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General binding rules: small sewage discharge to the ground

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by old wrinkly, 17 Jun 2020.

  1. old wrinkly

    old wrinkly

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    Sorry if this is posted in the wrong place but wasn't sure where to post.

    I live in a semi-detached bungalow and share septic tank access with the property next door. Currently I split the cost of emptying with the owner (the property is rented out).

    He has just advised me that under the "new 2020" regulations he needs to have a Klargester Biotec (or similar system installed) which will cost just over £9500 because the waste discharges into a small brook at the moment.

    I need to look at my title deeds to see if I can ascertain my legal obligations in this respect. But in the meantime can anyone offer any advice as to the current situation with the regulations. Also, whether the age or type of septic tank makes any difference. The septic in the property next door was installed when built around the early 1060's.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated as my wife and I are both in our 80's and having a £4400 plus bill is not something we can enter into lightly.

    Thanks
     
  2. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    I've not heard anything. Ask him for the specific regulations which support his assertion.

    Sometimes there are changes required due to an associated change of regulations, lets say a specific H&S change or way of working may mean that old components need to be changed for that reason rather than just that they are old. But unless you know the requirement, you can't really know or agree.

    Then you do need to check your legal arrangement and liabilities. Are you really responsible to replacement works or just an yearly usage and maintenance fee? You need to ascertain your position.

    Then if there are liabilities, then there would be an implied expectation that you are involved in the selection and choice of materials and contractor, and the neighbour can't just order what he likes and then charge you half. How would you know he wont' strike a deal with his mate at an inflated cost?

    Get the info, post back or get some legal advice. You may have a free advice service as part of your home insurance.
     
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  4. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    Basically, what you are being told is correct. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/general-binding-rules-small-sewage-discharge-to-a-surface-water As you have a septic tank discharging into a watercourse you HAVE to plan to change it to a more acceptable arrangement. As it's shared, and in the absence of any other information, I expect you will be obliged to pay 50%.

    EDIT - you probably will have to pay 50%, however I have picked up a little item in the guidance (which I was already aware of due to family property) that where more than 1 house is affected you can seek appraisal from the sewerage supplier as to whether they are obliged to provide a new sewer. This is Severn Trents guidance, but I guess they are all similar https://www.stwater.co.uk/content/dam/stw/stw_buildinganddeveloping/s101a_guidance_notes.pdf

    It may be to your neighbour that £5K on a rental property is not a huge issue, and they may not be interested in the hassle of pursuing alternatives. They may also be under pressure because it is a rental and they have obligations.

    Although you may ultimately be obliged to pay 50%, there is nothing to say you can't move as slowly as possible, and you may be able to manipulate the situation (by confirming it will take you considerable time to raise the necessary funds) so that your landlord neighbour picks up a bigger share to expedite the solution

    And here's Anglians guidance which I think is your area. https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/site...st-time-sewerage---qa-guide-v6---jan-2020.pdf

    Another edit - I'm learning too! - reading Anglians guidance I think you may have a very strong case for some cost recovery as two properties are affected.

    My own back story is my Fathers house has a very old and probably leaky system (but just leaking away into chalk) which he is ignoring, and I know eventually will need to be dealt with!
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2020
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  5. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    The guidance dates from 2015, but it was clarified last year, with an amendment suggesting that conformity should be completed within a year (it was a bit open-ended before). So, yes, the work probably needs to be done, but I would certainly question the cost (I was quoted a bit less last year for a similar system, but it may have been smaller). Find out what system is being specified and ask other suppliers to quote for the same or similar. I would expect you to be liable for half the cost of the lowest quote received.
     
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  7. old wrinkly

    old wrinkly

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    Thanks for the replies which I need to look at in detail.

    I have emailed the Environment Agency to see if they can clarify timescales etc.

    I also need to look at the original transfer deeds when my property was sold by the current owner of the septic tanks father to see the actual wording.

    My other neighbour who has a separate septic tank will also be affected but some time ago her brother, who is a builder, spoke to the Environment Agency and they said nothing was happening.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

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