How To Install A Septic Tank

Whether you are replacing a septic tank or installing a new one – ensuring proper installation is essential. Improper septic tank installation can have serious safety, legal and financial implications, so use Drainstore’s expertise to make sure you get it right.

Installing a septic tank
Installation of a Graf Carat Septic Tank

Why use a septic tank?

In rural areas, or locations such as tourist sites, campsites, and festival grounds, access to mains drainage is often impractical, expensive, or simply impossible. Water users in such areas cannot simply flush and forget – the effluent must go somewhere. Private independent drainage systems for handling foul water must be used. Installing a septic tank is often the best choice to deal with such a problem.

Some properties may be required to replace or install a septic tank or sewage treatment plant as part of the 2020 General Binding Rules which govern the amount and quality of effluent allowed to be discharged to water courses. These rules are to protect the environment and ensure both the area and its habitants (human and otherwise) remain healthy. Installing a septic tank can also have positive impacts for selling a home or property, especially where the previous system (or lack thereof) falls foul of the new regulations.

The legal requirements of installing a septic tank

Local water authorities have the power to test any off-mains drainage system to ensure compliance with the 2020 General Binding Rules, and can take legal action against the owner if the system is non-compliant. If you are unsure if your system is suitable, please contact our drainage experts who can make sure you have the right products for your purpose. Drainstore also offer a free site visit to provide the best service for septic tank installation.

As a brief overview of the new rules, septic tanks must:

  • Be rated to BS EN 12566-1 Standards
  • Be installed no less than 7 metres away from an inhabited building
  • Be installed within 30 metres of an access point
  • Only service the sewage/wastewater needs of a number of people given by the local authority and the size of the tank
  • Not be installed in Zone 1 of a groundwater source protection zone
  • Discharge only into a soakaway/drainage field which complies with Building Regulations or BS 6297
  • Not discharge directly into a watercourse
  • Be approved for discharge by the Environment Agency (England and Wales), SEPA (Scotland) or DEARA (Northern Ireland)

To ensure your drainage field is appropriate, you should complete a percolation test and ensure that it follows the regulations for drainage fields.

Surveying the installation site

There are also legal requirements to who can discharge to a drainage field or watercourse based on the location of the nearest mains drainage. If the mains sewer is close enough to the property, the local water authority will not grant permission to discharge elsewhere. Permits will also be needed in cases where the proposed drainage is close to nature reserves, wildlife sites, and other protected areas. If in doubt, Drainstore do free site visits – so you can be sure to get the best advice for your septic tank installation. We can help conduct Groundwater Protection Zone searches, percolation tests, and determine the water table level at your property.

Installing the septic tank

We recommend that the installation of your septic tank is done by properly trained and qualified experts, to ensure compliance with the regulations and to avoid future costs and damage to property. This is especially true for more complex installations such as those involving multiple properties, multiple tanks, or large population sizes. Drainage experts will also be able to get your septic tank and drainage up and running much more quickly.

There are usually detailed instructions that manufacturers will provide with the equipment, which also have detailed notes about health and safety protocol as well as the installation guidelines.

To give you an idea of what will be involved, here is the general process for installing a septic tank.

  • Ensure consent for discharge by the local water authority
  • Ensure Building Regulation approval
  • Septic tank inspection for damage during delivery
  • Excavate the site and keep free of rising groundwater during installation
  • Calculation of drainage falls
  • Placing the tank
  • Using the proper backfill to support the tank
  • Installing the inlet, outlet, and access
  • Installing the drainage field
  • Fitting the cover and frame
  • Considering the necessity of ventilation

To reiterate – the process is best carried out by trained professionals who have experience in all of the above steps, and who can advise you on operation, maintenance, and other drainage options. This will ensure you have the right equipment, and that it will be installed properly in order to continue proper operations for years to come.

Drainstore are experts in septic tank installation and replacement. If you have any queries or are looking for advice, call us on 01773 767611 or use our contact form.

Happy customers!

I spoke to Drainstore in June 2021 after my previous supplier let me down. They designed a solution to replace two septic tanks in my rural property and were on-site within two weeks to start the work. They turned up promptly each day and completed the work on-time and within the quote that was provided before the work started. To complete the installation, the team had to dig up the lawn but they carried that out carefully and now, three weeks later, it is difficult to see where they laid the pipework. It was particularly important that the work was done promptly, sympathetically and with minimum disruption as I am in the process of selling my house and they certainly delivered on all three counts. I would strongly recommend you speak to Drainstore if you need any septic tank work doing.

Ian Morgan Google Review

We had a septic tank and soak away replaced with a domestic sewage treatment plant. It was not a small job for us and pretty important too.
Drainstore provided a wholly professional service, delivered on time (a day early actually) with respect, humour and sound advice. And within budget.
Could not have been easier for us.

Kieth Google Review

I run a drainage business which installs pumps and tanks on a regular basis and I have used Drainstore for the last 4 or so years. They have always been great with their customer service and technical advice to make sure you get the right tank for the specific site conditions.

Tanks always arrive when they promise and the prices are competitive.

Special thanks to Adrian on the phones who is always going the extra mile to help us.

Chris Berry Google Review