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Services we offer:

  • Off-grid home buyer surveys
  • Bespoke consultancy
  • Project management
  • Design and specification
  • Supply and installation
  • Onsite supervision
  • Site survey and soil porosity testing

Septic Tanks & Off-Mains Drainage Solutions For The South Of England

The WES southern office offers a full range of services for Septic Tanks, Cesspits, Sewage Treatment Plants & Drainage Services. We are delighted to offer this service across the south of England. Our region extends from Kent in the East all the way over to Hampshire, right along the south coast and up to Berkshire. A full list of counties covered is below.

For the Midlands, please check out our Midlands office page.

Coronavirus Update

We know that there will be clients experiencing problems with their Septic Tanks and failed soakaways during these difficult times and with more people at home this may be exaggerated..

Please do still contact us either via the website or mobiles and one of us will be glad to talk through the situation and offer some immediate help and guidance before we can visit in person.

Thank you to all our existing clients and suppliers, stay safe.

The WES team.

What is off-mains drainage?

septic tank south of England

Frequently Asked Questions

What is off mains drainage?2021-03-02T12:10:37+00:00

Off-mains drainage is effectively the term used for any building / property, whether it’s domestic or commercial that’s not connected to the main sewage system in the road that leads to the mains drainage.

So, it’s a private system that is installed onsite to receive the waste and then various different systems treat it and do various different things.  It effectively means you’re off-grid.

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Do you provide soil porosity testing?2021-03-02T12:12:02+00:00

We provide soil porosity testing when a system is going to be installed that is effectively going to discharge the effluent to a soakaway. The reason you have a soil porosity test is to establish whether the site is actually suitable for a soakaway or a drainage field as it’s called.

So it’s a necessity to establish if the site is actually suitable for a soakaway.

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Why choose Ward Environmental Services?2021-03-02T12:13:03+00:00

As a company, we are specialists in the off-mains sector, so this is all we do. I’ve been in the industry for over 32 years, so having come from a manufacturing background, I understand the products in terms of how they are put together; the reasons why we would use certain types of systems and different applications.

We offer the complete service from initial survey, right through to actually carrying out the work, all the way through to final commissioning. So, we can effectively deliver a complete turnkey solution.

We also deal with building control to ensure that the legislation is all adhered to, and indeed the Environment Agency, to make sure that what you discharge is legal to your particular site.

Read more at: https://wes.uk.net/why-choose-ward-environmental-services/

Off mains drainage home buyers survey explained – can’t I just get my house surveyor to do this?2021-03-02T12:14:27+00:00

When you are looking to purchase a property, you will have had a surveyor in, to conduct a survey on the property. They should identify that the house is not connected to the main drainage and typically they would then put in their report ‘seek specialist advice‘.

So that’s where we would come in to offer a home buyer survey JUST for the off mains drainage sector. That aspect is purely related to the septic tank or sewage system serving the property, but nothing else to do with the house.

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What does an off mains drainage survey cost?2021-03-02T12:15:23+00:00

Typically speaking, an off mains drainage survey costs £250 plus VAT. That covers the onsite survey itself and then a written report.

If we feel that there are structural issues with the actual system itself, then we would ask that the property has the tank emptied and then we can return to visit at no extra cost to do an internal inspection.

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Who has to pay to fix home buyer septic tank problems? The buyer or the seller?2021-03-02T12:16:33+00:00

In terms of whose responsibility the costs fall, often the seller would look to bring the system up to speed, before they actually put the property on the market. But if we’ve been engaged by the buyer, then it may well be a cost that would be negotiated.

But every case is different – it really is down to the individual buyer & seller as to how they wish to move forward. They key thing is that the report gives a clear view as to why the cost exists, and then it’s up to them to decide between them.

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How quickly can you do an off mains home buyers survey?2020-04-24T10:11:12+01:00

We can normally respond quite quickly for the home buyers’ surveys because, typically, it’s the last thing that people think of. So, time is of the essence! Normally within 3-5 working days, we can be onsite. If we are actually in the area, we may well be able to respond quicker than that.

January 2020 Off Mains Drainage Rules Change2020-04-24T10:12:05+01:00

January 2020 is an important date in the off-mains sector. The Environment Agency have imposed some legislation changes, which simply means that if you have a septic tank that’s discharging to a water course, a stream or ditch; then that needs to stop and it needs to be upgraded to a proper sewage treatment system.

Often people don’t realise they’ve got an issue until the survey is conducted. Obviously, any potential buyer will need to make sure they’re not taking on a property that’s got a system that’s no longer going to comply.

Is it expensive to fix any problems found?2020-04-24T10:12:51+01:00

The cost of repair is quite varied. Sometimes systems are fully compliant and they may well just need some small remedial works doing – maybe some new access chamber covers repairing or replacing if they’re not secure. The worse-case scenario would be a complete replacement. typically speaking this could be anywhere between £8,000 – £15,000 – that would be  a reasonable range of costing. But every site is different – there is no such thing as a standard quotation cost: it is very site specific.

How many companies offer off mains home buyer surveys?2020-04-24T10:13:49+01:00

It’s an interesting question because lots of people do it but lots of people shouldn’t do it. That’s because a lot of people are actually out there selling their service rather than actually offering the survey. So, unfortunately what we find, is that people have actually engaged companies to do a survey, but in fact what they’re actually doing is trying to sell a product – rather than giving a clear independent view of what the problem actually is.

There are people out there, but I think we are actually quite unique in terms of what we offer; bearing in mind we are off-mains specialists, so we know our product.

How Long Does An Off Mains Drainage Survey Take?2020-04-23T10:13:11+01:00

The home buyer survey typically takes around an hour to complete on site – then there’s obviously the production of the report. We can normally turn the whole thing around within about 48 hours.

Off mains home buyers survey – do you survey the whole house?2020-04-24T10:15:37+01:00

When you are looking to purchase a property, you will have had a surveyor in to actually conduct a survey on the property. They should identify that the house is not connected to the main drainage – typically then they would put in their report “seek specialist advice”. So that’s where we would come in to offer our home buyer survey, just for the off-mains drainage sector. That aspect is purely related to the septic tank or sewage system that’s serving the property; but nothing else to do with the house.”

Q: Just checking if it works?

Mark Ward: “Yes, so the off-mains survey is an onsite investigation – so we inspect all aspects of the system: all the drainage covers are lifted, just to work out exactly where the drains are flowing to and from. We identify where the system is, what type of system it is, what condition it’s in.

Then we put together a report which takes into account legislation, to establish whether or not it complies. If not – why not? And most importantly what’s it going to cost to bring it up to speed.

What are the different types of septic systems?2020-04-24T10:17:35+01:00

There are various different types of off mains systems on the market. Generally, they fall into three categories.

The first is cesspool, which is a storage tank only; that is generally used when there is no other means of discharge available. So you can’t treat it, there’s no soakaway and there’s no water course to discharge into. So, that’s just a holding vessel that requires emptying on a regular basis.

septic tank is a system that does overflow. So, it produces an effluent that is partially treated, but it can only be discharged into a soakaway, if the ground conditions permit it. And the Environment Agency also lay down particular legislation in terms of areas you can use a septic tank.

The most common system that is now used is a package sewage treatment plant, which – like a septic tank – produces a effluent, but is actually treated to a higher standard. So it could actually be discharged into a water course, a stream. or indeed into a soakaway, subject to soil porosity tests.

When Do I Need An Off Mains Drainage Consultant?2020-04-24T10:18:17+01:00

You need an off mains consultant when you are looking at upgrading your current system (many properties have got old Victorian or brick build systems that no longer comply). You would certainly need an off-mains consultant if you’re looking to purchase a property that is off-mains. The surveyor of the house would probably advise you that you need to get a specialist in to advise on exactly what’s required.

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