Buying a new property with a sewage treatment plant or pumping station

If you are purchasing a new property that has a “off mains drainage” system and you are daunted by the prospect let MPC Services provide you with some useful information to consider.

You as the new homeowner will have a responsibility to ensure your property’s wastewater system does not cause any pollution to the environment, and to ensure relevant regulations are adhered to.

  1. Information

Try and obtain as much information from the seller, this includes:

  • Make and model of the unit installed
  • Location and accessibility of the unit
  • How many properties the unit serves
  • Installation date
  • Maintenance/service records
  • Desludge records including waste transfer notes
  • Discharge point
  • Check the discharge from the unit meets the Environment Agency general binding rules
  1. Ongoing costs

Sewage treatment plants and package pumping stations could break down at any time leaving you with backed up drains and sewage seepage which, if left unchecked, could result in environmental pollution and a hefty fine from the Environment Agency.

Each year thousands of sewage treatment systems create public health and pollution problems. This avoidable form of pollution is often the result of poor effluent quality caused by maintenance neglect. Environment Agency legislation is in place to ensure standards are upheld. Where pollution is severe, heavy fines can be levied, and in some extreme cases a custodial sentence imposed. However, with a service and maintenance plan from MPC it’s a different story. Our standard servicing starts from only £118 + VAT.

  1. Desludging

All types of units including septic tanks require regularly emptying or desludging as it is referred to in the industry. Regular emptying of sewage units is vital to remove the build-up of solids within the unit. Too much sludge can harm the bacterial process which is key to producing the correct level of discharge from your unit.

It is also vital you use an approved company with the relevant waste carriers licence to ensure the waste is disposed of correctly and in line with the Environment Agency requirements, approved companies will provide a waste transfer note upon removal and disposal of the waste. This document must be retained as proof of correct disposal.

  1. Surface water/Rainwater

As per Building Control specification surface water/rainwater should not enter into a sewage treatment plant/pumping station. The ingress of a surface water/rainwater can affect the treatment process within the unit and in extreme cases cause the premature wear of parts within the unit. Surface water/rainwater will need to be diverted to ensure the optimal running and adherence to discharge quality.

  1. CCTV

A drain survey can alert you to potential problems, such as root ingress, blockages and collapsed or broken drains. It can help determine the condition of your drains/pipes allowing you to negotiate with the seller before purchase to save you time, money and possible disruption in the future.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for new homes to experience issues with poorly laid out pipe networks with older properties also tending to experience problems with roots and/or broken pipe networks.

All properties, regardless of age, can also experience blockages and backed up sewage. Our CCTV drain surveys can detect any of the aforementioned issues. Drainage problems can cause ongoing problems such as bad smells and blockages (requiring clearing by means of a high-pressure jetter) or even subsidence.

For further information or guidance please call MPC Services (UK) Limited on 01773 767612.