Updating Septic Tank

The original house is now split into 7 homes, sharing the victorian septic tank for waste and rainwater. There are 2 chambers, the first for solids, and an overflow pipe pissing out into some muddy woodland. The farmer says regulations have changed since January. What can we do? [george]
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On 16/04/2013 22:42, george - dicegeorge wrote:

Looks like you may need to get a complete update. I am sure there will be the appropriate company to do this local to you, get them to give you advice and price.
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On 17/04/13 08:16, Broadback wrote:

UK DIY [g]
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wrote:

They have, things are much more stringent and likely to get more so. The government is at this moment trying to determine where all septic tanks are located. They have been on to me (I have one),
I am not sure what this means but clearly there is some plan in the offing.
They have recently taken over communal drains even on private land, this may be part of the above plan
You are not allowed to discharge waste or surface water onto someone elses land, this has been illegal for years. This may be what "the farmer" is on about.
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That's called your mouth Harry :)
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On 17/04/13 09:27, harry wrote:

The farmer's father used to own the field and the house. Another problem could be if his animals drink sewagy water, but its OK to spread sewage on fields isnt it? [g]
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wrote:

Only when composted to kill off dangerous bacteria or it is left fallow for a while so they die.
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On Tue, 16 Apr 2013 22:42:09 +0100, george - dicegeorge wrote:

Rainwater shouldn't be going into the septic system, only foul/grey water.

The outflow should go into a sub surface soakaway, normally a network of porous pipes. An awful lot depends on the local ground conditions though.

Donno about that and normally there isn't a requirement to update existing systems to the new standards. Of course if the system has any work done on it then that will most likely force the whole system into compliance with the new.
With "7 homes" connected to the old victorian septic system it may well now be seriously overloaded even if you diverted all the surface water away from it. I suspect that you'll need to replace the whole thing with an aerobic digester as I don't think they allow the installation of anerobic septic tanks these days but that goes back further than January...
--
Cheers
Dave.
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On 17/04/13 09:31, Dave Liquorice wrote:

It does, thats how it was built.

This would be easier to add on rather than rebuilding everything, but i suspect that an alteration like this would mean updating everything to modern regulations.

eek

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wrote:

unusual, how do you know?
Jim K
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+0100, george - dicegeorge wrote:

It's not desirable because surface water reduces the temperature in the septic tank and slows the rotting process. Also can wash turds into the outflow.
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On Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:02:28 -0700 (PDT), harry wrote:

That is the major problem with surface water into a septic system, perhaps not turds but it will tend to flush the suspended solid matter through to the soakaway.
Decent bit of rain on a roof will put more water through the tank in an hour than a week of waste water...
--
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Dave.
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On 17/04/13 21:47, Jim K wrote:

I know because (1) I poured water down a rainwater drain and saw it in a sewage channel having removed a manhole cover (2) a few days after the septic tank was sucked out there was very little liquid in the tank, then it rained overnight, and the tank was full. Not sure yet if ALL the rainwater from the roof goes down there, they may just have bodged this one drain. [g]
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On 17/04/13 23:43, george - dicegeorge wrote:

that is probably SOMETHING you ought to fix irrespective.
Its a really bad idea mixing grey and foul water when you have any local sewage treatment going on.
Id say its minidigger time.
--
Ineptocracy

(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to lead
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On Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:43:48 PM UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

etc.
I think Jim K was asking "how do you know it was *built* like that?" rather than some cowboy having modified it later.
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On 18/04/13 13:07, Martin Bonner wrote:

indeed, it has been cowboyed, one bath empties into the rainwater drains!
Have ordered food dye to pour down the drains to investigate what goes where.
g[]
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On 16/04/2013 22:42, george - dicegeorge wrote:

The new requirement is that the system needs to be registered. A small system can get an exemption certificate, although seven homes is probably pushing the limit, unless they are all single occupancy dwellings.
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/118753.aspx
If it does not qualify, you need a permit to discharge, which septic tanks are unlikely to receive. In that case, you will probably need to get effluent treatment added to the system. It may be better to fit an entire new sewage system, assuming you cannot get a connection to mains drainage. You will have to get a local company in to advise.
Not having either an exemption certificate or a permit to discharge will cause problems when selling any of the properties.
Colin Bignell
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Thanks colin, http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/118753.aspx says: Whilst the government is planning a consultation on the regulation option, you don't need to register providing your: xxx sewage is only domestic
so we may be ok, but research must continue...
There's perhaps a rule against sheep drinking from the outflow...
[g]
On 17/04/13 09:46, Nightjar wrote:

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wrote:

perhaaps reading the gov website correctly could help?
it says (my asterixes) "Whilst the government is planning a consultation on the regulation option, you don't need to register providing your:
discharge is to ground and is of 2 cubic metres per day or less *via a septic tank and infiltration system (soakaway) and is outside a source protection zone 1*. This is approximately equivalent to 9 people occupying a single property
discharge is to surface water and is of 5 cubic metres per day or less *via a package sewage treatment plant*. This is approximately equivalent to 31 people occupying a single property
sewage is only domestic (for the definition of domestic see the registration of small sewage discharges in England document in the downloads box)
sewage system is maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions (if not, British Water codes of practice and technical guides) and you keep a record of all maintenance. In the case of septic tanks this includes regular emptying
discharge does not cause pollution of surface water or groundwater
Check if you're in a groundwater source protection zone 1: Interactive map for groundwater
Or check if you are within 50 metres of a private water supply that is used to supply drinking water or used for food production. This could be your own private supply or you may have to ask your neighbours if they have one."
I read that as an "and" not an "or" list of requirements (except the first two obviously)
Just saying yours is "domestic" is a touch rose-tinted...
Jim K
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On 17/04/13 21:46, Jim K wrote:

drat. [g]
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