When disaster strikes with your septic tank it stops working or overflows into a ditch, a river or your neighbour’s lawn you may find that you get a letter through from the Environment Agency, who aren’t too happy that you’ve caused a small ecological mess.
There are rules and regulations surrounding septic tanks: where you can use them, what you can use them for, and how to deal with any pollution they cause. If you are an operator of a septic tank which means that you own the property where it’s located, or are jointly responsible for a shared sewage system there are limits to the kind of sewage you’re allowed to produce.
Rules and regulations
Mainly, sewage should be domestic in nature, which means the kind of waste typically produced by toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. There are also rules depending on whether you are releasing this sewage to the ground, such as in your back garden, or to surface water, such as a river or stream.
You can check the Government website for the full details, but you will need apply to the Environment Agency for a permit if your sewage discharge exceeds certain conditions: for example, if you produce more than 2 cubic metres per day to the ground, or more than 5 cubic metres per day to surface water, or if the discharge happens in a groundwater source protection zone.
As with any Government agency, it’s best to stay on their good side. But what do you do if something goes wrong, and you’re concerned that you may be violating the Environment Agency’s rules.
How to solve the problem
First things first, take a look at your options and try to identify obvious solutions. For example, if you are dealing with a contamination problem at a river outlet, you may need to install a sewage treatment plant, the size of which will depend on your output or the scale of your operations. But whether or not you know what to do to fix the problem, you should contact the EA. It’s always best to do this before they end up contacting you.
Many people feel reluctant to reach out to the Environment Agency because doing so feels like an admission of wrongdoing. But as long as you can show that you’re trying to improve the situation, they won’t prosecute you, and in fact they may be able to help you. This applies to environmental mishaps across the board.
Of course, the Mayglothling team is available to make all of this easier. As experts in the industry, we can survey the problem and provide the solution, or help you to ensure that your sewage is within regulation before you get any letters through the door.
If you would prefer not to deal with the Environment Agency directly, we are more than happy to talk to them on your behalf. The EA will still need to know your details, including who you are and what’s being done about it, but with Mayglothling on the case, you won’t have to worry.
For advice, consultation or help on how to improve your waste management systems, don’t hesitate to “contact us” with your queries.