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?
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
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.
On Tue, 16 Apr 2013 22:42:09 +0100, george - dicegeorge wrote:
Rainwater shouldn't be going into the septic system, only foul/grey
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
Whilst the government is planning a consultation on the regulation
option, you don't need to register providing your:
sewage is only domestic
so we may be ok, but research must continue...
There's perhaps a rule against sheep drinking from the outflow...
On 17/04/13 09:46, Nightjar 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
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...
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