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A week before exchange and purchaser’s solicitor requests a foul drainage survey

WCI was called by the Estate Agent selling Orchard View and questioned about the complexity of a shared existing septic tank and presumed drainage field with a visible discharge pipe to a seasonal dry ditch. After a complex communication with the Estate Agent, WCI was contacted by the vendor to discuss the next steps.

WCI undertook a home buyers drainage survey for the vendor (and his neighbour). It was found that the foul drains and surface water drains were, with the exception of the connection of kitchen waste to a surface water drain, correctly laid out. Unfortunately, although the septic tank was adequately sized for the two properties according to current Building Regulations, the presence of a discharge pipe from the septic tank to a ditch is illegal under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations and not consistent with current Building Regulations.

The vendor agreed with the purchaser (and the next-door neighbours) for WCI to undertake the installation of a replacement sewage treatment plant before the exchange of contracts to insure the sale of the property.


WCI specified the installation of a new EN12566-3:2005 Solido Smart 6pe sewage treatment plant with a discharge into the seasonally dry ditch on the premises. The specification was the easy part, the problem was the access.

The installation area could only be access via a narrow gateway. Luckily the amenable local farmer agreed for WCI to access the boundary of the property across his field after the maize crop was harvested. This meant all materials could be lifted into the installation site over the property boundary hedge. Spoil was removed from site over the hedge and stock piled in the farmers field. The work involved one small machine inside the property boundary and one big machine with a dumper in the field. This solution minimised the amount of disruption across the lawn.

The new system meets the Environment Agency General Binding Rules and was installed under a Building Control notice. All electrical work was undertaken by a certified electrician.

If you have any questions about the information presented in this case study, or you would like to talk to us about your off mains drainage options, please contact WCI on 01984 623404 or via the contact form below.

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If you have any questions or just need some clarification on the regulations and how they apply to your property, please call us on 01984 623404