Septic Tanks Rule Change for 2020

Septic tank regulations. It’s not an opening phrase that would make many people read on, but if your property has a septic tank – or if you are buying a property with a septic tank, you might need to.

All of Monxton appears to be in the red zone, so any this will affect any septic tank owners in the village.

Given what goes into a septic tank, it’s understandable why the Environment Agency is keen to make sure that it stays in the tank, instead of floating down the local stream. So, there are a lot of rules and regulations surrounding septic tanks – from where you can put them, to where the water that leaves the tank can go. Some are best practice guidelines, but others are legislation, and you could find yourself in the equivalent of the contents of your septic tank if you ignore them.

The latest regulations came out in 2015, and are called ‘General binding rules: small sewage discharge to a surface water’. It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, but its a very important document for many property owners.

Once upon a time, you could ‘discharge’ the separated waste water from within the septic tank through one of two ways:

  1. To a drainage field or soakaway system – here, the waste water percolates through holes or slots into the pipework, into the surrounding sub-soils. This provides a form of treatment of the water, and it allows the waste water to disperse safely without causing a pollution.
  2. To a watercourse – the waste water would flow through a sealed pipe straight to a local watercourse such as a stream or a river.

So, what’s changed?

You are no longer allowed to discharge from a septic tank to a watercourse, or to any other type of soakaway system other than a drainage field. The reason for this is because the ‘quality’ of the waste water is no longer considered clean enough to flow straight into local watercourses or soakaway systems without causing pollution.

Now, this isn’t an entirely new rule. For some years now, property owners have not been allowed to install a new septic tank which discharges to a watercourse. However, if your property already had a septic tank discharging to a watercourse, unless the EA identified that it was causing a pollution, you were able to carry on.

This all changes in 2020. If your property’s septic tank discharges to a watercourse, not a soakaway or drainage field, you must replace or upgrade the system by 1st January 2020 – or before that date if you are selling your property.

What are the options?

There are two main ways in which you can comply with the new regulations:

  1. Swap your septic tank for a sewage treatment plant – sewage treatment plants produce a cleaner form of water, and it’s considered clean enough to discharge straight to a watercourse
  2. Install a drainage field or soakaway system – this will take the waste water from your septic tank, and disperse it safely into the ground without causing pollution.

It’s not all doom and gloom, there’s still plenty of time to make the switch. And let’s face it, no one wants to think about the inhabitants of the local streams or rivers hanging out in the dirty water from septic tanks, so it’s a positive change for the environment.

In order to help simplify things, read this Quick Guide to Septic Tank, Sewage Treatment Plant and Cesspit Regulations which you can download now here.

https://www.gov.uk/permits-you-need-for-septic-tanks/general-binding-rules

 

 

If You See An Injured Deer By The Road…

IF YOU SEE AN INJURED DEER ON THE ROADSIDE

  • Pull over at the next safe place.
  • Call the Police. They will deal with road safety issues and have access to a specialist who will know the best course of action for the animal if it is alive.

IF YOU HIT A DEER WHILE DRIVING, YOUR PRIORITIES, IN
THIS ORDER, ARE:

  • Keep yourself and anyone with you as safe as you can.
  • Park your car in the safest place with hazard lights on.
  • Consider using it to also warn other road users.
  • Call an ambulance if human injuries warrant it.
  • Call the Police.

Usually it is best:

  • Not to approach live deer. Doing so may cause them to run across traffic causing another accident.
  • Not to move or handle live deer, you may be injured if they struggle.
  • Not to try to keep the deer warm. Covering its head/eyes may keep it calmer if there is a long wait but see “approach live deer” above.

www.deeraware.com

Dogs & Heat

The Blue Cross recommends the following for dogs in heat waves.

Heatstroke in Dogs

Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes. Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Imagine wearing a thick winter coat on a hot summer’s day and you’ll understand why dogs succumb to heatstroke so easily.  Signs of heatstroke in dogs include collapse, excessive panting, and dribbling.  If you suspect your pet is suffering from the condition, move them to a cool place, preferably with a draught, wet their coat with cool – not freezing – water, and contact your vet immediately.  Once a dog shows signs of heatstroke the damage is often already done, which is why it’s so important to prevent it

Dogs in hot cars

Never leave a dog in a car, even for a moment. “Not long” is too long.  A car can become an oven very quickly even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it is 22°c outside – within an hour – the temperature in a car can reach an unbearable 47°c.

Can I smash a window to free a dog from a hot car?  If you see a dog in distress inside a car, official advice is to dial 999 immediately and ask for the police. A dog in distress in a hot car is an emergency and the police will advise you what to do based on the situation.  Depending on the severity of the situation, the police may attend and break into the car to gain access to the dog, or they may advise you to do this. Call the police and tell them what you intend to do and why. Take photos and/or videos of the dog in distress and the names and phone numbers of witnesses.

How to keep a dog cool and prevent heatstroke

  • Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
  • On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening
  • Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
  • Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open
  • Be particularly careful with short-nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.
  • Hold your hand for 5-10 seconds on a paving stone or road etc. If you cannot keep your hand there then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws too. So walk in the cooler parts of the day.

Attention Dog Walkers

Dog mess is a serious health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog fouls in a public place. There are marked dog bins provided in the village to dispose of bags of dog mess. If you cannot find one, please take your dog bag home and dispose of it in an ordinary household black bin.

It is an offence not to clean up dog mess on the Village Green and the footpaths. Under those orders, a person who doesn’t clean up after their dog may face an on-the-spot fixed penalty fine of up to £80. If a person refuses to pay they can be taken to the local Magistrates for the dog fouling offence and fined up to £1,000.

If residents wish the footpaths to continue to be cut, dog walkers must pick up their dog’s mess.  If residents see anyone allowing their dogs to foul the Village Green or the footpaths,  please report it to the Parish Clerk, Heather Bourner.

Advice To Dog Owners About Attacks On Livestock and Horses

Keep full control of your dog when out and about in the countryside – or you could face prosecution is the message from the Police County Watch team as it tries to educate dog owners about the risk of attacks on livestock and horses.

The advice to dog owners is:

  • Keep your dog on a lead when in an area with farm livestock or horses
  • If there is no livestock visible, keep the dog in sight at all times, be aware of what it is doing, and be confident it will return to you promptly on command – if you cannot be confident of this, the dog should not be off the lead
  • Ensure your dog does not stray off the path or area where you have right of access

The worrying of livestock by dogs is a criminal offence contrary to the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.

Village Clean Up – Thank You!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped to clean up our beautiful village and parish on Sunday. A glorious day meant a great turn out of residents, armed with cleaning and gardening tools. The village now looks a lot more sparkling with clean signs and gateways, cleared trees, litter picked, grass and verges mowed and strimmed, and a spring clean for the Village Hall.

We all enjoyed sausage butties and cake as our just rewards afterwards as well as catching up with and meeting friends and neighbours.

Let’s all help to keep Monxton beautiful at all times. We’re planning another autumn clean up when we are also planning to plant a lot more daffodil bulbs.