Approximately 95% of properties in the UK have a direct connection to mains sewer drainage – wastewater from toilets, showers, sinks and washing machines travels to the main drain nearby. Fees are paid to local water and sewage companies.

The remaining 5% of properties, usually not located near the main sewer, must have private independent drainage. This is usually a tank, which will either be a:

septic tank

sewage treatment plant


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Option 1 and 2 will then be discharged into the soakaway system or pipes to local waterways.

Option 3 is only a holding tank for waste, with no outlet.

What does buying a property with off mains drainage mean for you?

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that your property drainage systems cause no pollution or environmental harm.

Strict regulations exist that must be abided by and it is essential to know about them as any pollution damage could result in a fine or worse.

There will be no fees to pay to sewerage and water companies as you are not connected to the mains sewer.

It is important, however, that the tank is emptied approximately once a year. For Septic Tank Emptying Worcester, visit a site like BSA Environmental, providers of Septic Tank Emptying Worcester.

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For properties with a sewage treatment plant, some servicing and checks should be carried out around once a year as well.

Cesspits must be emptied between 4-8 times every year.