60% of Irish septic tank owners sign up to register

Recent reports show that a massive 60% of the septic tank owners in Ireland have signed up to the ownership register so far – this equates to around 300,000 households. With the deadline looming, the environment minister is encouraging the remaining 40% to sign up and receive the benefit of grant schemes to help with repairs if they are necessary.

February 1st is the cut off date to receive these ‘benefits’ which include up to 80% of costs (maximum value 4,000 euros) for those earning up to 50,000 euros per annum.

I suspect many people are nervous about signing up, as the register requires that all septic tanks undergo an annual inspection as part of their maintenance regime. This, of course, will assist in maintaining a healthy water supply for owners and the rest of the country, but the costs associated are likely to concern many.

However in the long term, maintaining your septic tank system is likely to make it less likely that the whole system has to be replaced because of long term issues. Having a regular inspection can mean that problems such as cracks and broken parts are spotted far earlier and can sometimes be repaired rather than replaced.

Winter considerations for your Septic Tank

As the end of November approaches I am hearing more and more new reports that we are to expect a harsh winter here in the UK in the coming months.

As the colder weather approaches it puts an additional strain on most facilities with wind, ice, snow and rain having an effect on utilities such as gas, electric and even communications equipment as well as transportation systems and roads.

If your home utilises a septic tank then ensuring its upkeep is never more important than at this time of year, especially for those living in more rural areas who are most likely to be stranded during bad weather.

Septic tank sewerage systems can suffer from a multitude of issues if effected by winter weather, they include:

  1. Frozen pipes between the house and the tank
  2. Frozen pump tank
  3. Damaged soil treatment
  4. Damage to pipes in soil treatment area

And you don’t need to have several feet of snow for this to happen – in fact, snow on top of a system can help to protect it from the frost and ice, but lack of coverage can make it more vulnerable to damage.

However, there are things you can do in order to avoid a situation like this. MTM Environmental can provide a report on the current status of your system and recommendations in order to make it less likely to fail in these conditions. All septic tanks should be maintained and inspected on a regular basis if for no other reason than to provide peace of mind for those who rely on them.

Fire crews make unusual septic tank recovery

I was reading an article recently about an unusual rescue from a septic tank in Portland, Oregan.

Firefighters were called when a 33 year old horse called Roxy fell into a septic tank earlier this year. The crew of rescuers used a pulley system to remove the horse, who was said to be neck deep in the tank.

Luckily she survived the ordeal with just some cuts and scrapes, but falls into septic tanks are not unusual and one of the reasons why septic tank maintenance and inspection of the whole tank (including the entrance) are so important today.

The horse owner was completely unaware of the septic tank on her land so as a result, was surprised to find her horse in it. Although this story has a happy ending it could have been far more serious in other circumstances.

Some old fashioned sewage treatment plants are easier to fall into than others. The newer systems (like the Biorock system mentioned in a previous post) are more likely to not only be smaller, but also enclosed and hidden from view from above. The liklihood is you could walk over the entrance to the tank in someones garden without even knowing it!

The full report about Roxy the horse can be seen on the Yahoo website here, and for more information on inspecting or maintaining your own septic tank system contact MTM Environmental.

Irish septic tank owners – limited time to pay tank charges

The Irish Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, has been discussing the slow uptake on septic tank registration applications.

According to the Irish Sun only around 6% (around 22,500 households) of septic tank owners in the country have taken paid the charges, although it is hoped this will increase before the end of this month as the price will then go up sharply. According the the countrys’ census there are nearly 500,000 tanks of this nature utilised by householders.

At present the cost of registration is 5 Euros, but on the 28th September the cost will go up 10 fold to 50 Euros.

Tank registration is being made compulsary in the country and involves regular inspection of the tank by officials, who (it seems) will ensure tanks are maintained well and enforce upgrades and repairs as and when needed.

Although the work is not yet compulsary here in England, ensuring yourseptic tank is inspected and maintained on a regular basis is an important part of ownership. MTM Environmental offer an inspection service for this purpose and using specialist equipment are able to provide householders with an accurate report of any repairs and maintenance required to their system following a septic tank inspection.

More information on the article can be found on the Irish Sun website.

Unusual things found in septic tanks

When MTM environmental complete septic tank inspections or routine maintenance sometimes we can be surprised by what we find in the process. One of our previous posts mentions the carcus of a mouse found in a customers electric box!

But having researched the things found in some tanks it seems foreign bodies can be a much bigger problem in other places internationally.

Engagement Rings in Hotel Septic Tank

A report on the BBC News website in July claims that 8,000 euros worth of engagement rings were flushed down a toilet accidentally whilst wrapped in some tissue. Several workers tried to locate the rings, but so far have been unsuccessful. The incident happened at a hotel in the Irish Republic and at present it looks as though they will have to be re-purchased!

Man hides in Septic Tank

Over in America, police were chasing a man after receiving reports he was “obstructing traffic”. When the alleged offender fled the scene, he proceeded to the back streets and entered a septic tank through a hole no more than 18 inches wide in order to hide from the authorities. However he became stuck and after a short while had to be freed. Despite having been shoulder deep in human waste, he refused to be hosed off!

So finding the unusual in a septic tank is actually more common than you might think – both of these reports were made in national press within the last month!

Disguising septic tank works at MTM environmental

At MTM Environmental we think it is important to go the extra mile while trying to disguise installations at a persons home or business.

In this example of our work you can see that we have covered the lid of a septic tank installation with special Astro turf, which assists in hiding the system against the owners lawn.

Helping customers by disguising their septic tanks is a service we can offer along with the care and maintenance, inspections and sewage treatment plant system services.

Of course septic tank systems always need to be accessible for maintenance, inspections and repairs – the example in this picture shows the access lid camouflaged and the rest of the system will be covered with earth and real turf laid so it is level with the lid.

Many septic tanks are visible and for some homes can create an eyesore in a back garden or driveway.

Here at MTM Environmental we will take time to consider the most suitable place for the septic tank and discuss ways that it can be disguised if needed.

For more information on maintaining your septic tank please contact the MTM environmental team.

Keeping your Septic Tank fit during the drought

Everyone has been talking about the drought conditions here in the UK recently, and although back in March we seemed to be having unseasonably hot weather, the rain in April has done nothing to change the situation.

The drought is another reason in a long list to ensure your septic tank is inspected and maintained on a regular basis, not least because leaks and other issues don’t just waste water, they can also cause damage to the surrounding ground above and below.

Leaks and damage to septic tank systems can be caused in a number of ways, but more often than not their location and original installation needs to be taken into account as well as the age of the system, which can degrade over time.

Inspecting your tank might seem like a diffucult task, but modern technologies and equipment available can make inspecting the oldest of tanks much easier.

Using specialist camera equipment engineers are able to remotely inspect the interior of the tank and ascertain what damage has been caused over the years and what can be done to fix it. Of course, in some cases a fix isn’t always possible, so a replacement system might be required – all the more reason to have your inspection and maintenance programme completed on a regular basis.

For more information on having a septic tank inspection, contact MTM Drains to discuss your needs further.

Unusual Septic Tank rescue in America

Reports in North Carolina based newspapers are today detailing an unusual rescue from a septic tank in Virginia Beach.

It seems a horse had the misfortune to fall into the tank and needed assistance getting back out. Over the weekend fire crews received calls at around 3pm local time from locals saying a horse had partly fallen into the well.

Using specialist resue equipment, fire crews were able to hoist the animal out of the tank and back to safety, before it was put through any further stresses,

Although it is impossible to understand the reasons for this incident, many issues with these tanks can be avoided by undertaking regular maintenance and inspections. Septic tank inspections and consideration of their location should be completed at regular intervals in order to check for any potential safety issues that might arise.

MTM Drains use specialist equipment to complete the inspection of a tank or sewage treatment works and provide a full report covering maintenance requirements that need to be addressed.

If you have a septic tank on your land and it has not been inspected recently then you might find a new report highly beneficial. Because of their hard to reach location, finding leaks and other potential hazards in their structure can be difficult, but our specialist camera equipment allows our engineers to see areas that are difficult to reach.

For more information on Septic Tank inspections, contact MTM Drains.

Sewage Treatment Plant declared outdated

Officials in Jersey have declared the islands sewage treatment plant in Bellozanne as outdated. The treatment works needs to be replaced in the future in order to meet the requirements for notrogen levels set out by the EU.

A recent BBC report shows the treatment works still functional but in need of an overhaul – the plant itself is said to have been in place for more than 50 years, but currently doesn’t meet the EU nitrogen level requirements.

Of course, this mass sewage treatment works is large scale and for the use of the whole island, but if you are looking for a private treatment system then MTM can assist with this.

Maintenance of your sewage treatment equipment is an important part of ensuring it is in working condition and many systems need (and benefit from) an annual treatment plant service.

Whether your system was installed by us or is an existing system we have not seen before we are able to assist. Our engineers will provide a report of any repairs needed as well as providing a price and interval requirements for future services.

Arranging regular services and completing necessary maintenance and repairs will help your treatment to work well and last longer.

For more information on Treatment Plant maintenance and servicing, call MTM Drains today.

Septic Tank registration rules vary the world over

For anyone who has a domestic sewage treatment works we would always recommended that the equipment is inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

In some countries all sewage treatment works and septic tanks have to be registered however, if you look at the Environment Agency website you will see that small domestic sewage charges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants in England are not currently required to be registered, although these rules are under review and you can opt to register if you choose.

A recent news publication highlighted that in some areas of the world, residents are blissfully unaware of the old septic tanks that are located in and around their homes and the health risk they might pose.

The Athens news reported at the end of last year that:

Athens residents may be unaware of a potential environmental threat buried in their own backyards. An unknown number of aging septic systems are buried near Athens homes, creating the risk for long-term environmental damage.

Research shows that underground septic systems can cause damage to the local ecosystem, particularly to nearby water sources. A properly placed and prepared modern septic system has little chance of doing harm to the environment. However, the majority of septic systems in Athens were installed before the 1950s during a time when little was known about ecological conservation.

Reports like these are not uncommon and show how important it is to ensure your own septic tank is maintained and good working order.

MTM Environmental provide a Septic Tank inspection service using specialist equipment and can provide a maintenance report of any current or arising issues with your system.