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Different types of systems can have very different maintenance and servicing needs, and it’s important to know what you are dealing with. Our Guide will help you to identify the type of drainage system you have.
Septic tanks, cesspits and sewage treatment plants. If you live in a house that’s not near a main sewer, your property will be connected to one of these types of private drainage systems.
Drainage systems sit out of sight underground, so it can be difficult to know what’s going on - or even what type of drainage system you have. But understanding what type of drainage system you have is key to knowing how best to look after it, and how to get as many years of trouble free use as possible.
Firstly, check out our guide which will talk you through the three main types of systems.
Septic tanks are the most common type of off-mains drainage system. A pipe runs from your property to the septic tank, where the waste is separated into three different layers.
Click here to read our guide as to how your septic tank works, if you want to know more.
From the tank, the waste water either runs to a drainage field, a soakaway system, or if it’s an older system it might run to a watercourse. If you have one of these older systems which discharges to a watercourse, you’ll need to know that it is no longer legal for a septic tank to discharge waste water to a watercourse (you can find out more information on septic tank regulations here.
Some of the signs that your property has a septic tank are:
Cesspits (or cesspools, they’re one and the same) are often seen as a last resort, if there are reasons why a septic tank or a sewage treatment plant can’t be installed at a property. This is because a cesspit is purely a holding tank for all the waste that leaves your property.
Cesspits, by nature of being simply a holding tank, require really frequent emptying, which can be costly.
Signs that your property has a cesspit may include:
A sewage treatment plant provides a greater level of treatment of your property’s waste than a septic tank would. It has more mechanical components inside it that need an electricity supply.
As the quality of waste leaving a sewage treatment plant is better, it can discharge straight to a local watercourse. Alternatively, the wastewater can be discharged to a drainage field.
Like septic tanks, sewage treatment plants typically need to be emptied annually, although this can vary. The main difference between a septic tank and a sewage treatment plant from an upkeep perspective is that a sewage treatment plant will require a regular service of its mechanical and electrical parts. This should also be carried out annually.
You’ll know if you have a sewage treatment plant because:
Whether you have a septic tank, cesspit or sewage treatment plant, give our friendly team a call on 0800 028 9903. We can help if you’re having any problems, or if you’d like a regular health check to make sure everything is as it should be.