is
not for sale. Though there is a right of way in order to access the
I was just wondering if anyone here had any opinions about this?
Obviously it's not great having the septic tank located on someone
elses land. As the site belonging to the cottage is just 0.1 cares I
don't think this would be large to accomodate a septic tank and the
percolation area so it looks as if it would have to remain on the other
Unless anyone here knows of any septic tanks that don't require large
percolation areas...or if anyone has any other ideas...? Thanks
IME, it is very common to have tanks on other people's land.
Typically the local farmer/landowner had several cottages for his
employees. At the time, where the tank went was not a problem, it was
all his land - but now a lot of farms/estates don't have anything like
that number of employees, so have sold the cottages with the smallest
bit of land around them that the planning authority would allow..
So, I wouldn't worry too much.
You can get /cess pits/ that can be buried in a very small garden. It
really depends on the geology - a big hole like that can be very
expensive if you have solid rock not far under the topsoil.
The main advantage is you have to be far less careful with a cess pit as
to what goes into it. They are far less bother - but you do have the
expense of the frequent emptying if you have a big family. You don't
have to be there - they just come and empty it at fixed intervals and
invoice you. If you mis-manage a septic tank, it can be a nightmare..
I was wondering, even if there is a formal right of way which has been
proven and verified by a solicitor, is it still possible that the owner
of the land on which the septic tank is situated could in the future
legally require the owner of the septic tank to remove the septic tank
from his land?
What I mean is, even if there is a legal right of way to the septic
tank whilst it is located in the other persons field, could they
legally require it to be removed and therefore leaving the cottage
without a septic tank?
Sort of leave you with a right of way across the land to where the tank
used to be?
If that was a big risk, a whole load of cottages down here would be
It is obviously something for the solicitor and hopefully you have one
who is used to rural properties. He may suggest a one-off premium for an
insurance poicy to cover such an eventuality.
I, personally, would be far more worried about poisoning the thing.
(Tank, not neighbour). It's ok if you were brought up with one but even
then you have to be so careful about what you, your kids and your
visitors pour down the washbasin or the loo. Discussing with your son's
visiting girlfriend what she washes her knickers in, for example..
It's like looking after a baby, but at least they grow up and leave
Me, if I wanted to be a sewerage engineer, I'd have got a job with the
The anearobic bacteria that break down waste die.
Raw sewage and especially solids build up in the primary tank until they
enter the secondary tank and drainfield.
The smell starts then. It gets worse.
The solids block the porous pipes or gravel drainfield connected to the
secondary tank so the secondary tank continues to fill. Eventually this
prevents the primary tank from discharging.
The secondary tank fills until the level rises to the air vents and
forms a liquid lock.
The primary tank fills and backs up into the house...
Gas builds up in the primary and secondary tank - causing a pressure
rise and raw sewage to be pushed through the ubends in the house, into
the sink, bath, toilet, etc...
It only costs a few hundred to fix - unless the whole drainfield has to
be dug up and replaced.
Try google for "Caring for your septic tank". Or "feeding your septic
tank". Or "seeding your septic tank".
If the tank is a bit poorly, a very little can finish it off. It is
basically a living system, after all. Water softeners, bleach,
detergent, oil, hair shampoo, mouthwash, Dettol, nappisan, carpet
shampoo, swarfega, the list goes on and on.
Regular, but not too regular, opening up of the chambers to check for
problems, such as the wrong levels, foaming, green mould, depth of
sludge, etc is a vital part of owning a healthy tank..
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