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cess pits, soakaways, etc
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giveitago



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 151
Location: surrey
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 12:21 pm    Post subject: cess pits, soakaways, etc  Reply with quote    

I am in the last day of buying a hbouse and th environmental agency has produced a cerificate for the cess pit. However, as the pit was put in by a local builder in the 1920's we have no manufacturer specifications and no maintenance schedule. This is causing us and the solicitors a nightmare.

He has recommended we just replace the system. This will avoid the costs and any legal problems we may have over the coming years with the old pit.

So, my question is, for a family of four adults, Can anyone recommend a company or product that is up to date, environmentally clean and easy to maintain? We are on a small hill so the reed bed thingy is definately out!

Many thanks

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8442
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Keep what you have got.

Just because it does not have a BS number, 100 trees worth of paper saying how good it is or an insurance backed guarantee it still been working for the last 90 years.

Get a local to tell you all about it & how it works once you have moved in.

PS reed beds work on gravitational flow so you need some sort of hill for it to work without pumps.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18380

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What RichardW said.

If the EA have issued a certificate, they are happy with it, and I think that's what matters.

I have a cess pit, and faced a similar situation when I moved in here.

I asked SEPA if it was necessary, whether they could supply a letter stating that the house needed a new modern septic tank to 'comply with regs', so that I could reduce the purchase price by that amount and put a new tank in, and they actually refused on the grounds that the existing cesspit worked fine, and clearly had done for decades.

There have only ever been two people maximum living here, but I have never really needed to empty the pit : liquids soak away, and solids compost/decay. If you do need to empty, you can either compost further or just spread on the land (maybe not on your veg patch).

I did have a blockage in the outflow pipe once - get some blue alkathene pipe, open the pit and find the inflow. Rod the drain from that end, and all will be well.

Best of luck !

Jenna



Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 263
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is it a cess pit or a septic tank? I may be talking poo here *snigger* but I always thought they were not the same thing, and if I was buying a house with a cess pit I'd have it changed ASAP.

Otherwise, the old brick built septic tanks like wot we have here are perfectly good/effective and IMO it'd be daft to change it if there isn't a problem with it working.

Re maintenance: annual desludging is all that is needed AFAIK, having said that, it's 5 years since ours was last done and it still works perfectly well

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4308
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cesspit is One sealed chamber,

Septic Tank is Two chambers ,with a Soak away from the second chamber that is filled with graded stone

Jo S



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 5174
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My mother's cess pit has only been emptied once in the 25+ years she's lived there, though she did once have a blockage and I had to empty the drains with a bucket and then get down and dirty with pokey things and the hosepipe til it shifted. I count this as the single most disgusting experience of my life.

alice



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 2820

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you are a family of four then I'm guessing you have two children and potentially that's where your problems will come from if you don't thoroughly *police* what they bung down the drains.

Our septic tank only has one chamber but it is baffled which I guess does the same job as a second chamber.

misty07



Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 2217
Location: swindon wiltshire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 11 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jo S wrote:
My mother's cess pit has only been emptied once in the 25+ years she's lived there, though she did once have a blockage and I had to empty the drains with a bucket and then get down and dirty with pokey things and the hosepipe til it shifted. I count this as the single most disgusting experience of my life.
try doing it as a job lol as i did for 2 years never had a cold and did not have a cold till last year due to the job

giveitago



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 151
Location: surrey
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 11 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Many thanks for all your replies.

Whilst we are happy that the tank will probably be fine for many years to come, it is the mortgage company who gets the final say as it's their money


Just another thought. I understand that a waste disposal unit is not ideal for cess pits, or for that matter, good composting. Does anyone know of a waste disposal system that we could use in the sink to chop all those naff bits of veggies that I could then empty onto the compost heap?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 11 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

giveitago wrote:
Does anyone know of a waste disposal system that we could use in the sink to chop all those naff bits of veggies that I could then empty onto the compost heap?


A knife?
Or just chuck it all on the compost as is - that's what I do.

alice



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 2820

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 11 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dogs, chickens and a compost heap - just about accounts for everything I find

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1473
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 11 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you're looking for a new system then a Klargester biodisc could be an option.
Fitted one on a job years ago. It's like a mini sewage treatment plant with revolving discs that bacteria live on. Once it was established environment agency tested outlet water and then certified clean enough to discharge into canal.
Probably cheaper to sort out existing tank tho

stumbling goat



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1989

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 11 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In the sets of questions and answers about the property do the vendors mention any issues with the cess pit? How many people in the family currently using it?

A certificate of worthiness will only be a good on the day it was tested as like sewer pipes, gas pipes water pipes these things can wrong at any time. As a previous poster said, if it's been going okay for 90 years it will probably go for a bit longer yet. If you are contemplating changing the system, you could mention that to the lenders so that they know you are mindful of it as a potential issue but prepared to deal with if it arises.

sgf

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8442
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 11 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

onemanband wrote:
If you're looking for a new system then a Klargester biodisc could be an option.


Expensive compared to other options & uses power 24 7 to run it.

Dee J



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 342
Location: West Devon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 11 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

giveitago wrote:
Whilst we are happy that the tank will probably be fine for many years to come, it is the mortgage company who gets the final say as it's their money



I'd have though with the amount of deposit most mortgage companies insist on then their money was covered anyhow, but, of course, they can (sadly) apply any conditions they chose.
Dee

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