If your property’s not connected to a regular public sewer then chances are, you’ve got a septic tank, cesspool a sewage treatment plant of your very own. If you do have one of these then you’ll know that you don’t have to pay any sewerage charges to water/sewerage companies however, it needs to be remembered that you are responsible for making sure your sewerage system is correctly maintained. If you don’t maintain it properly, then you may be surprised to hear that your local authority can actually force you to do so. Let’s look at things a little closer shall we?
What’s a cesspool?
You may know a cesspool as a cesspit, either term is correct. It’s a large tank that stores your sewage away from your property and they need to be emptied frequently. You can either have your local authority do it or a private contractor such as us here at euroloo.
What’s a septic tank?
This treats your raw sewage and once again, must be inspected and emptied regularly too. While the local authority can do this, in some areas, you need to contact a private contractor. Contact your local authority to find out where you stand.
What’s a sewage treatment plant?
Were you aware that some properties actually have their own small sewage treatment plants? These, like a septic tank will treat your raw sewage and must be maintained and emptied too.
If you have a cesspit, septic tank or even a sewage treatment plant then more often than not, you’re safe in terms of sewerage charges however, as mentioned above, there are times when you must pay these. Here are some instances when charges may apply:
- Your tank’s connected to a public sewer to allow for overflow for example. Whatever the reason, if it’s connected to a public sewer, you need to pay.
- Your surface water drains are connected to a public sewer. Even if your cesspit or septic tank isn’t, you’ll still be liable to pay a partial sewerage charge.
One question we’re often asked here at euroloo, is whether or not a local authority can actually force you to carry out repairs to your cesspool or septic tank and the answer’s yes. You have a duty of care to ensure cesspools and septic tanks are all kept in good repair and are maintained correctly. This includes emptying and cleaning when necessary. If you fail to do this, then your local authority can insist you carry out the repairs yourself or have their own contractors do so, which as I’m sure you can guess, would work out a little more expensive then simply maintaining your own system. This is usually the case if the cesspit or septic tank is beginning to cause a risk to the surrounding area –in terms of both environmental and public health.
As you can see, simply keeping on top of your own system is a much more cost effective and might we add, stress-free way of doing things. For more information on how we can help you with our annual tank emptying, simply contact us today!