zoothorn

Zoot's septic tank..

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Hi chaps,

 

next job on my delapidated cottage list, is patchin' up me septic tank wall ( top part of one side ). If I could ask how.

 

Like a nazi bunker, buried on 3 sides, the top half of 4th wall exposed = bad frost damage? blockwork has crumbled etc.
 

A tricky prospect for me.. but possible for me? I do get some pong from holes.. so a job rather overdue.

 

Thanks alot, zoot.

 

 

B4486032-24E1-42AC-85FB-A5FEA918BC87.jpeg

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Yes it is possible for you and pretty straight forward. It doesn’t need took pretty with straight joints. Good clean up, scraping or pressure washer so you can see what you are dealing with, then cut away the bad stuff and replace

Edited by markc

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Just now, markc said:

Yes it is possible for you and pretty straight forward. It doesn’t need took pretty with straight joints. Good clean clean up, scraping or pressure washer so you can see what you are dealing with, then cut away the bad stuff and replace


 Ok great. I'll do a good clean up of area, & take a clearer pic of how its constructed.
 

No it'll be covered by plants, & only looks twds stream.. so no need to be perfect, just functionally patched up. Thanks markc

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21 minutes ago, zoothorn said:

next job on my delapidated cottage list, is patchin' up me septic tank wall ( top part of one side ). 

 

Are you aware of the rule changes in 2020, regarding Septic Tanks? If you release to ground without a suitably sized drainage field, or direct to a water course you now need a permit from the Environmental Agency.

 

If you don't have a permit there are a bunch of rules you need to keep to called the General Binding Rules, otherwise you can be prosecuted.

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6 minutes ago, IanR said:

 

Are you aware of the rule changes in 2020, regarding Septic Tanks? If you release to ground without a suitably sized drainage field, or direct to a water course you now need a permit from the Environmental Agency.

 

If you don't have a permit there are a bunch of rules you need to keep to called the General Binding Rules, otherwise you can be prosecuted.


Yup ok thanks IanR, no I didn't know this.. but its the wild west here/ might be different to england, & for the purpose of patchin up me tank which will be needed either way, I'm just going to crack on.

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Just now, zoothorn said:


Yup ok thanks IanR, no I didn't know this.. but its the wild west here/ might be different to england, & for the purpose of patchin up me tank which will be needed either way, I'm just going to crack on.

 

England and Wales are the similar I believe - both now require a permit if you don't have a drainage field, Scotland may have different rules. Not sure where you are.

 

The rule change is to encourage replacement of Septic Tanks with package sewage treatment plants. It's worth doing a bit of reading so you know your obligations and the penalties for not fulfilling them.

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Scotland requires a discharge permit to discharge a treatment plant into a watercourse, that held up my building warrant a few weeks to get the paperwork in place.

 

It has been illegal for well over a year for a septic tank to discharge to a watercourse but I still know 2 that do, including my neighbour.

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7 minutes ago, IanR said:

 

England and Wales are the similar I believe - both now require a permit if you don't have a drainage field, Scotland may have different rules. Not sure where you are.

 

The rule change is to encourage replacement of Septic Tanks with package sewage treatment plants. It's worth doing a bit of reading so you know your obligations and the penalties for not fulfilling them.

Yes but this will be new tanks.. but Im not replacing mine just repairing it. Most folks here have them, we all can't be expected to remove existing ones just bc some legislation comes in. New ones.. yes then your point is taken on board. Thanks zh

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25 minutes ago, zoothorn said:

Yes but this will be new tanks.. but Im not replacing mine just repairing it. Most folks here have them, we all can't be expected to remove existing ones just bc some legislation comes in. New ones.. yes then your point is taken on board. Thanks zh

 

No, this covers existing Septic Tanks.

 

There was talk about it being unlawful to sell a property that didn't conform, but that got reduced to a contracted agreement that the new owner would fulfil the obligations as soon as reasonably possible.

 

Edited to add:

 

This is how it is specified in England. Existing systems are those installed prior to 2015, they get relaxed rules, but the drainage field requirement is still required.

 

Existing discharges: what this means

You have an existing discharge to ground if all of these points apply to you:

  • the discharge was already happening before 1 January 2015
  • you have not changed the discharge from surface water to ground
  • you have not moved the location of the discharge or, if you have, it is still within 10 metres of the previous location
  • you have not changed the volume of the discharge or, if you have, it’s not more than 2 cubic metres (2,000 litres) to ground
  • If so, check if you can meet the general binding rules for existing discharges. You will not need an environmental permit if you can

 

 

Rule 5 of the General Binding Rules for existing discharges:

 

Use the correct treatment system (rule 5)

  • You must use a septic tank or a small sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage and then discharge the waste water to ground through a drainage field.
  • A septic tank is an underground tank where the solids sink to the bottom, forming a sludge, and the waste water flows out to a drainage field.
  • A small sewage treatment plant, also known as a package treatment plant, works in a similar way to a septic tank but uses mechanical parts to treat the waste water to a higher standard before it goes to a drainage field.
  • A drainage field, also known as an infiltration system, is a series of pipes with holes placed in trenches and arranged so that the waste water can trickle through the ground for further treatment.
  • The system you use must meet the relevant British Standard.
  • Discharges through drainage mounds can meet the general binding rules as long they are not in floodplains and they are located, designed and constructed in line with the recommendations in British Standard BS 6297:2007.

 

This is a link to the English General Binding Rules


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/general-binding-rules-small-sewage-discharge-to-the-ground#existing-and-new

 

Edited by IanR

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I must just crack on & repair it. Its going to hinder my job/ thread if Im challenged about my proprerty or discussion on laws take over. Please, I just need to crack on. As much as your info might be well founded, I cant do anything but repair it. Please just let me be. Thx zh

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I've got no problem with you "cracking on", but this is a public forum and the correct info may be useful to others. This is a recent change that is not well known, and the maximum penalties are extremely harsh.

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I read this to mean that an existing septic tank and existing soakaway (pre 2007) do not need to be replaced.

 

If you use a non-standard system (such as a well, borehole and soakaway)

You cannot meet the general binding rules if you are using:

a soakaway (designed for draining rainwater) installed after December 2007

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1 minute ago, saveasteading said:

I read this to mean that an existing septic tank and existing soakaway (pre 2007) do not need to be replaced.

 

I've not seen what you have posted in context, but I would believe "you can not meet the General Binding Rules" will mean that you need a permit from the EA.

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Ok here she is cleaned up a bit. Another pic in next post. 
 

The reinforced concrete top seems solid thankfully. The blockwork, i think you can see into the cavity, is those bigass hollow concrete jobs. crumbles if I brush it.
 

Then a layer of render it seems, all blown.. so I guess 1st job is hack this off? Thanks, Zoot Schmoot.

 

 

14D2C644-86EF-4065-8692-D590E6BC7B91.jpeg

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Would the general idea be to actually remove, then replace these bigass blocks? Or to bridge the gaps maybe a mesh ( ? a guess ) & a thick layer of rendering ontop? Cant think how this idea would work.

 

Block cavities..

 

 

0CA64B3C-2CF1-4505-8AD0-FC9A2227B2DA.jpeg

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1 hour ago, IanR said:

I've not seen what you have posted in context, but I would believe "you can not meet the General Binding Rules" will mean that you need a permit from the EA.

 

@saveasteading, I didn't appreciate you were quoting from the document I linked to. It gives the answer a little further down, it definitely requires upgrading.

 

If you use a non-standard system (such as a well, borehole and soakaway)
You cannot meet the general binding rules if you are using:

  • a well or borehole to discharge waste water into ground
  • a soakaway (designed for draining rainwater) installed after December 2007

Instead you must either:

  • upgrade to a drainage field that meets British Standards and check whether you meet the other general binding rules that apply to you
  • connect to the public foul sewer when it’s reasonable to do so – you must apply for a permit if it’s not

Do not create or use a new discharge to ground through non-standard systems such as boreholes, shafts, concrete rings or similar structures. These are not appropriate ways of disposing of sewage under the general binding rules because of their increased risk of pollution.

If your sewage effluent discharges directly to groundwater (at any time of year) through any of these non-standard systems:

  • the Environment Agency will not grant you a permit
  • you must replace this with a correct treatment system

 

So they're saying it's not even worth applying for a permit, you won't be granted one, you must replace with the correct treatment system.

 

I've checked up on the Welsh rules, they're now even more strict than the English rules. If you are not on Mains Sewage, you are legally bound to Register your Sewage system with National Resources Wales, and declare how you discharge. If it doesn't fit the rules, your registration is refused and you then have to fix it.

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24 minutes ago, zoothorn said:

Would the general idea be to actually remove, then replace these bigass blocks? Or to bridge the gaps maybe a mesh ( ? a guess ) & a thick layer of rendering ontop? Cant think how this idea would work.

 

Block cavities..

 

 

0CA64B3C-2CF1-4505-8AD0-FC9A2227B2DA.jpeg

Legalities of septic tanks etc aside, and to go back to your original question - as an easy fix/tidy up, mix up some mortar, fill the open cavities with stones, broken brick etc. Push in more mortar to fill the gaps. After that has started to harden, tidy up with more mortar (like plastering)

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You cannot meet the general binding rules if you are using:

  •  
  • a soakaway (designed for draining rainwater) installed after December 2007.
  •  

But if it was installed before 2007 then it is ok....carry on.  (?)

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@markc ah I hadn't thought of that idea. Thing i did notice though, was the blocks seem to have hollow bases, so i heard a splosh far below when bit of rubble falls in these cavities. So filling each 'tower' of void up from say 5ft,  will take a huge ammount of rubble won't it?

 

Also rendering onto the crumbly block surface-? 

D35C4D6A-EC70-450D-B8B0-C2EECD542731.jpeg

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@zoothorn, no problem, first use a large stone of piece of brick to block the cavity, then use smaller rubble to fill up the hole. A strong sand/cement mortar will be fine as render on the crumbly surface, just work it in a bit and it will stabilise the block.

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3 hours ago, saveasteading said:

You cannot meet the general binding rules if you are using:

  •  
  • a soakaway (designed for draining rainwater) installed after December 2007.
  •  

But if it was installed before 2007 then it is ok....carry on.  (?)

 

I'm guessing you're reading that as a caveat to Rule 5. ie. a Septic Tank installed pre-2007, with a rainwater soakaway, gets away without meeting Rule 5.

 

Maybe, but I'd prefer an affirmative statement to that fact to be comfortable relying on it. The link I provided was to the guidance, if you just read the General Binding Rules, Rule 5 seems more black and white. ie for existing Septic Tanks:


image.png.ddb7eb5f583698935e1571d203d37117.png
 

 

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6 hours ago, zoothorn said:

i heard a splosh far below

That's good I think, as it shows there isn't an impermeable crust floating on the top. 

 

Advice to all if you encounter such a crust...it supports a heavy object such as a hammer or brick for just long enough for you to look away, then bloop.

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2 hours ago, IanR said:

I'd prefer an affirmative statement

So would I but if you ask you might not get.

I do have a binding letter from previous owners stating that this building had a "country waste system" since....a long time ago.

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I'd first jet wash those sides to get rid of the greenery. I'd then get some 6mm galvanised garden mesh (Toolstation, Wickes). Stick bits of that over the holes with some blobs of CT1 etc and when dry and secure render over it. Nice sticky render laden with SBR. Build the render up in layers to replace where the block faces have spalled.

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