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Off-mains: foul drainage

If you aren’t connected to the mains sewage system, you’ll need to make sure you have the right provisions in place for your home’s waste. Tim Doherty explores the options

The removal of foul waste (ie sewage) is something we tend to take for granted in our homes. The waste from our toilets, sinks, disherwashers, washing machines and showers – basically anything that gets drained or flushed away – usually disappears without us having to think about where it’s going. But if you’re self building, you need to make sure everything’s in place to get it removed safely. A mains connection is the most practical and cheapest solution, but for many rural plots this isn’t available.

There are various ways to control foul waste if you haven’t got a mains connection. Whatever is collected will either be removed by tanker, filtered into surface water or into the ground. Before I go into details about how to manage discharging sewage, here are the five main options for collecting and storing the waste:

1 Septic tank This is the most common solution, but be aware that it’s often referred to as a general term for all off-mains foul drainage.

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About Build It

Make a success of your self build home project with inspiring design ideas and practical advice from Build It magazine. Our October 2019 issue includes: - Smart Home Technology Special Guide - 10 Projects to Add Value to Your Build - Planning your Renovation Project - Learn from the Most Common Self Build Mistakes - Inspiring Reader Homes ... and more!