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Sewage Treatment Archives

Not so new rules for 202013.06.17

Registration of septic tanks and private sewage disposal systems in both England & Wales was introduced in 2010, however registration was suspended by the Coalition Government pending a review.  The review was completed in October 2014 and new regulations – Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2014 – came into effect in January 2015 and were summarised by the Environment Agency in a set of ‘General Binding Rules‘.

The General Binding Rules set out the conditions in the regulations that allow a septic tank or sewage treatment plant to be used without an environmental permit.  For example, the conditions state ‘the sewage must receive treatment from a septic tank and infiltration system (drainage field)’ and ‘the discharge must not cause pollution of surface water or ground water’.  Discharges from septic tanks directly to a surface water were not allowed prior to the new regulations and are not allowed under the new regulations as they cause pollution to receiving watercourses.

However, to encourage people to take action, the Environment Agency have set a date by which you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system if you have a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water.  That date is 1 January 2020, or when you sell your property if before this date.  If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank is discharging to a surface water and is causing pollution you will need to replace or upgrade your system earlier than 1 January 2020.

If you have a septic tank with a direct discharge to a watercourse (e.g. brook, stream, river, rhyne, ditch or swale) and require a legal solution, please contact WCI on 01984 623404. We can arrange for an engineer to visit site, inspect your current system and prepare a quotation with your options explained.

Sewage Treatment Archives

Press Release – Architects Datafile08.03.16

Specialist sewage engineers, WCI Sewage Treatment Ltd are regularly reminded that there are more myths than truths when it comes to private foul drainage. Whether its the professional community or those that have been on private drainage for years, the regulations, the options and the maintenance of private drainage systems are poorly understood. ‘what does a septic tank actually do’ might be reasonably well understood but ‘how often does a septic tank need emptying’, on the other hand, is rarely answered correctly. If you have questions about private drainage, why not talk to the experts?

Sewage Treatment Archives

Adoption of domestic pump stations22.02.16

Under The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011, private sewers and lateral drains that were connected to the public sewer were adopted by the local Water Authority. However private pump stations were not included in this transfer.

Now, on the 1st October 2016, all domestic sewage pump stations that were constructed before 1st July 2011, serve more than one household or are located outside of the property boundary will be transferred into the ownership of the local Water Authority. Until this time, the owner of the pump station will continue to be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pump station.

If you have any questions regarding your private pump station, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Sewage Treatment Archives

What is sewage treatment?17.03.15

We often get asked about the difference between sewage treatment and septic tanks. Here’s how Naomi describes it:

Sewage is the human waste and domestic greywater (from sinks, baths, showers, washing machines, dishwashers etc) that we produce on a daily basis. It all ultimately ends up back in the environment and a basic distinction in its route to the environment is whether it is treated in any way to mitigate its effect on the environment before it arrives there.

It is only in the last 30 years or so that mechanical wastewater treatment plants have been readily available at a domestic level and prior to their adoption, septic tanks were the common form of sewage management. Whilst septic tanks provide a primary form of treatment by removing the solids from our domestic sewage, the wastewater (making up 99% of the volume of domestic sewage) is left to the ecosystem to deal with – for this reason septic tanks in the UK must discharge to a soakaway in the ground where the liquid waste will degrade before reaching our groundwater.

Today however, there are many more options available which allow us to treat our septic effluent or liquid waste to a level where the treated effluent can be safely and legally discharged to a watercourse. This is generally called sewage treatment.

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