Septic Tank Compliance Surveys and Inspections – General Binding Rules

Buying or selling a rural property?

Or unsure if a property is compliant with the General binding rules?

We can help.

Before the sale of any property, the sewage disposal installation must be confirmed as being compliant or the cost of making the system compliant is to be deducted from the sale price for the works to be carried out by the new owner.

With costs in the region of £10,000 to £12,000 including VAT for installing a new tank and drainage field for a 3 bedroom property this can affect the value substantially.

An ageing system may also not cope with a modern families water usage thus requiring investment to upgrade/renew as soon as the property is purchased.

Very little of the sewage treatment system can be seen above ground.

A septic tank is always full to the level of the outlet pipe, so the internal structure cannot be seen unless the tank is empty. If the septic tank is fibreglass or plastic it may not be possible to see into the tank even when it’s empty because of internal baffles or a long extension neck.

The treatment/drainage field that should come after the septic tank is underground, so to see its condition it has to be surveyed using CCTV equipment.  Unless there is an access point like a manhole or a rodding eye then you may have to excavate and access the pipework leading to the treatment/drainage field to confirm what is installed.

Once the installation is inspected, is it compliant?

At Aqua-Jet we have studied the General Binding rules and obtained information from the Environment Agency and can provide guidance on whether the installation is compliant.

Septic tanks and soakaways are not illegal. The tank and discharge method will have needed to comply with the standards in place at the date of installation.Soakaways were still able to be installed in porous subsoil areas before the second edition publication of BS6297 which was introduced in December 2007.

If the installations aren’t compliant, we can provide details of the works required and can provide an estimated cost if required.

We carry out two levels of survey- basic and full. The costs quoted are for properties within an hour each way of our office in Hilton, Derbyshire and are 3 to 4 bedroom in size. Larger properties and properties further than an hour subject to additional costs.

Basic Inspection- £195 Including VAT

Attend property and inspect septic tank or treatment plant for operational level. If possible establish discharge location/type using CCTV. If treatment plant, sample discharge and advise of quality. Inspect/snapshot survey of upstream manholes/pipework for evidence of sluggish discharge through the system.

Provide summary report to confirm if compliant. If not compliant (not functional or if requiring further investigation to confirm compliance) provide recommendations for further survey/investigations/remedials.

 Full Inspection-£850 Including Vat

(£650 Including Vat, if own tank empty is arranged, tank must not be emptied before the operational level inspected).

Inspect operational level and empty of septic tank (up to 1000 gallons, with hardstanding within 50mts for tanker).  Inspect internals using photographic equipment. If possible CCTV/trace outlet pipework.

CCTV survey of underground upstream runs and confirm connections to establish if rainwater connected.  Jet if required to clear localised blockages.

Provide CCTV condition report and provide summary report to confirm if compliant. If not compliant (not functional or if requiring further investigation to confirm compliance) provide recommendations for further survey/investigations/remedials.

If the properties don’t have a suitable access/inspection point installed on the outlet pipework, excavation works will be required to provide. Depending on the type of installation found more extensive excavation may be required to confirm the full extent of the installation.

Localised Excavation-£475 Inc Vat

Hand excavation of outlet and CCTV/Trace/flow test, up to 1 metre depth localised to tank with materials to repair/reinstate the pipework if required. Provide CCTV condition report and provide summary report of findings.

Extensive Excavation-£1150 Inc Vat

Machine excavation of outlet (micro or mini digger) and CCTV/Trace/flow test with materials to repair/reinstate the pipework if required. Provide CCTV condition report and provide summary report of findings.

 We operate predominantly in Derbyshire , Staffordshire , Nottinghamshire , Yorkshire and Cheshire areas. However, we are also able to carry out works in other areas if requested (subject to additional travel charges).