If your current or future property has a septic tank, you need to understand the regulations that surround these systems. With over 40 years of experience between us, our drainage company offers expert advice and solutions for septic tanks and wider drainage systems. With extensive knowledge of latest legislation and guidelines, we ensure your property in Stevenage or the surrounding areas is fully safe and compliant.
At the beginning of 2020, the Environment Agency enforced new rules to help tackle water pollution. All new and existing septic tanks must comply with these General Binding Rules, otherwise you may face heavy fines.
As a dedicated drainage company, Drainage Facilities Management Ltd helps ensure your system in Stevenage is up to standard. The following is some of the key information you need to know:
The Old Rules
Previously, the wastewater from septic tanks could discharge in one of two ways:
1. To a drainage field or soakaway – In these systems, the water drains into surrounding subsoils through holes in the pipework. This allows wastewater to disperse safely without polluting the environment.
2. To a watercourse – If tanks discharge to a watercourse, the wastewater flows through a sealed pipe directly into a nearby stream or river.
What Has Changed?
Since the changes to the General Binding Rules came into effect, septic tanks can no longer discharge into a watercourse or soakaway system, other than a drainage field. This is to prevent the risk of wastewater polluting local watercourses and surrounding environments.
Consequently, owners of septic tanks that discharged into a watercourse should have replaced or upgraded their systems. If your property in Stevenage has a septic tank, it must now drain to a drainage field, also known as an infiltration system. The design and construction of drainage fields needs to meet British Standards BS6297:2007.
Alternatively, a drainage company may have replaced the tank with a sewage treatment plant, which discharges non-polluting effluent.
Further Septic Tank Regulations
There are various other regulations that your septic tank and drainage field in Stevenage must comply with. These include:
• Tanks must be at least 7m away from the building
• They should be within 30m of an access point for emptying by a licenced drainage company
• Drainage fields must be at least 10m from a watercourse, 25m away from buildings and 50m from water supplies, such as wells
• Drainage fields must not be near access roads, driveways or paved areas
There are separate conditions for sewage treatment plants. For example, they must be EN12566-3 tested and approved. In addition, if the plant needs electricity, it should have an uninterruptable power supply, or it should be able to function without power for a certain period.
Buying or Selling a Property with a Septic Tank
If buying or selling a property in Stevenage with a septic tank, it is vital you know what system is in place and its condition. The owner of the property is responsible for ensuring septic tanks meet regulations, and they should carry out any necessary work, including replacements or upgrades, prior to sale.
As an experienced drainage company, Drainage Facilities Management Ltd also recommends undertaking a full drain survey before buying or selling a property in Stevenage. This is the best way to gain a full understanding of drainage specifics and condition.
If you are selling your property, we also advise having your tank emptied and inspected before putting it on the market. This ensures you are ready for any questions estate agents or potential buyers may ask, helping your home sell as quickly as possible.
As a dedicated drainage company, we undertake safe and reliable septic tank emptying in compliance with ISO 14001, ISO 18001 and ISO 9001. We are licensed waste carriers with NADC and Safe Contractor approval, giving you complete peace of mind in our services.