Decommissioning A Septic Tank

The majority of households use a sewage treatment plant or septic tank because they are not connected to mains sewer system. However, if public sewer systems do become available to you then you must connect to the public sewers as soon as possible. This will render your private sewage system out of use. If that’s the case then by law you must have it decommissioned. But, what exactly does decommissioning a septic tank involve and why does it have to be done?

What Is Septic Tank Decommissioning?

Decommissioning a septic tank is simply the process of shutting down your septic system so that it can no longer be used. Usually, this will involve pumping out your septic tank and filling it with sand, gravel or concrete or removing the tank out completely.

Why Do I Need To Decommission My Septic Tank?

Unused septic tanks can provide a health and safety risk for multiple reasons. Firstly, abandoned drainage systems can become unstable and may collapse under pressure or after significant periods of corrosion and misuse. Secondly, septic tanks can give off dangerous gases that may harm the environment and that of your household.

The General Binding Rules state that septic tanks must be properly decommissioned if no longer in use due to the above reasons. Failure to comply can result in a pretty hefty fine so it’s best to check if your septic tank needs decommissioning with the Environment Agency.

Who Carries Out Septic Tank Decommissioning?

Septic tank decommissioning should only be carried out by a licensed provider. The process, albeit relatively simple, should only be conducted by those with the relevant equipment and training. Otherwise, your system could be liable to collapse or there is the potential for harmful gases to escape during decommissioning.

You will also have to contact the Environment Agency if your sewage treatment system needs decommissioning. They can then advise on the best possible option and grant their approval.

If you have further questions on your septic tank or sewage treatment plant, contact our experts.

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