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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a Percolation Test?

Can I get a Percolation Test?

Any septic tank or sewage treatment plant will require a soakaway or drainage field. If the plant is to work properly it is important that the soakaway is carefully designed, A percolation test, or perc test as they are generally called simply measures the time that a given amount of water takes to drop a measured distance. This allows a formula to be applied that will give the area of soakaway required. It may be that the results are not good enough, or perhaps they are too good and the soakaway has to be constructed in a manner that actually slows down the absorbtion rate. There are other regulations to be observed when designing a soakaway, however the perc test is the vital element.

What types of problems can I have with a septic tank?

What types of problems can I have with a septic tank?

Undersized

Your tank may just be undersized. We use a lot more water than our parents and grand parents.

Tanks used by hotels and catering establishments have a special need, for instance one unit that we recently installed in a twelve bedroom hotel actually had to be sized for one hundred and forty people after the catering needs were calculated. In addition a grease trap had to be installed.

If your tank smells there is probably a reason, if the discharge is grey, smelly or cloudy there is something that needs attention.

If you are considering buying a property with a septic tank or sewage treatment plant, please, please, get it surveyed before you exchange you could be buying a time bomb waiting to blow a hole in your bank balance.

More information on Septic Tanks .

Was there really a man called Crapper who invented the flushing toilet?

Was there really a man called Crapper who invented the flushing toilet?

There was certainly a Thomas Crapper who perfected the modern flush system. His name can be seen proudly embossed on Victorian sanitary ware.

Which is the best septic tank?

Which is the best septic tank?

A no short answer I am afraid, it depends on such factors as the depth below ground, the water table, the number of users and the frequency of use. It pays to use a drainage contractor who is is not tied to one make of tank and who is prepared to make recommendations based on merit.

We run a small Cafe, I have been told that it is not legal for us to discharge from the kitchen waste to the main sewer?

We run a small Cafe, I have been told that it is not legal for us to discharge from the kitchen waste to the main sewer?

All comercial catering organisations should have a grease trap. These range from a small under unit type to an underground installation. I would suggest that you look up grease trap on the internet or contact your local drainage contractor.

Why does my bath overflow when it rains?

Why does my bath overflow when it rains?

It may be that the rainwater from your roof, or from an outside yard gulley is discharging into your foul water system. This could be partly blocked and so the water takes the line of least resistance. There are very few areas that allow a combined foul and surface water system so get it checked out!

Is there a difference between a septic tank and a sewage treatment plant?

Is there a difference between a septic tank and a sewage treatment plant?

We can install all of these and we are often asked the difference.

Cess pits

Cess pits consist of a sealed tank with no discharge to the surrounding soil. They are used to store sewage until it can be removed to an authorised site by tanker. There is no intention to treat the sewage and there is a requirement to fit a tank that has at least 45 days storage. The smallest tank is 18000ltrs, this would be suitable for a family of two people. It is a very expensive option, being a large tank to install, with high running costs due to having to be emptied approximately eight times a year. The cost to the environment in ‘poo miles’, caused by the transportation to a suitable site is substantial.

Septic Tanks

A septic tank consists of more than one tank built as a unit or linked together underground. It is usually constructed of GRP.

  1. The solids settle in the first tank and bacterial action starts.
  2. Then the partially treated effluent flows into the second chamber, undergoes further natural biological action and slowly fills, with the cleanest effluent at the top. T
  3. his partially treated effluent then enters the soakaway or drainage field and filters into the surrounding soil.
  4. Further natural action takes place due to the bacteria in the soil.

In fact this is a very effective, tried and tested system and will work well providing that the soil is suitable and the water table is not too high. It should not be dismissed as a low cost option, if correctly installed with a calculated and designed soakaway a septic tank is a good solution. Units are available in several sizes according to the number of people in the property. Septic Tanks

Sewage Treatment Plants

A sewage treatment plant consists of a number of chambers, usually built as a unit and constructed of GRP, polyethelene or a modern plastic. They depend upon a method of agitating, spraying or circulating the effluent, usually incorporating filters and depending in most cases on an electrical supply. All modern sewage treatment plants are highly effective and the quality of discharge is good enough to discharge into a water course, in which case no soakaway will be required. They are available in sizes to suit a single property, an estate of properties or commercial premises and hotels.

Can I use an acid based drain cleaner to tip down my sink or toilet?

Can I use an acid based drain cleaner to tip down my sink or toilet?

A A qualified yes. There has been a recent instance of drain cleaner spraying over the cleaner and causing burns. Some acids have a violent reaction to water, when water is poured down the drain an 'explosion' can result. No commercial company should allow this without staff training and a safe method of work being put in place. We would not recommend or use acid, what happens to the residue if you do manage to clear it? It washes further down the line and can create a problem in a different position.

What happens to the leaves that are washed out of the gutter, down the pipe and into the ground?

What happens to the leaves that are washed out of the gutter, down the pipe and into the ground?

If you have a soakaway they can help to block it up to the extent where a new soakaway is needed. Why not fit a gutter guard to catch the leaves if there is a problem? Prevention is better than cure.

Wessex Drainage Solutions

Wessex Drainage Solutions Ltd is a progressive fast reacting organisation. We aim for constant improvement and our key words are QUALITY, EFFICIENCY AND COST EFFECTIVENESS. You may be certain of good, honest and friendly advice.

Wessex Drainage, was formed after seeing a gap that existed between large faceless organisations and small, sometimes poorly trained and unqualified operators with inadequate equipment and no real Health and Safety ethos.

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