What does ‘off mains’ drainage mean?

Approximately 95% of properties in the UK have a direct connection to mains sewer drainage – wastewater from toilets, showers, sinks and washing machines travels to the main drain nearby. Fees are paid to local water and sewage companies.

The remaining 5% of properties, usually not located near the main sewer, must have private independent drainage. This is usually a tank, which will either be a:

Septic tank

Sewage treatment plant


Option 1 and 2 will then be discharged into the soakaway system or pipes to local waterways.

Option 3 is only a holding tank for waste, with no outlet.

What does buying a property with off mains drainage mean for you?

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that your property drainage systems cause no pollution or environmental harm.

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Strict regulations exist that must be abided by, and it is essential to know about them as any pollution damage could result in a fine or worse.

There will be no fees to pay to sewerage and water companies as you are not connected to the mains sewer.

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It is important, however, that the tank is emptied approximately once a year. For Drain Lining Bracknell visit https://www.drainpower.co.uk/drainage-services/drain-lining/drain-lining-bracknell/

For properties with a sewage treatment plant, some servicing and checks should be carried out around once a year as well.

Cesspits must be emptied between 4-8 times every year.

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