Introduction to Buying & Selling Homes with an SSD
If you are considering buying or selling a property with an S.S.D then there are regulations and requirements that you will need to be aware of. These regulations were updated on the 1st January 2017 and can be found in the ‘Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.’
An S.S.D is a small sewage discharge, this could be a septic tank, aeration plant (sometimes referred to as an S.T.P or sewage treatment plant), or a cesspool. These are commonly used in rural areas or areas with limited drainage. A septic tank and S.T.P may also have a soakaway system in place. A soakaway system is a means of discharging. It is an offence to discharge sewage to ground or surface waters unless you have an environmental permit. However, most domestic sewage discharges are exempt providing certain requirements and the ‘General Binding Rules’ are met and in place.
The General Binding Rules were introduced on 1st January 2015. These are the conditions, set by regulations and technical requirements, as specified by the Environmental Agency in guidance to operators.
The operator (herein referred to as the seller) is the person who currently has control over the S.S.D system. This could be the owner of the property which is served by the S.S.D, a neighbour who shares use of the S.S.D, or another person who has, in writing, agreed to be responsible for the maintenance of the S.S.D.
THE USE OF S.S.D’S – KEY POINTS
• You can discharge up to 2 cubic metres per day to the ground (e.g. back garden) using either a septic tank or S.T.P.
• You can discharge up to 5 cubic metres per day to surface water (e.g. river or stream) but you can only use an S.T.P and NOT a septic tank. Historic septic tanks which currently discharge to surface water must be replaced or upgraded by 1st January 2020. You will need to replace or upgrade the system before this date before you can sell the property.
• A cesspit is a sealed unit and does not need to comply with the General Binding Rules or apply for an environmental permit. However, the operator of the cesspit must ensure that the unit is maintained and emptied regularly by a registered waste carrier.
BUYING A PROPERTY SERVED BY AN S.S.D: A brief overview of your legal requirements
• It is incumbent on the buyer to ensure that the system is fully functional, in good working order, and is not causing pollution.
• It is important for you to identify the location of the system and check the appropriate rights and obligations are in place if located in a neighbouring property.
SELLING A PROPERTY SERVED BY AN S.S.D: A brief overview of your legal requirements
• If you sell a property with an S.S.D, you, as the operator, must give the purchaser a written notice stating that an S.S.D is in operation and give a description of the waste water system and its maintenance requirements.
• If you currently have a septic tank that discharges to surface water then your sale of the property automatically triggers the requirement on you to replace or upgrade the system.
The Services Provided by JTE:
At JTE DRAINAGE SOLUTIONS we offer the full range of drainage related works. Here is a brief description of just some of the many services we offer.
1. S.S.D’s (Small Sewage Discharges)
These are the types units you may have installed to deal with your sewage. The most common types of S.S.D’s are septic tanks, aeriation plants, and cesspools.
We undertake all de-commissioning and We provide a full emptying, de-sludging, and all-round cleaning service.
Your S.S.D needs will be overseen by a senior engineer with almost thirty years’ experience and a fully trained engineer.
Your S.S.D will be serviced using our combi unit. This means we are equipped to deal with any situation likely to arise, such as debris/rubble in your drainage system. Any and every emptying will require, by law, a duty of care note which we will supply and keep on file for three years for every empty we undertake on your behalf. We also offer an annual service which includes checking the functionality of each compartment of your S.S.D, the filters, and free parts replacement.
Be rest assured that we are fully compliant with the relevant regulations and our Waste Carrier’s License is available to view upon request.
2. Site Cleaning
In addition to S.S.D’s or main drains, you may have gullies and/or other drainage systems on your site such as interceptors, grease traps etc.
With our combination of experience, expertise and a full fleet of suitably equipped vehicles, we can ensure all your drainage outlet systems will be maintained to the highest standards with all blockages removed.
3. C.C.T.V Surveys/Site Investigation Reports
Should you require an investigation into your drainage system, we have state of the art C.C.T.V equipment (complete with sond locator for particularly difficult sites.) To quickly identify a problem or to check the effectiveness of our works, we can offer you a “look and see” which simply means we camera the drainage system.
Because we are licensed to use Win-Can, we can also offer a full site investigation and report. This would include a full camera survey of the drainage, a mapping of the drainage on your site, a full report of the defects/problems arising fully evidenced for you with maps, written reports, site images and videos supplied in writing and digitally.
4. Non-dig Technology/Non-dig Structural Patch repair
We are proven experts when it comes to repairing broken lines which may be under a building on your site. With our non-dig technology, we can repair any broken line without having to lift or smash through your existing floors and/or ground works. This has the benefit of no need for plant equipment, saving on costs and disruption.
5. General and other services not described above
Routinely, we may have to unblock, carry out H.P.W Jetting, manual dig outs of blocked drains or gullies, remove and/or replace small sections of defective drainage. Whilst these works may, on occasions, be unforeseen and we shall always endeavor to inform you in the first possible instance if we must carry out these works so that we remain fully compliant with the requirements of your site and create as little disruption as possible.
Health & Safety and Environmental Regulations
Health and safety in the workplace is as important to us as it is to you. We do not believe that any works we undertake should ever result in injury or harm to any persons on site. We regularly update our Health & Safety Policy (which you may request to see at any time) and we do seek to take advice from our staff and clients and implement as and when appropriate. Be rest assured that all our staff, from the Managing Director to the on-site engineer, are all fully conversant with the best and most appropriate Health and Safety practice available. Your site will have been assessed by our chief engineer and you may request a copy of this at any time. In addition, as part of our efforts to renew our CHAS and SAFE CONTRACTOR approved status’, we constantly renew and replace our RAMS. You may also request to see these at any time.
Be assured that we take Health and Safety in the workplace very seriously and the best efforts go into the creation of our policies and documents.
As a proven leading expert in our field, we take our responsibilities concerning the environment incredibly seriously. You will not experience any breach of regulations because of our actions. Should you have any cause for concern then we would be grateful if you would raise this with us in the first possible instance. You are entitled to request a copy of our Environmental Policy at any time which is updated annually, and further amendments take place as and when regulatory changes occur. We have a long standing and mutually beneficial relationship with The Environmental Agency and we are always open to advice where appropriate.