Rainbows End: Sewage & Rainwater System Case Study

Rainbows End was historically the walled gardens of Halsway Court situated in the foothills of the Quantocks, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in West Somerset. Earlier development of the site left an unattractive bungalow served by a septic tank with little or no soakaway and the resulting sewage pooling at the bottom end of the garden.

Complete sewage and rainwater system to the manor born

The new owners of Rainbows End asked WCI to design and install a system to handle both the rain water and the sewage from the planned replacement house for the bungalow. The system needed to be both functional and sympathetic to the exceptional walled garden. Rainwater harvesting was needed to provide irrigation to the planned gardens and something just had to be done about that sewage at the bottom of the garden! There was also the small matter of an Environment Agency Bespoke Permit as Rainbows End was right on the edge of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

With no watercourses or ditches nearby, not to mention some very high walls, everything had to stay within the property. So, the first step, once the Bespoke Permit was granted, was to complete percolation tests which thankfully revealed plenty of drainage capacity in the soils at the bottom end of the garden.

WCI then designed a sewage treatment scheme to take sewage from the house to a package sewage treatment plant and then discharge treated effluent to a soakaway – no more sewage at the bottom of the garden. Rainwater would be directed down separate surface water drains to a rainwater harvesting tank complete with a pump for delivering plenty of water to a garden tap. The Quantocks gets plenty of rain so the overflow from the rain water harvester would be directed to a separate surface water soakaway, as required by Building Regulations.

Everything would be located out of the line of sight of the house and the old septic tank, conveniently located in front of the house would be collapsed and backfilled.

The result: WCI completed the installation of the new sewage and rainwater system and even landscaped the lower garden. As the first part of the build schedule, the system will provide drainage to support the builders as well as the eventual residents of the property.

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