Oxbow16

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  1. Hi. I don't know much about such things so please add the required salt to my comments Two things I have learnt whilst investigating my land for a suitable drainage field (albeit for a septic tank) are: - The land was very different in different areas. My first hole never drained which led me to think it was clay and impermeable. Turns out though that it is likely the land in that area has had human intervention of some sort, as when - by chance - I did a second hole in a different and more out of the way spot, it percolated very well. Obviously this might be irrelevant if your plot is on the smaller side. - When I was reading up on the subject I came across several people talking of a "clay cap". And that if there is one, getting passed that may mean reaching more permeable ground conditions. I didn't pursue this myself because the other hole worked so well so there was no need. And I was digging by hand and so couldn't go too deep. Perhaps if you've had a drainage engineer involved this has already been thought of and/or deemed irrelevant. But it was a couple of things I came across whilst being faced with poorly draining soil and so thought there's no harm in sharing. Good luck!
  2. Crikey, that's a lot of water! This is in Kent? Shocking and a shame to hear. That being said, it seems the water companies pretty much have a free license to discharge raw sewage to watercourses. So I guess they're just cutting out the middleman in a way! PS - I guess the water does look quite brown in that photo
  3. Seems ever since the 2020 new rules RE septic tanks discharging to streams (no longer being allowed), septic tanks have gotten a bad rep. Certainly here in Wales - and I think in Scotland too - a septic tank with drainage field is preferred by the powers-that-be over a sewage treatment plant with discharge to stream. This thread isn't the first in which I've read people asking whether septic tanks are even still legal. A properly functioning tank discharging into a properly functioning/installed drainage field is no bad thing! Bet that was fun for the driver on those roads!
  4. What was the total depth of the hole you dug? The 300mm cube you fill and test should be below the bottom of the proposed outlet pipe depth. So if the drainage pipe itself will be 300mm deep, you fist dig a 300mm deep hole (width is irrelevant), and then AT THAT LEVEL you dig the 300mx300mx300mm test hole. Fill that hole and allow it to drain overnight. Then refill to 300mm the next day and time how long it takes to drop from 225mm to 75mm, which it sounds like you did. You should refill a further two times and time these in the same way. Then calculate an average. Hope that all makes sense! You then put the figures through an equation, which I can find for you if you are interested? Let me know. I would personally try another hole in another area. If there's any chance the area you tried the test hole in has previously been compacted, this may have an impact. I say all of this because it is exactly what happened to me recently. The first hole chronically failed. I ruled out a drainage field based on that, but then decided to try an other hole in another part of the land, and that had great results. If you went for a Sewage Treatment Plant, where would you be discharging to? A stream?
  5. @BotusBuild Curios as to what you decided in the end?
  6. What I can add is that I spoke to a few suppliers about it and their answers varied as to why black corrugated cannot be used. For example: - Because if there is a problem with the tank and more solids were getting through to the drainage field, the pipe would clog more easily. - Smooth pipe is better for even distribution across the whole drainage field. It ensures a smooth flow. - You can use black corrugated land drainage pipe. But you should also follow building reg (!).
  7. Hi there I don't have an answer for you, well - at least not a full one. But it is a very good question and one I have been looking into as well. What I do know is that the black corrugated stuff in your second link is against building regs. It even says so on the product page: "Not suitable as a dispersal drain for septic tanks". Note also that the second link stuff says it is single wall, not twin. Why this is the case I'm not sure. I can see that the black corrugated isn't kite marked. And maybe that's all there is to it? If there's more to it, then I would love to know why it is not considered suitable. In terms of durability, I cannot see it being a problem seeing as this is what farmers use as land drainage. A farmer's field sees a lot more "action" than the average garden! So if anyone knows of other reasons why it isn't suitable, please enlighten us both :) Cheers
  8. It's part of the reason, yes. And whilst I might not put it on crops where it is in direct contact with the edible parts of the plant, I definitely aim to use it on fruit trees, berries, etc. Note however that Joseph Jenkins (Humanure author) uses it on ALL his food crops. Well rotted for 2 years+ of course. It's not a new build. It's a part renovation on a house. There's a septic tank here already, and all necessary plumbing/drainage is in place. Septic tanks are perfectly acceptable. In fact, SEPA and NRW prefer a septic tank and drainage field over a sewage treatment plant and discharge to watercourse. Not sure what is preferred by EA in England. I think part of the problem is these people who in the past have said things along the lines of "the discharge from a STP is so clean you could drink it; although I wouldn't personally hahaha". Well, it isn't that clean, which is why in sensitive areas tertiary treatment is required. Not only that, but when when the system fails? Or the pump stops working unbeknown to the occupier? Or you are away for periods of time and the biological activity stops? Or you have it installed/emptied and it takes xx weeks for the microbes to repopulate? Etc etc. So you raise some good points imo. I'd stab a guess at the fact that the above scenarios are all likely and common, especially with folks who don't like to get too involved with things like this. In fact, I was speaking to someone the other day who said he went to do a job and asked the customer why his STP wasn't making any noise? The customer said it never made noise. Turns out the air blower hadn't been working at all for 2 years+. I imagine ignorance is bliss for a lot of people when it comes to sewerage. What you can't do now is have a septic tank (new or existing) discharging to a watercourse. Thanks to everyone for the responses. When we were looking for a house to buy we certainly came across many where the septic tanks had not been emptied for an age. Some were 30 years+. Some were NEVER emptied. Personally, and for my low usage, I think I'll go for once every five years or so. One of the reasons for this is to inspect for damage to the inside of the tank and/or internal pipe work. On top of that, depending on ow low the pipes are on the T and H pieces, they could be in the sludge area rather than the effluent area if left for a lot of years, which in the end will lessen the life of the drainage field. Probably what I've learnt most from all this is the importance of protecting the drainage field. The tank will kind of look after itself if you're sensible with it. Cheers
  9. Hi all Following on from this thread.... ...things have changed and new questions have arisen, so I thought it best to start a new one. Firstly, I can't quite remember what inspired it, but we decided to do another percolation test in a different area of the garden and the results were fantastic. Pretty much perfect for a drainage field. So we're going to do a third test later next week after there's been some rain. But things are looking good and if they continue to do so then we're sticking with the septic tank. Lesson learnt RE doing more than one test. I'm thinking that the first one was done in an area of high compaction and/or where spoil may have been laid when extensions were built (not by us). Secondly, for the reasons listed in the other thread I'm still keen on installing a compost loo in the house. We will keep a flushing loo as well for occasional use and guests who can't get their heads round pooing in a bucket. But guests are rather occasional here. So I'm wondering - does a septic tank need poo to function and if so how much does it need? If for arguments sake the tank only ever received discharge from sinks, showers, washing machine and dishwasher - what would happen? Would the microbes all die/become dormant? If so, then what? Not the nicest topic, but appreciate anyone's thoughts nonetheless Cheers
  10. That's the option I'm going with - and that's for IN the house permanently. I'm a convert! If you - or anyone else reading - are interested in the Humanure approach, I do believe the book is available as a free PDF download too; although donations are welcomed...
  11. Hi all We're getting quotes for some repair work to our concrete septic tanks. One chap has said that to do the work he would remove the concrete biscuit covers from both tanks, rather than actually get into the tank. But I've heard elsewhere that once removed the lids never go back on properly. Has anyone any experience or views on this? If it is ok to remove them, when replaced should they just be sat back on top, or should some mortar or similar be used? Many thanks
  12. What type of soil do you have? And have you any idea how high the water table is in winter and/or after heavy prolonged rain (aka summer)?
  13. I'm pretty sure shower and bath water is classed as grey... Where have you read it is classed as black? It's actually a renovation (of sorts - the house is habitable, just needs a fair bit of work) , not a new build. Even so, there's a loo on each floor. As for motivation, a bit of both I guess. But greener does play a big part. If - for arguments sake - we could have a composting / recycling type of set up and it cost the same as installing a new STP with discharge to the stream, I'd favour the former over the latter. Thanks for the replies
  14. Thanks ProDave, I appreciate what you're saying. And it is indeed what I will most likely be going for. But before taking the plunge that route, I want to explore any possible ways of incorporating a greener approach into the house. It's looking unlikely. But I don't want to be in a position where months / years and £10k later I hear about some other greener recycling system I wish I'd known about before having made the decision. Like I say, I'm happy with what I need to look out for if getting a STP and discharging to the stream. I'm just having a little side way glance towards composting/recycling/greener options... Ta