What Does A Septic Tank Soakaway Look Like? (Solution found)


  • Soakaways for sewage treatment plants look like a series of perforated pipes laid in trenches in an area of land around the property, usually a garden or a field. They are sometimes called ‘drainage fields’. The area around these pipes is covered with stones or gravel and turf, with the treated foul water discharged into this land.

Do all septic tanks have Soakaways?

A soakaway is not usually needed with a sewage treatment plant, but it is required with a septic tank. This is because the water released by a septic tank is primary treated effluent, meaning it has only gone through one stage of treatment.

Does a soakaway septic tank need emptying?

All septic tanks require emptying ONCE A YEAR. They only hold 12 months sludge storage and if sludge starts to empty into the soakaway soil, it very quickly blocks the air spaces (porosity) in the soil, the effluent cannot soak away, you suffer a soakaway failure and the septic tank fills up, backing up the system.

How long does a septic tank soakaway last?

If installed correctly a drainage field for effluent should last for around 25 years as a minimum. A rainwater soakaway should last for far longer as long as the gutters are regularly cleaned and filtered.

What is the difference between a septic tank and a soakaway?

A soakaway is a hole dug in the ground and filled with rubble and coarse stones, designed to disperse water back into the surrounding ground without flooding. A septic tank has two chambers and is buried underground in the same way as a cesspit.

How do you fix a soakaway problem?

How to unblock a soakaway. On most occasions a blockage can be rectified with high pressure water jets, gaining access to the pipework and backwashing it to drag out the silt and leaves, so that it is left clear and running.

How big does a septic tank soakaway need to be?

The minimum size a soakaway should be constructed to is 30m. Pipes should be laid on a 300mm layer of shingle or medium of up to 50mm. The trenches must be filled 50mm above perforated pipe and covered with a membrane and then filled in with soil.

How far should a soakaway be from a septic tank?

Minimum distances that the drainfield should be from: Buildings – 15 metres. Boundaries – 2 metres. Water abstraction point (well, spring, bore hole) – 50 metres.

How big should a soakaway be?

What Size Should My Soakaway Be? The most common size of soakaway for residential use is 1 Cubic Metre (1m³), as this is what most Local Authorities seem to specify. As a broad brush a Soakaway Size of 1m³ is sufficient to drain a roof area of approximately 50 square metres under normal conditions.

How long should a soakaway take to drain?

Pre-soak the hole by filling it to at least 300mm and leave for at least 12 hours to allow the water to drain away.

What happens if you never pump your septic tank?

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.

Why is my septic tank always full of water?

POOLING WATER It goes without saying, if it hasn’t rained recently and you’re seeing a lot of water, it’s probably your septic tank. This mainly happens when your tank is at full capacity and there could be solid water blocking the system. This will then force liquid up to the top of the ground.

How do you identify a soakaway?

If you’re wondering ‘how can I tell if I have a soakaway? ‘, simply follow the rainwater pipes down from the side of your house into your garden. If they lead to a slightly lowered area where your lawn dips, there’s a chance you have a soakaway installed.

How far must a soakaway be from a house?

How Far Should a Soakaway be From the House? You need to ensure its far enough from the structure to prevent damage — 5 metres is the accepted distance, but this also depends on the calculated size of the soakaway.

How do I know where my soakaway is?

The easiest way to find a soakaway is to follow the rainwater downpipes from your house and see how far they go. Often, the downpipes from your home will lead to a sunken area on your lawn. You need to be eagle-eyed, however, as soakaways are installed discreetly, so they can be hard to find.

ASL Limited blog article

A drainage field installation, commonly known as a land drain, is seen in this photograph. At ASL Limited, we frequently serve clients who live in rural locations and have homes or other properties in such places. They are supplied by septic tanks since there were previously no options to gain access to major drains in the immediate area where they lived. Septic tanks and residential treatment plants are examples of private sewage systems that employ soakaway drainage systems to release wastewater to the environment.

Our expert engineers can diagnose and repair any problem that you may be experiencing with your septic system.

This is due to the fact that soakaway pits, boreholes, and deep excavations filled with rubble are often not permitted by the Environmental Agency.

If you have discovered that your septic tank or drainage field is clogged, in need of repair, or even in need of replacement, please contact us right away for assistance.

What is a septic tank drainage field, and how does one work?

A septic tank drainage field (also called land drains) is used to remove pollutants and impurities from the wastewater exiting your tank. Using the piping going to the drainage fields, the wastewater that has passed through each chamber of your system, with the solid sewage effluent separated along the way, will exit the septic tank’s second chamber. Afterwards, it will discharge into drainage fields without causing any harm to the surrounding environment. The criteria by which a septic tank must be maintained have changed as of January 2020, and new legally enforceable requirements have been put in place.

This is the reason why the new laws specify that septic tanks must be equipped with drainage fields or else be connected to a sewage treatment facility.

A survey must first be carried out to guarantee that no major drains are within 30 metres of the tank.

Following that, they are often installed beneath a soft, manicured area such as a grass.

The septic tank will only be responsible for approximately half of the treatment work. The drain field will take care of the remainder, which is why it is critical that your septic tank drainage field be built and constructed appropriately.

Installing a drainage field for a septic tank

In addition to offering any service that our clients require for their septic systems, we take great delight in delivering septic tank drainage field unblocking, tank repair, and tank replacement. The following are some of the requirements that must be met in order to install or replace a septic tank, as well as to construct a drainage field for a septic tank:

  • It is necessary to conduct a test hole study in order to establish the appropriateness of the soil. An underground septic tank or drainage field is required for proper disposal of wastewater. Drainage fields may only be utilized in areas where the soil conditions are acceptable
  • Otherwise, they are ineffective. The use of clay soil for drainage fields is not recommended. It is necessary to examine the Building Regulations for reference borders. It is necessary to verify the Groundwater Protection Zone range established by the Environment Agency.

Photo of ASL Limited’s drainage field project taken in the summer of 2013.

Testing suitability

When we assess the feasibility of your soil for a septic tank drainage field, we begin by drilling a test hole to confirm that the property is acceptable. If the material is clay or something that is not porous, we will choose a different solution. If the ground is appropriate, we will then conduct a comprehensive percolation test on it to determine its suitability (conducted over two days). A saturated hole is used to estimate the infiltration rate into the earth by monitoring the length of time it takes for water to flow down the borehole.

Following receipt of the calculations, our engineer will be able to determine the length and breadth of the drainage fields that will be required.

Drainage fields that are continually moist or wet do not fair well since no subsequent treatment will occur.

It may also be essential to upgrade to a sewage treatment facility at some point.

Rules for new and existing discharges

The term “existing discharge” refers to a system that was established and began discharging wastewater before December 31, 2014, whereas the term “new discharge” refers to a system that was installed and began discharging effluent on or after January 1, 2015. In order to sell your home, you must have a system in place that does not discharge into a nearby watercourse. If you have an older, non-compliant system in place, you may be unable to sell your home. If you are purchasing or selling a house, it is highly recommended that you arrange for a home buyer’s survey to be performed.

An electrical and mechanical system is used to treat the liquid in a sewage treatment plant, which is in contrast to a septic tank (which employs land drainage).

To learn more about septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants, see our articles on septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants.

Instead, in order to comply with the Binding Rules, it is recommended that you upgrade your present system to a drainage field or that you apply for a permit so that the Environment Agency can examine the hazards associated with continuing to use your current system.

We service septic tanks and soakaways.

The term “existing discharge” refers to a system that was established and began discharging wastewater before December 31, 2014. A “new discharge” refers to a system that was installed and began discharging effluent on or after January 1, 2015. Since of right now, you must be utilizing a system that does not discharge into a nearby watercourse, as it is unlawful to do so and you may be unable to sell your home if it has an older, non-compliant one installed. If you are purchasing or selling a house, it is highly recommended that you arrange for a home buyer’s survey to be performed.

There is a significant difference between a septic tank (with land drainage) and a sewage treatment plant in that the latter employs electrical and mechanical components to treat the liquid to a higher quality.

To learn more about septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants, see our pages on septic tanks andsewage treatment plants.

To comply with the Binding Rules, it is recommended that you either upgrade your present system to a drainage field or get a permit so that the Environment Agency may examine the hazards associated with you continuing to use your current system as it now configured.

What is the Difference Between a Septic Tank and a Soakaway?

The date of this posting is October 31st, 2016. When it comes to disposing of surplus waste water, soakaways and septic tanks are both good options. The two, on the other hand, serve quite distinct objectives and are frequently utilized in conjunction to give the most effective wastewater treatment. To the general public, the two systems might appear to be extremely similar, making it difficult to distinguish between them and determine which system is the greatest fit for your needs. We’ve put up this guide to help you understand the distinctions between septic tanks and soakaways in order to assist you in getting to know the systems.

What is a septic tank and how does it work?

Septic tanks are used to collect effluent, as well as to store wastewater and solid waste, among other things. A septic tank relies on a pH balance and bacterial activity to break down solid waste, and once the tank is full, it will overflow into a drain field or, more commonly, a soakaway, which is linked to the drain field. Due to the fact that the tank is self-contained and can be installed underground, it is a perfect alternative to traditional sewage lines if your property is not linked to a public sewer system.

Because septic tanks can treat and dispose of residential wastewater onsite, they are frequently a more inexpensive solution than connecting to a centralised sewage system, especially in rural locations where houses are more widely scattered.

What is a soakaway and how does it work?

A soakaway is a drainage system that consists of a pit excavated in the ground and filled with rubble and coarse stones to collect rainwater. This permits surface water that might otherwise begin to pool to be absorbed back into the ground. When a soakaway is constructed, it is usually located away from the flooding region, and a pipe connecting that area to the soakaway is constructed in the form of a gutter or a drain. This method is particularly beneficial in built-up regions that are constructed of impermeable materials because it decreases the amount of pooling water that might cause flooding in the event of a storm.

If a septic tank is being utilized in an area where there isn’t enough vegetation to allow the septic tank to securely dispose of the wastewater in a drain field, a soakaway can aid in safely eliminating the waste.

Which system is best for my property?

Depending on the amount of land on your property, a septic tank with a linked soakaway may be the best option for you if you want to dispose of solid and liquid waste from your house or company in a natural and cost-effective manner. If, on the other hand, you’re wanting to redirect collecting rainfall or surface water off flat or impermeable surfaces, a soakaway is the best option for your situation. Wildon UK is a prominent provider of wastewater solutions in the United Kingdom, serving a wide range of applications including home, commercial, industrial, and agricultural.

For more information on any of our services, please get in touch with us right away and we’ll be pleased to assist you.

Farm Slurry Systems

Animal waste management systems are essential for helping your business develop and prosper because they allow you to take use of readily accessible resources. Farm slurry systems are the most efficient means of accomplishing this goal, and they can be installed quickly and easily. « Continue reading this post »

What is a Soakaway? We explain everything

There are a variety of elements that can have an impact on the design, structure, and operation of wastewater soakaways, including:

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There are rules and regulations in existence regarding wastewater soakaways, which are primarily intended to safeguard the environment from contamination. You may learn more about septic tank regulations in our Guide to Regulations, but the most important thing to remember is that a septic tank should only discharge to a drainage field unless a permission has been obtained for some other form of soakaway arrangement. A sewage treatment facility may discharge directly into a watercourse or onto a drainage field; however, any other sort of soakaway system would necessitate the obtaining of a permit as well.

Ground conditions

It is possible for ground conditions of a property to vary over time, notably the presence or absence of underground water (also known as the water table).

As a result, the drainage field or soakaway’s ability to operate properly may be impaired, resulting in issues.

Usage of the septic tank or sewage treatment plant

When using a septic tank or sewage treatment plant, it is critical to operate the tank as carefully as possible. This will guarantee that you receive the most number of years of service out of your soakaway or drainage field. Take a look at our post on things you should and should not flush down your toilet.

Percolation tests

An apercolation test must be performed on a property prior to the design and installation of any drainage field or soakaway system on the land. In order to determine the appropriateness of the ground conditions and the needed size of any drainage field, it is necessary to conduct a percolation test.

Damage to the tank can cause problems for the soakaway

Wastewater treatment facilities and septic tanks are meant to prevent solid waste from departing a holding tank and making its way into a drainage field or soakaway. The damage to the tank may result in solid waste particles becoming trapped in the soakaway, which will cause the drainage system to overflow. If you have reason to believe that damage to your septic tank has occurred, it is critical that you get it examined as soon as possible.

Septic Tank Problems

If you are purchasing a home that includes a septic tank and a soakaway, there are a variety of issues that might occur after the sale. Because it is common for a soakaway to be the source of the problem (either because it was improperly constructed or because it was blocked), it is advisable to have one installed before to purchasing a home. First and foremost, a septic tank soakaway is NOT a “hole filled with stones or boxes” as some people believe. These soakaways are just for ROOF WATER and are not permitted to be used for sewage discharge.

See our Soakaway Drainfieldpage for more information.

Allseptic tanksand theirsoakawayshave problems sooner or later.

It is common for these issues to arise during periods of heavy rain, with the septic tank overflowing, septic tank effluent emerging at ground level, leaking into ditches, or backing up the pipes being the result. These are some of the most frequent septic tank issues. The soakaway drainfield, rather than the septic tank itself, is responsible for the majority of septic tank issues and failures, which can occur with both brick and fibreglass tanks. When it comes to a septic tank soakaway drainfield, there is just one thing you can count on: it will fail!

Boreholes and soakaways are not permitted under the General Binding Rules of the Environmental Agency.

AVOID clicking on advertisements on the internet.

The replacement of all septic tanks whose effluent gets into ditches or streams, either intentionally or by accident, with sewage treatment plants must be completed by the first of January 2020, or BEFORE this date if the land is sold, whichever comes first.

According to our observations, this is the case for the vast majority of septic tank systems!

Signs of a failed septic tank soakaway problem:

  • Septic tank effluent surfacing on your property (as shown in the photo)
  • Noxious or offensive odors emanating from the septic tank or sewers
  • Effluent pollution of neighboring ditches or streams (see LEGISLATION)
  • Toilets flushing at a slow pace
  • Gurgling sounds coming from the sewers
  • A septic tank or soakaway drainfield that has experienced ground movement (dips)
  • Overflowing toilet
  • Overflowing washing machine connection
  • Overflowing dishwasher
  • When the sink empties, the water overflows into the shower or bath. Standing effluent can be seen in the drain inspection chambers of some homes. These should be completely devoid of content. Alternatively, you may look at our other images of sewerage disasters on sewage reportsor visit the following websites:

The reasons for septic tank and soakaway drainfield failure

Septic tanks must be emptied ONCE PER YEAR in order to function properly. Their sludge storage capacity is limited to 12 months, and if sludge begins to drain into the soakaway soil, it will quickly clog the air spaces (porosity) in the soil, preventing the effluent from soaking away. As a result, you will experience a soakaway failure, and the septic tank will overflow, clogging the system. The majority of septic tanks are in terrible condition, and I dread to think how many clients have informed me (after their system has collapsed!) that septic tanks never need to be emptied!

2.Depth of the septic tank soakaway drainfield

All septic tank soakaways must be built in the AEROBIC soil layer in order to be effective. This type of soil has oxygen in the air gaps between the particles and can only be found in the top metre of the soil. This is due to the fact that a foul water soakaway performs two functions: the first is to soak up the liquid, and the second is to cleanse the effluent and digest it through the employment of aerobic (oxygen breathing) soil bacteria. Aerobic bacteria have no detrimental effect on soil porosity.

gravel bed beneath the pipe, it is in the ANAEROBIC soil layer, which means that the bacterial growth is anaerobic.

The absurdity of the situation is that most modern ‘onion’ shaped septic tanks come with outlet levels that are deeper than one metre as standard!

As stated in Section H of the Building Regulations 1.39, “Drainage fields should be built and constructed to provide continual aerobic contact between the liquid effluent and the subsoil,” and as stated in BS6297 2008, “The maximum depth of the soakaway pipe should not exceed 700mm.” For what reason do prominent manufacturers create septic tanks that do not meet regulatory requirements?

It is much worse when ‘Cowboy’ installers are hired to complete the job.

3. Nature of the soil and its effect on the soakaway performance

Normal soakaway drainfields will not be able to soak wastewater away into clay or clay-based soils because of their porous nature. Because of the poor porosity, soakaways frequently fail within the first 5 years of operation because the air gaps in the soakaways become clogged with the high amounts of suspended particles in the effluent, which are frequently greater than 1200mg/litre. In addition, this quantity of suspended particles may be found in poorly maintained sewage treatment facilities, and the same principle applies – you can contaminate your own soakaway!) In any case, even with a sandy soil, the high level of suspended particles and the black slime that forms during the decomposition eventually damage the porosity, although it may take 15 to 25 years in some cases.

Solids are ‘blasted’ into the soil’s air spaces, causing the soil porosity to decrease even more quickly and hastening the demise of your soakaway drainfield!

Additionally, after a soakaway failure has occurred, adding commercially available “friendly bacteria” sachets is a waste of time. Because there is no flow into the soakaway as a result, they are unable to do anything to restore the soil’s permeability.

4.Winter water table and its effect on the septic tank soakaway

It is possible that the winter water table will rise to levels higher than the septic tank’s outlet level, resulting in water from the soakaway being discharged back into the septic tank through the outflow line to the soakaway. One thing is certain: water will ALWAYS find its own level, no matter how deep it goes. Due to the fact that the septic tank fills with cleared effluent and settlement chambers mingle with it, when the water level lowers, the resultant effluent is full of particles, which subsequently clogs the soil porosity in the soakaway, this is the most common scenario.

Before purchasing a construction plot, always dig a Trial Site Assessment Hole to assess the level of the winter water table under the ground.

5.Deterioration of the septic tank

Because raw sewage is a very corrosive environment, many septic tanks’ internal divisions/fins/rods, and notably metal struts and bolts (in the case of certain ‘Onion’ septic tanks) and mortar joints (in the case of brick constructed septic tanks), among other components, degrade with time. The hydrogen sulfide gas produced by the decomposing sewage corrodes concrete tanks and causes them to fail. This results in the formation of sulfuric acid on the tank’s lids and walls, which disintegrates the concrete.

Make a mental note of how the concrete is crumbling.

As soon as the septic tank is no longer capable of clarifying the sewage as a result of internal collapse, the quantity of suspended particles in the final effluent grows quickly, and soakaway failure happens in a very short period of time.

6.Sodium Binding in the soil

Sodium Binding is caused by an excess of sodium (salt) in soils containing small particles of silt or clay. A waterproof layer is generated around the soakaway trench as a consequence of the clay particles adhering together as a result of this process. Sodium may be found in a variety of products, including washing powder, detergents, perspiration, dishwashing tablets, water softeners, and the water used in vegetable preparation.

7. Another house joining the septic tank system

Drainage systems such as septic tanks and soakaways are intended to handle a specific volume of liquid each day. You will be unable to raise this amount without also expanding the capacity of the septic tank and soakaway to accommodate the increased volume.

8.Heavy Rain and its effect on the septic tank system

In addition, periods of abnormally heavy rain might pose significant problems. If the soil is incapable of absorbing rainwater, it will also be incapable of absorbing the additional liquid volume generated by a sewage system.

9. More people using the septic tank system

If you have purchased a property where only one or two people were previously utilizing the system and you now have a family of four, the volume of water entering the soakaway will have grown significantly. Although the previous owners may not have experienced any issues, this does not guarantee that you will not as well, since the soakaway may not be able to handle the increased daily flow.

The fact that a septic tank treatment system is installed is something to keep in mind when purchasing a home with one.

How to solve the septic tank soakaway failure problem

  • If you are not in a Groundwater Source Protection Zone and have adequate area (at least 100m2 of ground that is 15m from any building) and the appropriate soil type, you can completely replace your soakaway drainfield in a different portion of your garden. A winter water table that never reaches within a metre of the bottom of the soakaway, as well as no rock within one metre of the bottom of the soakaway, are also required. These are all new rules which you must comply with. Unfortunately, over 70% of all sites fail one or more of these standards, and if this is the case, installing additional below-ground soakaways is out of the question. The use of our own copyrightedabove ground soakaways may be a possibility, but new soakaways are not inexpensive to purchase. Please see the link SEPTIC TANK SOAKAWAYS for a more in-depth discussion of these new regulations.
  • You have the option of scrapping the entire system and installing a full sewage treatment unit that can discharge to a ditch, stream, land drain, or other location providing it complies with the General Building Rules. The wastewater has been removed from your property, as has the difficulty of dealing with soakaways. If you have a ditch or other watercourse that is easily accessible, this is now the most affordable alternative available. You may learn more about VORTEX sewage treatment facility by visiting their website. You can purchase a ‘conversion’ kit to install inside your septic tank, but you must be aware that these ‘conversions’ are in violation of the Environment Agency’s General Binding Rules since they do not have and will not be able to get the necessary EN 12566 Certification. You will never be able to secure an exemption from the Environment Agency for these conversion kits, and in any event, they became unlawful on July 1, 2013, as a result of the Construction Products Directive. Septic tanks were never intended to be used as a sewage treatment unit in the first place. They have an insufficient number of chambers, as well as the incorrect arrangement of chambers, which are the incorrect size to accommodate the situation. It would be necessary to dig up your septic tank and ship it, together with the conversion kit, to an EN Test Center in Europe for performance testing in order to receive a Permit for one of these. The testing would cost around £30,000 and you would be issued the necessary EN 12566-3 Certificate
  • However, the testing would cost approximately £30,000. You may utilize your septic tank as the first settlement stage of a comprehensive three-stage sewage treatment facility. Installation of theSeptic Tank Conversionunit follows the installation of the septic tank and is linked to the output line. This unit will convert your system into a full sewage treatment unit

You can remove the entire system and replace it with a full sewage treatment unit that can discharge to a ditch, stream, land drain, or other location if it complies with the General Building Rules. You no longer have to deal with sewage on your land, nor do you have to deal with soakaways. If you have a ditch or other watercourse that is easily accessible, this is now the most cost-effective choice. You may learn more about VORTEX by visiting their website. There are a variety of ‘conversion’ kits available to put inside your septic tank, but you must be aware that these ‘conversions’ are in violation of the Environment Agency’s General Binding Rules since they do not have and cannot get the necessary EN 12566 Certification.

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A septic tank was never intended to be used as an on-site sewage treatment facility.

It would be necessary to dig up your septic tank and ship it, together with the conversion kit, to an EN Test Center in Europe for performance testing in order to receive a Permit for this type of installation.

You may utilize your septic tank as the first settlement stage of a comprehensive three-stage sewage treatment system.

  • Even if you have recently purchased a home that has an inoperable septic tank system, it is sometimes feasible to utilize the legal process to force the seller’s Solicitor to pay for the necessary repairs or replacement. It is also feasible to have your Buildings Insurance provider reimburse you for the whole cost of the new system. For further information, please see our sewage systems insurance website or call James Webb on 01759 369915.

*BOD (biological oxygen demand)*Suspended solids*Ammoniacal nitrogen *BOD (biological oxygen demand)

Cesspit, Septic Tank, Soakaways, Sewage Systems

Essentially, a septic tank, also known as a cesspit, is a large tank made of concrete, brick, fiberglass, or polyethylene that is buried in the ground and used to collect all of the wastewater from a house. It was created in the 1860s and is considered to be the first piece of sewage equipment, utilized for the treatment of sewage in rural regions at the time of its invention. The sewage treatment facility has taken the place of the septic tank in most cases. For a two-bedroom residence, a septic tank with a capacity of 2700 litres (650 gallons) is required.

  1. A cross-section of a brick or concrete sewage tank looks roughly like this: On the top photo, you can see that there are two portions to the tank: one for water and one for air.
  2. Aerobic bacteria colonize and digest organic matter that rises to the top of the tank, keeping it from becoming too septic and allowing it to decompose more quickly.
  3. The sludge layer is formed when anything heavier than water descends to the bottom of the lake.
  4. This body of effluent comprises anaerobic bacteria as well as substances such as nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as a significant amount of suspended particles, which are little pieces of debris that float around in the water.

The effluent is then transferred to the SST by a baffle, pipe, or weir, where the process is repeated.

Types of Septic Tanks – traditional and fibreglass

According to our observations, the ‘onion’ style fibreglass tank does not perform as well as the old-fashioned brick tank. In general, they create significantly more’septic’ (oxygen-stripping) effluent than the traditional design, owing to the fact that the sole air/sewage contact interface is a small location in the tank’s neck, rather than a larger surface area. There is also just a very little distance between the intake and outflow pipes, which allows for very little horizontal settling.

Septic tank inlets and outlets

The inlet and exit pipes are shaped like ‘T’ pipes, which route the inflow to the water line below the floor. This serves to slow down the transit of sewage and to keep the contents of the Primary Chamber from becoming disturbed, allowing for smoother settling. A minimum of 300mm above the water line is required for the “T” pipes to prevent scum crust from entering the pipe at its uppermost point. The outlet ‘T’ draws water from below the water line, preventing scum crust from exiting the tank and clogging the soakaway.

This time, the middle baffle is in the shape of a ‘H’ pipe, which again prevents scum crust from migrating from the primary to the secondary chambers while also preventing disruption of the settled solids in the secondary chamber.

Depth for Settlement.

There must be a minimum of one metre between the bottom of the output pipe and the bottom of the tank in order to allow for proper settling to occur. The difference in height between the primary and secondary chambers of a septic tank is typically 50mm. We may also give blueprints that would allow you to construct your own septic tank utilizing a concrete foundation and blocks or bricks, if you like. Access Points for Septic Tanks In order to have access to all portions of the septic tank chambers for de-sludging, it is necessary to have good-sized lids on both the primary and secondary chambers.

Septic Tank Gases – Bad for the Environment

In order to allow for sufficient settling, there must be a minimum of one metre between the bottom of the outflow pipe and the bottom of the tank. Between the primary and secondary chambers of a septic tank is normally a dip of around 50mm. If you want to build your own septic tank from scratch, we may give you with blueprints that include a concrete foundation and blocks or bricks. Access Points to Septic Tanks In order to have access to all portions of the septic tank chambers for de-sludging, the primary and secondary chambers must have lids that are of sufficient size.

Soakaway Drainfields

Water that has previously been deposited in the septic tank is displaced as new wastewater enters the system. As the water drains out of the tank, it enters the Soakaway drainfield. There are two types of drain fields: those with solid perforated pipes (NOT “Flexicoil” land drainage pipe!) and those with hollow perforated pipes (NOT “Flexicoil” land drainage pipe!). Solid perforated pipes are buried in trenches filled with washed gravel from 20 to 50mm in size, to a depth of 300mm under the pipe and 50mm over the pipe.

  1. It is necessary to chop down the roots of most onion-shaped septic tanks since their outlets are over 1 metre below earth (for what reason?).
  2. The unfortunate reality is that some soakaways constructed by inexperienced builders are either constructed lower than 700mm below ground level or are little more than trenches filled with stones, both of which have a very short lifespan!
  3. Above-ground view of a septic tank distribution box and drain field is depicted in the following illustration: Groundwater absorbs and filters the wastewater in the drain field over a long period of time.
  4. When using this sort of sewage equipment, a percolation test is performed to establish how many metres of soakaway drainage pipe will be required.
  5. Even on well-drained soils, soakaways have a limited lifespan because septic wastewater has a high concentration of suspended particles, which gradually reduce soil porosity.
  6. Please see Septic Tank Problems for a solution to your problem.

Wastewater Legislation can be found here. The majority of the time, a septic tank sewage system is powered solely by gravity. Water travels downhill from the home to the tank, and then downhill from the tank to the drain field, and so on. It is a form of sewage equipment that is fully passive.

Minimum Distances for Wastewater Systems

The following are the minimum distances that septic tanks should be from other sites: -10 metres from a residence 5 metres from a property line 50 metres away from a well, borehole, or natural spring ten yards away from a water source The soakaway should be be at least 5 metres away from any hedge or tree root zone, since the roots will eventually discover and clog the drain.

Other Septic Tank Information

The discharge of sewage effluent and the locations where it can be discharged Septic tank laws have been updated to include new restrictions for septic tank owners. Septic tank inspections – How to Perform Them Yourself Is it possible for a farmer to empty my septic tank? The Dangers of a Septic Tank Specialists in Septic Tanks

New Septic Tank Regulations 2020 in England, Wales & UK

If you’re building a home, living in a rural area, or owning land that is not connected to the mains drainage system, it’s critical that you be up to date on the latest septic tank regulations. To combat water pollution, the Environment Agency has established General Binding Rules, which means that by January 2022, you will be required to update or replace your septic system, unless you meet certain criteria. Septic tanks have the potential to pollute groundwater resources as well as surface water in lakes, streams, rivers, and other bodies of water.

  • Septic tanks were first regulated in 2010, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • In 2011, the government amended its strategy, and a consultation was launched in 2014 as a result.
  • Septic tank laws 2015 prescribe how septic tanks are to be regulated in England, with the goal of improving water quality and protecting the environment in the process.
  • ‘New discharge’ refers to a device that was installed and started discharging after the specified date.

1:Soakaway System

Water from the septic tank is drained through a network of drainage pipes in neighboring sub-soils, where it undergoes another sort of treatment before being discharged back into the environment. This helped make sure that the wastewater being released didn’t cause pollution. Sewage treatment plants that discharge onto a drainage field are not subject to the 2022 septic tank soakaway requirements.

2: Waterway

Water from the septic tank is discharged through a network of drainage pipes into nearby sub-soils, where it undergoes another form of treatment before being discharged.

This helped make sure that the wastewater being released didn’t create contamination. Soakaway requirements for septic tanks that discharge onto a drainage field will not be in effect until 2022.

New Septic Tank Regulations In 2022 Explained

Let’s get down to business: what exactly is changing with respect to septic tanks as of the first of January 2022? If you’re responsible for a property that has a septic tank, or if you’re considering purchasing a property that has a septic tank, you should be aware of the future legal obligation to upgrade by 2022, which may have an impact on your situation. Please use the following information to determine if you will be obliged to take action toward compliance before 1 January 2022 in order to avoid breaking rules and incurring an unwelcome fine in the amount of $100,000 or more:

Septic Tank Regulations England

A septic tank is a tank that separates particles from wastewater and then releases the liquid septic waste to the earth through a drainage field that has been properly built and constructed. A soakaway crate or soakaway pit is not an Ezy drain, tunnel, or soakaway crate. These substances are not permitted for use in wastewater dispersion. Surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams, or any other sort of waterway are prohibited from discharging into septic tanks. According to the newEnvironmental Agency Septic Tank General Binding Rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.), you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a fullsewage treatment plant by 2022, or when you sell your property if you purchased it prior to this date, whichever comes first.

  • Sewage treatment facilities with complete BS EN 12566-3 documentation are replaced, or the discharge to the waterway is obstructed and redirected to a drain field built and constructed in accordance with the most recent British Standard BS6297 2007 is implemented.

Septic Tank Regulations Scotland

If your property is located in Scotland, you are required to register any sewage treatment discharges, both current and new, with SEPA(Scotland) by the first day of January in the following year. As long as the discharge has been in use since the first day of April 2006, you can register it if the discharge is for 15 or less individuals. Otherwise, you cannot register it. If it was in use before to April 1, 2006, you may be able to register it if it is for a group of 50 or fewer persons. In order to operate with a population greater than these during the times specified above, you must get a license from SEPA.

Septic Tank Rules and Septic Tank Registration Wales

If your property located in Wales, you MUST register your septic tank or sewage treatment plant withNatural Resources (Wales)before 2022. You’ll also need permission from the local government if you discharge water into the earth through a watercourse or drain field. It is normally free for small-scale discharges, subject to the following conditions:

  • If your sewage treatment plant or septic tank discharges into a drain field in the ground and your residential property has up to 13 occupants, you may be required to install a septic tank. If your package sewage treatment plant flows into a river and the residential property has less than 33 occupants, you may be eligible for a grant. Assuming there is no protected place nearby, or that the groundwater beneath your property flows to a water extraction point that is utilized for human use, you should take precautions. For example, a source protection zone for drinking water or a place of exceptional scientific interest are both examples of what is meant by “special scientific interest” (SSSI). Natural Resource Wales will investigate this once your application has been received.

Are you looking for a tank that complies with regulations? Septic Tanks can be found here. Plants for Wastewater Treatment

Frequently Asked Septic Tank Questions… Answered!

The following are some questions you could ask about your septic system that will help you better understand whether or not your septic tank is ready for 2022, how to maintain it, and how it works:

What are Small Sewage Treatment Plants and Septic Tanks?

The effluent from your washing machines, sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets will flow into one of the following systems if your company or house is not linked to the public sewage system.

  • Solids are collected at the bottom of the tank, where they are turned into sludge, and liquid is discharged onto a drainage field, where microorganisms cleanse the waste as it seeps into the earth. This substance is not permitted to be discharged into a waterway. In the same way, a Small Sewage Treatment Plant works, but it makes use of mechanical parts to oxygenate the microorganisms, which increases their effectiveness at treating effluent and allows them to discharge treated wastewater into flowing water or a drain field. An important distinction is that, instead of being cleaned and released, raw sewage is collected and stored in an underground tank, which implies that the general binding laws do not apply to cesspits or cesspools. Cesspit rules, on the other hand, state that they must be drained when they are full and that they should not be permitted to leak or overflow.

What are My Responsibilities as a Homeowner?

According to the Environment Agency’s new code of practice, homeowners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the sewage treatment system on their property, as well as for reducing the system’s impact on the surrounding environment.

See also:  How Ti Eliminate Septic Odor From 2000 Gallon Tank? (Question)

What are the Deadlines?

It is possible that the Environmental Agency may discover that you are now damaging surface water through the discharge from your septic tank before January 1, 2022, and you will be obliged to construct a new system prior to the new legislation being effective. As a result, you’ll have 365 days to upgrade, albeit the exact length of time will be determined on an individual case-by-case basis.

What are the Options?

Well, there are two methods in which you can comply with the new regulations:

  1. Septic tanks should be replaced by wastewater treatment plants because they generate water that is clean enough to be discharged directly into a river
  2. . Install a soakaway system or a drain field – this will collect wastewater from your septic tank and safely release it into the earth without polluting the environment

What Do The New Regulations Mean For Septic Tank Owners?

Because of the ‘General Binding Rules,’ every septic tank that was erected and is discharging on or after the 1st January 2015 must comply with the rules by discharging to a drain field. This is referred to as a ‘new discharge,’ and no action is required; however, if your septic system was discharging prior to the regulations taking effect on the 31st December 2014, you have a ‘existing discharge,’ and no action is required. It is no longer judged safe to use ‘existing discharges,’ and the Environment Agency requires that these septic systems be replaced with new, compliant systems by the first of January 2022.

According to the Environmental Agency, if your septic system provides a major risk to the environment or human health, or if it is polluting the environment, you will be required to modify or replace your septic tank by the first of January 2022 and within 365 days after receiving notification.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Check to be that your septic system is properly sized and installed in accordance with the new septic tank installation rules before using it. Always refer to the Government’s Approved Document Hbefore beginning any installation project or executing any maintenance. As a result, you’ll need to make sure your tank is maintained and emptied on a regular basis by a professional (such as a qualified waste carrier) in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is the seller’s responsibility to inform potential buyers in writing if an estate contains a septic tank, as well as the tank’s maintenance requirements and exact location.

Keep in mind that if you live in Scotland, Wales, or in or near groundwater source protection zones (SPZ1), you may be subject to additional regulations.

How to Follow the Regulations and Protect Your Local Environment

Complying with the general binding norms is straightforward.

The following are the most important things you must do:

  • Have your septic system emptied by a licensed trash hauler on a regular basis to ensure that it does not pollute the environment. Maintain your septic system on a regular basis, and get any issues or flaws repaired as soon as possible
  • A maximum of 2,000 liters of treated waste per day into the ground or 5,000 liters of treated trash per day into flowing water is the limit for each day you discharge treated waste. If you discharge more than a certain amount, you’ll need a permission
  • Before building a new septic system, check with the Environmental Agency to see whether you’ll need to obtain a permit from them. Consult with your local government to establish whether or not your system complies with building and planning requirements.

Quick Tips for Maintaining Your Septic Tank

Maintaining your septic system effectively will assist you in reducing your energy usage, avoiding expensive repair fees, and preventing pollution. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Ensure that the sludge is dumped on a regular basis by a licensed trash carrier. Get it serviced once a year by a trained engineer, and deal with any issues as soon as they arise. Check your local river or stream on a regular basis for indicators of pollution such as grey fungus, luxuriant weeds, froth, sludge, pools of water, or sewage odors, among other things. If you notice any of the following issues, contact a professional for assistance: Wipes, diapers, sanitary goods, and other similar items should not be flushed down the toilet since they might clog the system. Chemicals, oils, and fats should not be flushed down the toilet because they destroy the microbes that aid in the breakdown of waste. Avoid using phosphate detergents, which are hazardous to the environment
  • Maintain records of your system’s upkeep so you’ll know when to empty and service it.


Fortunately, there is still time to make the changeover. It’s not all doom and gloom though. After all, no one likes to think of the residents of the local rivers or streams wallowing in the contaminated water from septic tanks, therefore it’s a good thing that the situation has changed for the better. To find out whether your septic tank has existing or fresh discharge, get in touch with the Environment Agency, who will be able to tell you whether your system is compliant. The official guide from the government may be found here.

Plants for Wastewater Treatment Nathan Wilde’s bioNathan has been working in the drainage and plastics industries for more than 12 years now.

Nathan has now committed himself to making the lives of tradespeople simpler through his work at EasyMerchant.

Is a Crystal Septic Tank suitable for your site

As a result of the new regulations, septic tanks that discharge into Soakaways or Ditches/Streams/Rivers are no longer permitted. All existing septic tanks are only permitted to discharge into Drainage Fields that have been properly tested and constructed in accordance with BS 6297 2007 + A1 2008Old fashioned Soakaways are no longer permitted. In the past, septic tanks were the most polluting, out-of-date, and EXPENSIVE option for off-mains sewage treatment, and they were frequently denied permission by the authorities; nevertheless, today, most septic tank soakaways are also considered unlawful.

  • If the water table ever rises to near 2 metres of the ground level, it is considered to be an emergency. During the Percolation Test, the soil drains away either too quickly or too slowly. In accordance with the Environmental Agency’s classification system, your facility is located in a Zone 1 Groundwater Protection Zone. Alternatively, you may call us on 01759 369915 and we can find out for you.

Septic tanks that discharge into ditches and other watercourses must be replaced with Sewage Treatment Plants by the first of January 2020, or earlier if the property is sold before this date, according to the new General Binding Rules (Environment Agency). A sewage treatment facility that can discharge straight into a ditch, stream, or other waterway is a superior option. They are less expensive, smaller, and easier to install than septic systems, and they do not harm the environment in the same manner that the traditional septic tank and soakaway did.

We have a large number of consumers who are unable to utilize their products after they have been purchased, and this is a problem that we attempt to avoid whenever possible.

Please contact us before making a decision on whether or not to purchase a Septic Tank so that we can establish whether or not it is the best option for your location.

Benefits of the Crystal Low Profile Septic Tank Design

  • The structure is made of fiberglass. They are not prone to bending and distorting like low-cost plastic septic tanks. For photographs, please see the link below. Unique venting design ensures that any odors are discharged back into the environment through the soil vent pipe
  • Odourless Concrete or gravel backfill
  • Low profile, shallow installation
  • Less expensive to install than other materials. Effluent is cleaner than that produced by ‘onion’ septic tanks. Simple Sludge Test- just empty as much as is necessary
  • In order to maintain the soakaway clean, an effluent filter can be installed in the outflow. 10 Year Warranty – The tank warranty offered by the industry leader is just 12 months. All units are custom built to order: a one-piece fibreglass tank construction that will not leak, with a neck that can be customized to fit the inlet depth
  • In addition, the non-electricFilterPod septic system conversion to a sewage treatment plant makes use of this product. SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS—no need for a costly soakaway system

Installing a low-profile septic tank is significantly less expensive than installing a spherical one. Reasons why:

  • Almost all spherical septic tanks require a complete concrete backfill in order to function properly. This is far more expensive than the gravel backfill utilized by the majority of low-profile models. It takes significantly more concrete to fill up the gaps formed by the spherical shape of a “onion” septic tank in a square hole, and the “onion” shape septic tank is deeper in the earth than the “onion” septic tank. You are more likely to encounter problems with groundwater, running sand, and other such issues the deeper the hole you dig. This can result in a cost increase of up to double.

Installation of a Crystal Class 1 Septic system – gravel backfill

Click below for Further Information

All about septic Tank SystemsSoakaway advice, design and installationSeptic Tank Problems and solutionsDifferences between Septic Tanks and Treatment PlantsSewage Treatment OptionsSeptic Tank ConversionEmptying IntervalsSeptic Tank FiltersDo bleaches and detergent affect Sewage systems?What size Septic Tank?Can a sewage system accept rainwater?Bacteria and AdditivesSurveysInstallationSewage Treatment ExplainedPercolation TestsNew Sewage RegulationsPreparation for Winter and at ChristmasFibreglass versus plastic septic tanks – Which is better?

Septic Tank Design

Crystal Septic Tanks are a one-of-a-kind design with two chambers that allow for primary settling of sewage and secondary settlement before effluent is discharged. It is possible to have a filter installed in a soakaway to prevent tiny particles from becoming trapped inside – the photo above shows a failed soakaway on a lawn. Suspended particles of a small size are captured in the filter before they may cause harm to the soakaway. These filters are installed as standard on septic tank systems around the world, with the exception of the United Kingdom.

The flooded area seen in the photograph is the result of a malfunctioning septic tank soakaway system.

The majority of modern homes do not have enough yard space to include a drainage field.

Crystal septic tanks are our own Yorkshire design and not available anywhere else. They are designed to be used as part of our FilterPod sewage treatment system.

Unusual Aeration System for Crystal Septic TanksCrystal septic tanks are unique in that they maintain the aeration process that was so important in the previous traditional form of septic tanks. On the second chamber, there is a vent pipe that goes to the earth. This allows for airflow through the chambers and up into the soil vent pipe, which helps to keep the contents pleasant while also allowing for the formation of an aerobic ‘crust’ on the surface of the effluent. This creates a barrier between the sewage and the surrounding air, as well as smothering the stench of the wastewater.

Aromas can move from the final chamber to the first chamber, and then back up the pipework to the soil vent pipe located on the house’s exterior wall.

You are unable to close the tank lids because one of the gases released is methane, which has the potential to turn into a ‘bomb’ if not contained. The Crystal Septic Tank has a number of unique characteristics.

  • There are no metal struts to corrode on the interior. Warranty of 25 years
  • By using the drains rather than the lids, smells are vented back to their source, the soil vent pipe. The use of two access points for emptying, one above each chamber, to ensure that all sections of the chamber can be viewed for sludge removal is recommended. In the event that the 90 degree bends on the ‘T’ pipes inside the septic tank get clogged, there is easy access to them. less emissions of pollutants
  • The Crystal has a shallower in-ground depth than the other two. Septic tank filters (as shown in the illustration on the right) can be fitted to minimize the suspended particles in the final effluent by up to 69 percent, so safeguarding your soakaway. Available with a variety of input and output configurations
  • Complete with lids and moulded-in 1 metre neck extensions (which can be trimmed to fit)
Unless you have very free-draining soil it is unwise to consider using a septic tank for populations over 13 persons as the size and cost of the soakaway will be prohibitive. A sewage treatment plant discharging directly to a ditch is a cheaper option.Environment Agency Pollution Prevention Guidelines state that septic tanks are only suitable for small-scale developments up to 15 persons.It is almost impossible to create a soakaway large and porous enough for the amount of liquid produced by larger populations.

Permissions Required

All septic tank installations, including replacements, are subject to Building Regulations and, in certain cases, Planning Permission, which must be obtained. Always check with your local council about the criteria for obtaining planning clearance before purchasing a property, since some municipalities have a blanket ban on septic tanks. Due to limits on water table levels, soil porosity, and Groundwater Source Protection Zones, septic tanks are not permitted on more than 70% of all sites in the United Kingdom.

In addition, you must conduct soakaway testing to demonstrate that your site is appropriate for a soakaway.

Crystal Septic Tank – SPECIFICATIONS

  • Building Regulations and, in some cases, Planning Permission are required for all septic tank installations, including replacements. Inquire about the criteria for obtaining planning clearance from your local council before to purchasing, since some municipalities prohibit the use of septic tanks outright. Despite water table limits, soil porosity requirements, and Groundwater Source Protection Zones, septic tanks are not permitted on more than 70% of all UK properties. For further information about these in your region, please contact us via phone or email. You must also conduct soakaway tests to demonstrate that your site is appropriate for the installation of a soakaway system. A septic tank is not permitted to be installed on 60 percent of the land in the United Kingdom if these tests are not passed.

It is possible to equip Crystals with a Septic Tank Filter, which will prevent sediments from clogging the soakaway. White Rose Installations Ltd is a company that we suggest for septic tank and sewage treatment plant surveys.



Codes of Practise

Codes of practice for septic systems developed by British WaterEnvironmental Agency registration law

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