We live close to London in a bungalow constructed in 1959. The
property is not on mains drainage but has a 'tank' underneath the back
garden, and I have no idea exactly what it does. It hasn't been
emptied in the eight or so years we have lived here. Most of the
neighbouring properties are in the same position as far as I know.
I have lifted the tank manhole cover and it is circular, approximately
6 to 8 feet in diameter. The top part is a dome of brick construction,
and give the 'water' level it is impossible to see the rest of it,
although I remember looking at it years ago when the level was lower I
got the impression the lower part was not brick but possibly
fiberglass? (hard to tell really, very dark and smelly when looking
it!) The tank has a plastic soil pipe vent stack which rises to approx
What is the tank most likely to be given the period the bungalow was
constructed in? Seems to small for a 'porous' (ie leaking) cesspool,
but after searching around the web it does not seem to be a septic
tank. The ground around here is a clay/flint mantle up to six foot
deep with chalk underneath (if that has any bearing on it).
Thanks in anticipation.
Sounds like an early settlement tank. Possibly compartmentalised. Not
sure whether thats septic or not.
Usually there are three compartments in those.
If you do anything to it, strictly it should be re[placed with somehng
better under BCO control....should be emptied of solids biennially IMHO.
Probably. However, you should do a back of the envelope calculation to prove
that mains sewerage will be cheaper, especially if doing so still requires
ongoing maintenance in the form of a privately owned and supplied pumping
You should calculate capital costs (which could be substantial for either),
which you should estimate interest and depreciation on. Then calculate
running costs, such as a yearly blast out for the Klargester versus the
sewerage costs from the water company. You may need to do some ringing
around to find the figures. You may also need to make an allowance for land
used up, if your garden is small.
Also, if you are in a sleepy hollow right at the bottom of the sewerage
system, you might not want a house full of shit coming out of your toilet
every time it rains.
You SHOULD...but OTOH, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Chalk is excellent subsoil to process slightly contaminated waste.
I would set aside a piggy vbank, and put about 7 grand in it, fo a
biodisc, but don't be in a huirry to make a huge mess of your garden
installing it unless you have a definite problem.
She never said what the problem was or even that there was a problem. I
doubt the thing is more than a brick cistern that does drain into the
Modern problems come from washing-up liquid mainly. It is full of
phosphates altering the amount of time it needs to be in the tank. I
doubt any official meddling will take place over it though.
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