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CM's Guide to Buying a Home with a Septic Tank or Treatment Plant

We are getting more and more calls from people who are in the process of buying an Off Mains Drainage property, with no idea where to start. Your searches will have highlighted it now, and your solicitor's will likely have advise you investigate. Some questions you could consider asking:

  1. Is it a shared system? If so, who with and what maintenance agreements are in place?

  2. Do you know the make and model/type of tank? Does it have British Standards Accreditation?

  3. Acquaint yourself with how the system works, and the sort of maintenance costs involved. A good question is 'what can potentially go wrong?' with the system so you are aware of potential costs if it were to fail.

  4. When was the system installed? Does the current owner have warranties/service contracts with the installer?

  5. Where does it discharge to (is this 'allowed'?)? Are there any easements in place allowing it to be discharged on to someone else's land?

  6. Is there an Environment Agency permit in place, or does it adhere to their Binding Rules? (These are easily googled or phone us for a chat.)

If all of this has boggled your mind, luckily CM are pleased to offer our a Homeowner Report. The Environment Agency 2020 guidelines has meant Estate Agents, Conveyancers and Surveyors have had to become more aware of off-main's drainage legislation, and it has now become standard practise to check the efficiency and safety of sewage treatment plans and septic tanks, as part of any house sale.

As a result, CM has found demand high for a Homeowner's Report on existing drainage. With this, CM attends the site to offer a hand-drawn drawing of the existing drainage and report on the size, efficiency, safety, levels etc of the tank, and the discharge point. CM can then conclude if the treatment plant, septic tank and/or drainage field adheres to current legislation and requirements.

If all is well, the document can act as evidence in the conveyancing, to ensure a swift sale for all involved.

If our report concludes that the system does not reach standards, for whatever reason that may be, we can offer a solution. CM can create a quote to get the works fixed in advance of a sale OR as has happened before, the quote is used as a way to move the sale forward by deducting costs from the total sale.

Drainage can be a costly business, and in years gone by, CM have attended several sites where new buyers have been caught out with sewage treatment plants and septic tanks with (or without) drainage fields, that are not working efficiently and/or do not meet Environment Agency requirements. This report and updated legislation is intended to prevent this issue going forward.

If you are buying a property with a septic tank or treatment plant OR selling (even thinking of selling) then this report can help you. Please call CM Environmental on 0115 6848356 for more information.


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