Off Mains Drains

The MPC team aim to assist you with your off mains drains project, including sewage treatment, septic tanks, pumping stations, rainwater harvesting as well as general drainage work, mains connections and surface water management.

Is your septic tank, sewage treatment plant or cesspit compliant with the 2020 Environment Agency regulations? Are you near a river, stream, lake, other surface water or groundwater abstraction area? Are you buying or selling a property that is off mains drainage system and do not wish to be caught out?

Call 01773 767 612 or email info@mpcservices.co.uk with details of your cirumstances for an independent perspective and to review your options.

MPC Services and installations are operating with adaptions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers relating to COVID-19. More Information... 

With nationwide coverage and a straightforward transparent approach to projects, we aim to understand your needs, assist in working out the best options for you to choose from as independent equipment suppliers and installers.

Are you paying too much for frequent emptying of your sewage system? Is your sewage system the source of unpleasant odour or irritating noises? These are signs that something is potentially not working properly and could do with an inspection, maintenance visit or review.

As specialists, the team has deep experience in the appropriate compliance matters particularly around the environment agency waste water discharge requirements and the latest position on septic tank and sewage treatment equipment. We are also passionate about preventing our clients from wasting money in the long run and aim to treat customers as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your particular situtation then please call 01773 767 612 email enquiries@mpcservices.co.uk or fill out the Sewage System Compliance Checker and you will receive an email with a quick assessment of your off mains drains system.


 Quick Check your existing sewage system:


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Treatment System choices for ensuring compliance

If you are discharging to a watercourse, such as a river or a stream, you are required to use a sewage treatment plant (sometimes referred to as a package treatment plant). This uses aeration, mechanical & biological processes to treat the wastewater to minimum EU regulatory standards so that the final effluent does not pollute the watercourse.

Sites and applications which discharge to surface water have been given four options by the Environment Agency:

 • Option 1: Upgrade / replace your existing septic tank with a sewage treatment plant, eliminating the need for any drainage field. The sewage treatment plant should be sized in accordance with the British Water flows and loads for the correct property type, number of people and size. Package treatment equipment must be CE marked and comply with the minimum effluent standards, a full list of Environment Agency approved, compliant equipment is hosted on the British Water website.

•  Option 2: Install a drainage field ("soakaway") system. This allows the septic tank to discharge to the ground instead of the surface water. Do note that, in many cases, the installation of a drainage field is not possible due to site constraints such as space and/or the soil not having sufficient soakaway potential such clay soil. A percolation test and trial site assessment holes also be undertaken to measure the ground's drainage characteristics.

•  Option 3: Connect to the main sewer. Your local water company can confirm if a connection to the mains sewer is an option, however, this is unavailable in a lot of remote areas hence the reason a septic tank was required in the first instance.

•  Option 4: Undertake remedial work to address any system deficiencies, for example leakages or treatment process failures, that are causing non-compliant discharge to the watercourse from a system that should theoretically be compliant. Effluent measurement may be required by way of evidence that effective treatment has been reinstated.

The options need to be undertaken in conjunction with correct application of Buildings Control, Planning and other relevant authorities, neighbours and other third parties that may be involved. The MPC team will be able to assist in getting written confirmation from the relevant authorities prior to expenditure.

Help us help you save money! While there is nothing like meeting in person and inspecting a sewage treatment system first-hand, in many cases this being essential, there is a lot that can be achieved with modern technology: the benefits of an initial remote-survey for your site using Face Time or Whatsapp will allow us to give you a good idea as to your options at an early stage in your project without the expense or risks associated with our surveyors travelling. We do genuinely pass this saving on to you and it allows us to be more responsive in providing you with the reports you. Our experienced surveyors have been walking customers through basic checks remotely while the COVID-19 situation was developing, and while we are back to 'normal' we have seen benefits for customers from remote surveys that we are committed to continue to develop. At the very least, an initial remote survey ensures that any in-person visit is effective, to the point and properly planned as the basics will have been covered and reviewed by the team in advance.


Useful third party guidance on Sewage Systems

Third party guidance regarding septic tank, sewsage treatment, buildings control regulations and requirements:

If your property resides in Scotland or Wales, you MUST register your septic tank or sewage treatment plane with either SEPA (Scotland) or Natural Resources (Wales) before 2020. In Wales you will require a Consent of Discharge for any discharge to ground via a soakaway or watercourses, for the full list of rules regarding the new legislation in Scotland and Wales visit:

Maintenance of sewage treatment systems

In order to keep your sewage treatment system fully functioning and operating within Environmental standards it is essential that your unit is regularly serviced in line with manufacturers guidelines to ensure it continues to deal with waste in a clean and efficent manner. Our experienced and qualified engineers carry out sewage treatment plant servicing, repairs and upgrades. We have over 20 years of experience in the wastewater industry and more than 1500 happy service contract customers to date, along with thousands of non-contract customers.

It is important to remove built-up sludge from your sewer tank before it reaches its maximum capacity. Removal of sludge must be undertaken by a registered waste carrier. If there is cracking or other damage to your system, this needs to be repaired to prevent discharge of untreated waste from the treatment system.

Sensitive areas

You must apply for a permit if you want to begin a new discharge to a surface water in or within 500m of a designated sensitive area. A sensitive area includes special conservation sites, designated bathing water, protected shellfish water or special protection areas. You also need a permit if the discharge is within 200m of an aquatic local nature reserve, or within 50m of a chalk river or aquatic local wildlife site. You must contact the Environment Agency or use our Sewage System Checker to check if you are in or near a designated sensitive area. 

Partial drainage fields

A partial drainage field is a system for discharging to water, which allows effluent to drain into the ground when levels in the watercourse are low, and into the watercourse when groundwater levels are high. A partial drainage field can only be used with a small sewage treatment plant and must be within 10m of the edge of the watercourse.