Where properties are served by mains drainage, waste water treatment works break down the sewage carried within it, remove contaminants, and discharge effluent back to our rivers which meets stringent standards. Domestic sewerage systems lack the ability to strip out nutrients like phosphate, which pollutes our waterways – and if not properly operated and maintained, they can also release untreated sewage, and any chemicals used in the home, directly into the environment. We want to help homeowners avoid this risk. Private sewerage is quite prevalent across the catchment of the Eastern Yar and Wroxall Steam, so the collective impact of poorly-functioning systems could be great.
Ensuring that Septic Tanks or Package Treatment Plants are properly used and maintained, and frequently emptied, can protect the environment. Avoiding harsh chemicals, binning instead of flushing rubbish, and promptly fixing faults will enable tanks to work more effectively – following this ‘good practice’ advice will prevent pollutants getting into our local rivers and help householders to avoid costly repair bills.
Our ten tips will help the owners of private sewerage to keep their systems in good order, preventing costly repair bills and avoiding environmental pollution. The tips combine the new ‘General Binding Rules’ with best practice advice which will keep systems working effectively. In certain parts of the catchment, new systems will require a permit to ensure that they don’t pollute our rivers – check Government advice to find out where.
As part of our awareness project, the Island Rivers Partnership has produced a series of resources to help homeowners with private sewerage systems to ensure that they aren’t polluting our local waterways. The ‘Homeowners Pack’ contains the following downloadable resources: