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Essential advice on your problems with building, budgeting, DIY & planning from the most experienced names in the self-build industry


What is the best solution for my waste connection issue?

We paid a certified contractor to install a sewer connection up to our boundary. However, they met with other services, which required the pipe to be raised by 200mm. This meant that it was the same height as the outlet under the main slab of the house, some 8m away – insufficient to dispose of waste effectively. The company has told me that there’s nothing for it but to put in a second pumping station (we already have one for the basement but it wasn’t designed to serve the whole house). How common is it that an infill project is unable to connect to the main sewer? And what is the best way to resolve the issue?

I’m sorry to hear about your situation, but it just goes to show that you can never really accurately plan or budget for groundworks until you start digging. It’s not uncommon for houses to be unable to connect to a nearby sewer due to levels, obstructions or lack of capacity. It’s situations like this that reinforce the need to keep a contingency fund in reserve.

I think you have two options, both of which will add to your budget. You could elect for an off-mains solution, such as a septic or treatment plant, but I would suggest this would introduce unacceptable additional cost when you are so close to the main sewer. The other possibility is the pumping station you have been advised to install. From what you have told me, this sounds like the best route. You mention that you already have a pumping station in the basement – I assume that you are referring to a macerating pump such as a Saniflo system. A mains solution will be much larger and capable of handling waste from the whole dwelling. I’d recommend speaking to a company like Kingspan Environmental to discuss which of their options would fit the bill.

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About Build It

The November edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A self-built first home for just £47,000 (page 48) • Why build with oak? (page 64) • Rainwater goods: repair or replace? (page 67) • 5 renovation tips for a healthy home (page 81) • Is open plan living right for you (page 103) • Expert guide to lighting and electrics (page 112) … and more!