When building your new home, if you cannot connect to the Main Sewer, an important part of your planning permission is that you must obtain a consent to discharge NI approval from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA) before installing a new septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
What is consent to discharge?
A consent to discharge is permission granted by the Environment Agency to discharge effluent directly into surface waters, groundwater or the sea.
Where effluent will be discharged into a watercourse (streams, sheughs and rivers), the NIEA must grant consent before beginning your installation. Discharge consents include conditions outlining the quality and quantity of waste discharges. These conditions have been drawn up to ensure that the waste can be absorbed by the receiving water without damaging the aquatic environment or breaching national or European Commission (EC) standards.
Consent to Discharge is in place to protect our waterways!
All Consent to Discharge NI applications are now online! Depawater can take care of your complete application and liaise with you throughout the process, Services we offer include:
- Consent to discharge application processing and approval.
- Percolation Testing.
- Tricel certified Solutions for your site.
- Custom design Solutions to suit almost any site!
If you need help with consent to discharge NI forms give us a call, we here at Depawater can make the process of applying for consent to discharge hassle free.
The current fees:
Current application fees for consent to Discharge, payable to the NIEA are as follows:
- Discharge to subsurface irrigation (soakaway) – £117
- Discharge to waterway (streams, sheughs and rivers) – £292
Are you going to be discharging to a waterway or a soakaway (percolation area)?
How do you know what type of sewage system you need?
Quick Guide to choosing your Septic Tank/Wastewater Treatment Plant
Before applying for a Consent to Discharge NI Approval, you need to know whether the discharge from your tank will be to a sub-surface irrigation system (AKA – soakaway/percolation area) or directly to a waterway.
Septic/treatment tank options include:
1. Standard Septic Tank – needs a drainage field
A standard septic tank can be installed when there is approximately 100 linear meters of underground drainage field (soakaway) available. A percolation test and approval from the NIEA is required.
Recommended Product: Tricel Vento
2. 95% BOD Sewage Treatment Plant – needs drainage field
This option is suited for installation with approximately 50 linear square meters of underground drainage field (soakaway). A percolation test and approval from the NIEA is required.
Recommended Product: Tricel Novo
Illustration showing a Tricel Novo 95% treatment tank discharging into a percolation area
3. 97.5% BOD Sewage Treatment Plant – does NOT need drainage field
This option is best suited where the final effluent can be piped directly into a watercourse (open ditch, sheugh, stream or river) with approval from the NIEA. This option does not require a percolation test.
Recommended Product: Tricel Vitae
Illustration showing a Tricel Vitae 97.5% treatment tank discharging directly into a watercourse
What is a Percolation Test and why might I need it?
Percolation tests are necessary to calculate the drainage rate of your land so that the wastewater effluent leaving your septic tank or sewage treatment plant may safely drain away into the soil below. It is vital that this test is carried out so that a percolation / sub-surface drainage field can be correctly sized and installed to deal with the wastewater effluent coming from your home’s septic tank or sewage treatment tank.
Failing to carry out a percolation test will result in an inadequate drainage system, providing substandard treatment, which will inevitably fail. This will lead to sewers backing up, septic tanks overflowing and can cause serious risk to the health and well-being of the inhabitants or anyone within the vicinity of the untreated effluent in and around your home.
Depawater carries out water percolation testing. We offer a full package including:
- Percolation test on Site.
- Calculate Drainage values & Size percolation area required.
- Completing Consent to Discharge NI Application /Approval.
- Supply your Septic tank or Sewage Treatment Plant.
- Maintain your Septic tank or Sewage Treatment Plant.
If you already have a septic tank or sewage treatment tank installed, you still require a consent to discharge NI approval from the NIEA. Any Standard septic tank discharging directly to a watercourse must be upgraded immediately. If not, the homeowner will face prosecution.
If you need help with consent to discharge NI forms give us a call, we can make the process of applying for consent to discharge hassle free.