Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
To keep your tank working effectively you should carry out regular maintenance. You should look out for the signs that problems might be developing by regularly checking:
Over time the solids that settle out build up, effectively reducing the volume of the tank and making it less efficient. You must have your tank regularly desludged.
Check the outflow from the tank, if it is clear and odourless then your tank is working well. If it has an unpleasant odour, is discoloured or has any solids in it then it is likely that your tank needs to be have the sludge removed.
Usually a tank should be desludged once a year and you can arrange a regular service from contractors. If you set up regular visits from a business that carries out desludging, it will help prevent problems, and will usually cost significantly less than an unscheduled visit.
Then frequency of desludging will depend on the size of the tank, the number of people using it, and how well you look after it.
Locate the access lid for your tank and make sure it is clear of vegetation and soil. Don’t operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles over the ground where the pipes have been laid. This includes the area of ground used for the soakaway.
Don’t allow trees or deep rooted shrubs to become established close to your tank or the soakaway, the roots can damage the pipework resulting in blockages or leaks. In either case the repairs could be costly.
If you suspect that there is a problem, get a plumber or drainage specialist to check out the tank as soon as possible.
It is important that you regularly check the operation of the system.
Figure 2: Sewage fungus in a stream
If you find any problems, have a professional look at the tank and the drainage. Problems that are not fixed can lead to pollution and could cause a nuisance to neighbours.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects
View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.
Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland