System Selection

Selecting the correct system can be difficult. By following the steps below we can help you start to make the right choice for off-mains drainage.

There are four main types of systems to handle sewage:

  1. Pump Station - This will pump sewage to a nearby mains drain
  2. Cesspool - A simple storage tank installed underground that is emptied when it is full up
  3. Septic Tank - This works by the settling out of sewage within the tank with discharge to the ground via a large soakaway. This can only be installed in certain locations, depending on ground conditions
  4. Treatment Unit - This is a self contained system that treats the sewage in the tank by the constant movement of liquid which encourages the growth of bacteria. This discharges clean effluent to a nearby ditch or watercourse

Questions to ask before deciding:

Is a foul sewer available locally?

YES - Connect by gravity or fit pumping station

NO - Install sewage treatment unit or septic tank or cesspool


Does the site have sufficient space and percolation for a soakaway?

YES - Install septic tank and soakaway

NO - Install sewage treatment unit or cesspool


Is there a local watercourse or ditch nearby to discharge to?

YES - Install sewage treatment unit

NO - Install cesspool


It is important to remember that planning & building regulations and the Environment Agency will need to be consulted before any final decision can be made