General Questions

These general questions will provide you with the answers to our most commonly asked, non-technical questions.

  • What are our opening times?

    Mon – Fri 9:00am – 17:00pm Sat – Sun Closed

  • What are our contact details?

    Email address: Phone number: 01206 890222

  • What products do you recommend for supply or installation?

    We are independent supplier and installers of all leading makes of septic tanks and package sewage treatment plants, with such wide range of products available on the market not being tied to any one manufacture.

  • What are our installation options?

    Installation Only: For customers that are in the process of a new build or simply would like best price for installation only. We will install the package sewage treatment plant at the correct depth using our rotating laser level leaving you the pipework and electrics to be connected afterwards. Once the drainage pipework is connected we will return at later date to commission the treatment system.     Standard Installation: Our standard installation is full package sewage treatment plant installation. It includes all drainage pipework to and from the tank, electric cable to be buried with all electrical connections carried out by our qualified electrician, all excavations to be backfilled. Ideal option if you want quick effortless installation and you are landscape the garden afterwards. Full Care Installation: This is our installation service to make every effort possible to leave your garden exactly how we found it! The installation service is that one better than standard using ground protection mats throughout installation. Where necessary turfs can be lifted, too new turfs being laid over excavations from your new package sewage treatment plant installation.

  • Will you inspect the site?

    We offer free site inspection for all replacement septic tanks, sewage treatment plants, soakaways, throughout Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk. Contact us to arrange time convenient with yourself during business days. Free site inspection would take 30-60 mins averagely. Full written quotation specific to the works required

  • What happens after installation?

    Our fully trained service engineers can undertake wide range of maintenance with stocked parts from leading manufactures in the industry we can offer repairs, or service plans on majority of package sewage treatment plants.

  • Are septic tanks and sewage treatment plants covered by my insurance?

    Your cesspool, septic tank or package sewage treatment plant could be covered for repair or replacement by your building insurance policy. Insurance policies can cover wide range of damage to off drainage systems e.g. damage caused by tree root, damage to the tank by ground movement. To move forward on any possible insurance claim please contact us for a site inspection and to review your insurance policy. It could save you thousands of pounds in unforeseen damage to your off mains drainage system.   

Technical Septic Tank Questions

These technical questions will help you understand and troubleshoot any issues you may have relating to septic tanks.

  • What are common septic tank problems?

    Septic tank problems are one of our most common enquiries for potential works required to resolve; bad odour, soakaway failure, polluting nearby watercourse. Septic tanks are most commonly made from two individual chambers to divide the solids from the liquids. The primary chamber prevents solids passing over to the secondary chamber before entering the outlet distribution chamber on the drainage field. Traditional building methods are of brick construction with modern day septic tanks made from GRP or polyethylene. We have put some frequently asked questions together to help give you indication on some septic tank problems you might be experiencing. If you need any further advice or our expertise in resolving your septic tank problem, please call us on 01206 89022 or contact us through our website submission form.

  • My septic tank is flooding causing the drains to back up. What should I do?

    A septic tank becoming flooded can be for variety of reason from simple blockage of the transfer pipe from primary to secondary chamber, inlet or outlet T-pipe should also be checked for blockages, failing these simple checks we assume it could be more serious problem involving soakaway failure. Normally the wastewater within the septic tank will sit at level not hirer than the inlet T-pipe, the transfer pipe from the primary chamber to the secondary chamber should be visible and free flowing, outlet T- pipe should be visible flowing to outlet distribution chamber to soakaway. If the T-pipes are blocked it would need rodding to clear the blockage to resolve the drains backing up towards the property. If the transfer pipes are free flowing but the operation level of the septic tank is above normal we would assume the soakaway has failed. The signs of the problem are inspection lid lifting, waste water backing up from the septic tank towards the property, or land around the septic tank or soakaway to be wet, soft, or waterlogged. I would recommend to have the septic tank emptied while jetting the soakaway but most often the soakaway would need to be replaced to resolve the septic tank soakaway problem. Signs of problems •Inspection lid lifting. •Wastewater backing up from the septic tank. •Land around the Septic tank or soakaway wet, soft, or waterlogged. •Frequent tank emptying’s

  • How should I maintain my septic tank?

    Always be careful on products you pour down the sink or toilet, cooking oil and grease can cause pipework to block, disposing of non-biodegradable items such as baby wipes, ear buds, nappies, should not enter a septic tank as it could block pipework, baffles, transfer pipes, T-pipe etc. Some chemicals can be harmful to septic tanks such as medicines, paint, thinners, solvents, excessive use of bleach, etc.

  • What is the lifespan of my septic tank soakaway?

    There are many factors involved on septic tank soakaway lifespan due to being a natural process being reliant on the surrounding ground conditions and its ability to allow percolation. Some common examples would be root intrusion, high water table, poor ground conditions not allowing percolation, poor effluent quality can block the perforated pipework etc. We cannot accurately say how long soakaway lifespan will be specially on septic tank soakaway but would highly recommend maintaining your septic tank to make sure the soakaway life is not significantly reduced.    General septic tank maintenance •Regular annual tank emptying. •6 monthly visual inspection. •T-pipes in place to prevent scum passing over. •Do not allow roof water and surface water to enter the septic tank.

  • How do you know your soakaway is failing?

    The most common visual test for soakaway failure would be to have your septic tank emptied and see if any effluent is pouring back into the tank, if effluent is flowing back into the tank you have a problem.

  • What is Sodium binding?

    Sodium chloride found in washing powders and liquids, dish washer tablets, cleaning products, contains a lot of Salt. Excessive use of these products will cause soakaway lifespan to decrease and lead to soakaway failure.  The process is called Sodium binding where the sodium is present causing silt / clay particles or both to bind together creating water proof barrier, prevent the soakaway to work efficiently. The same process occurs from water softener if fitted due to the soften water being high in sodium content. We would recommend to not over use washing powders, dish washer tablets, cleaning products excessively and not to fit water softeners to prevent sodium binding.

  • What’s the latest standard for septic tanks?

    Certified Septic Tank EN12566 – Part 1 

  • Can my septic tank overflow or discharge to a pond, ditch, stream, or river?

    The clarified effluent from septic tank can only be disposed of by soakaway / drainage field if the ground conditions are suitable. A septic tank under no circumstances should it be considered to discharge to a pond, ditch, stream, or river. It is offence to discharge untreated effulent to any watercourse under the Public Health and Water Resources Acts and can result in the offender liable to prosecution. It’s not uncommon to find septic tanks discharging direct to a watercourse. Unfortunately, some homeowners feel the need to extend the soakaway, or build soakaway alongside to nearby watercourse and discharge untreated effluent to the local environment. It might seem cheap alternative or quick fix to overcome failing soakaway due to bad ground condition but it’s polluting our natural watercourses and potential risk to human health. However long the discharge has been made to a watercourse or however small the volume being discharge to a watercourse, it still and always will be an offence.

  • My septic tank is failing are there any alternative solutions?

  • What are the issues surround high water table?

    We often find water table over recent years has risen causing soakaway problems. During wet periods of the year soakaways are more likely to fail because of the rising water table. Instead of the soakaway displace the effluent into the ground it has the reveres effect and acts as land drain. The soakaway problem could possible back drains up towards the property in the wet periods or even lift inspection lid when the septic tank is flooded in severe cases. Soakaway problems can be resolved by installing pump station to discharge to a high-level soakaway system above the naturally high water table.

  • Will an increase in waste water volume cause a problem?

    Increase in volume of wastewater entering a septic tank can cause soakaway problems. A soakaway is designed for certain volume of water per 24 hours and if increased it could cause soakaway failure. If your property has extended over the years or was a cottage 30 years back it wouldn’t be surprizing if the soakaway is undersized, along with an undersized septic tank. Another reason could be the septic tank or soakaways was undersized by inexperienced tradesman.

Technical Sewage Treatment Plant Questions

These technical questions will help you get to grips with sewage treatment plants, the modern alternative to septic tanks.

  • What types of sewage treatment plant do we supply or install?

    As independent suppliers or installers, we can recommend the right package sewage treatment plant for your requirements not being tied to any one manufacture.

  • Recommended sewage treatment plants

    Most leading manufactures have made significant advances in recent years to the latest sewage treatment technology, tank design keeping installation cost minimal, and improving effluent quality beyond British standards. We would recommend sewage treatment plant with no moving parts involved the treatment process, easy access for maintenance, tested to the latest EN12566-Part 3 standards, good level of warranty from the treatment plant manufacturer, and selecting the right treatment plant best suited for your property. If you are looking for new sewage treatment plant installation, please contact us for free site inspection to select the right treatment system for your property.

  • Can sewage treatment plants discharge to ditch, stream, or river?

    Package sewage treatment plants can discharge to a watercourse if it complies to the Environment Agency ‘General Binding Rules’. If your discharge is not compliant we might be able to obtain consent through slightly more detailed process known as permitting application.

  • Whats the difference between gravity and pumped?

    If gravity fall can’t be achieved for discharge to watercourse or soakaway then pumped outlet could be the answer. Most package sewage treatment plants on the market have pumped outlet options to elevate the effluent to more shallow depth below ground level. The pumped outlet option is most effective to overcome high water tables, create high level soakaway to overcome poor ground conditions, and discharge to watercourse with high level of flow.

  • What is secondary treatment?

    If you live in ground water zone 1 or effluent quality needs to be improved depending Environment Agency requirement a reed bed could be the answer. Further treatment can improve effluent quality by natural filtration before discharging to stream, ditch, or river.

  • What is the most common type of sewage treatment plant process?

    Activated sludge process: Aerated wastewater with a suspended biomass which breaks down much of the substance in sewage and wastewater. Biological aerated filter: that contains submerged medium of a high surface area on which biomass can accumulate and which is aerated. The excess biomass is cleaned off (or back-washed) and settles to form sludge. RBC: Rotating biological contactor is a treatment process that has a group of discs that rotate in the settled effluent to be treated; they may not be completely submerged. The biological treatment takes place in the discs. Sequencing batch reactor (SBR): A treatment vessel for a process that undergoes the sequence of filling, aeration (bio-mass growth and wastewater treatment), settlement and discharge, a sequence which is repeated successively. Submerged aerated filter (SAF): A fixed film treatment process in which the solids media is submerged in the effluent and on which the biofilm grows, a mechanical device introduces oxygen.

  • How do you size a sewage treatment plant for domestic property?

    A treatment system for a single house with up to and including 3 bedrooms shall be designed for a minimum population (P) of 5 people. The size of a treatment system for a single house with more than 3 bedrooms shall be designed by adding 1 P for each additional bedroom to the minimum single house value of 5 P,eg: •house with 3 bedrooms = minimum 5 P system •house with 4 bedrooms = minimum 6 P system (5+1) •house with 6 bedrooms = minimum 8 P system (5+3).

  • When do I need to empty my sewage treatment plant?

    Sewage treatment plants only have a finite volume in which the sludge accumulates as the sewage is treated and which when it is full will require de-sludging. If the sludge is not removed the treatment plant will not work efficiently and the quality of the treated effluent will gradually worsen. The effluent will not comply with the regulatory requirements and so will contaminate the environment and/or damage any soak away, drainage field, ditch or stream that the unit discharges into. It is important to note that if the discharged effluent does not comply with the “Permit or Consent to Discharge or the Authorisation” issued by the regulator that this is a civil offence and so may have legal consequences – court appearances and potentially fines, especially for commercial organisations. •Domestic Sewage/Wastewater Treatment Plants – half-yearly •Commercial Sewage/Wastewater Treatment Plants – quarterly

  • Do you service sewage treatment system?

    Our fully trained service engineers can undertake wide range of servicing with stocked parts from leading manufactures in the industry we can offer repairs and service plans on majority of package sewage treatment plants.    

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