Installation FAQ’s

Click on the headings below to see the answers to some frequently asked questions.

How do I go about installing a new sewage system?

Before you do anything, you'll need to get the Environment Agency to assess a few things. You can download this British Water Flows and Loads guide to understand how much waste water you might generate every day alongisde the relevant Building Regulations.

EN-12566 was introduced in 2005 to test the performance of sewage treatment plants (serving a population of upto 50). If you think you are exempt from a permit, your plant will have to be tested and certified under EN-12566 to gain exemption.When choosing the type of plant you should install, the British Water guide on certified and approved tanks should be consulted (here).

This document is also useful in helping to understand the best type of system for you.

We can give you an idea of what size system you'll likely need, just drop us a line.

Who is qualified to install a sewage system?

Whilst manufacturers supply instructions when buying a new plant, it is strongly recommended you use a specialist waste water installer to design and install your new plant.

Send us your details and we'll help you decide which plant is right for you.

How far away does it have to be from any buildings?

We'd recommended a tank be no more than 30 metres away from an accessible bit of land for a desludging tanker to park.

How do I choose the right type of system?

It depends on how many people the plant will serve and what the ground conditions are like around the tank and it must satisfy the relevant authority, making sure:

  • The spec is suitable for the intended location and useage levels

  • Allow for servcing or emptying / desludging as recommended by the manufacturer

  • Treat (or contain) the waste in accordance with consents

  • Pose no threat to the environment

  • There are pros and cons to all systems, you can read our quick guide to see which will be the best option for you.

Serious can help you decide which plant is right for you. Send us your details and we'll phone you to talk through your options.

Do I need to get permission before discharging any waste?

You will need a permit from the Environment Agency or SEPA (or an exemption if you don't qualify for a permit), to find out if you need one, see this guide from the EA.

If you have a sewage treatment plant treating the waste from upto 50 people, you see the criteria for a permit exemption (EEP2) here.

Planning permission rules vary between regions, so you'll need to check with Building Control / Planning Departments at your local authority.

Where can I get further advice?

Environment Agency (England and Wales)
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
British Water

What is a percolation test?

A percolation test is used to measure how much water can drain through the subsoil surrounding your sewage treatment plant or septic tank in a specific time.

The test is carried out by excavating a small area and measuring the time taken for the water to drain in minutes per inch.

Serious can carry out the test for you, ensuring your ground is suitable for a soakaway to be installed. Send us your details here and we'll phone you back to arrange.

Can surface water be connected to my tank?

No, surface water shouldn't be diverted into a septic tank, cesspool or sewage treatment plant as it could overload the system, meaning your waste won't be treated to the required standard.

Jacuzzis and hot tubs shouldn't be diverted into your foul water system either.

What do grease traps do?

Grease traps work by separating FOGs from water that's washed down sinks. This grease builds up to create horrible smells, blockages and ultimately equipment failure, so regular checks are important.

How are grease management systems installed?

There are several kinds but it's usually a straight forward process. In a commercial kitchen, they're fitted on the wall under a kitchen sink or worktop, and as near as possible to the main pot-wash area. Some require an electric point and a cold water supply too.

External multi-stage grease traps are another option. But these shouldn't be installed too far away from the kitchen, otherwise the grease can solidify before it reaches the tank.

Read about the pros and cons of each type here.

Do I need a grease trap?

If you run or own a business where food is prepared or processed, such as a take-away, café, school, bakery, food packers or hospital, then yes.

You'll find more info on FOGs here or if you've got any questions, drop us a line and we'll get straight back to you.

How can Serious help?

We can help you decide which system will suit you best
Then we'll install it for you and link it to either the mains or your sewage treatment plant
We can also train you and your staff how to use it

Maintenance is important so we'll come and check things out for you on a regular basis.

learn more about grease management systems here.