What Alternatives are there to Mains Drainage?

The majority of homes in the Bracknell are serviced by mains services which are run throughout the town way of mains conduits usually running in the roads and pavements. The developer of new homes will obtain connection to these service conduits in return for a charge.

Once connected to these services, you are free to choose a provider of your electricity, gas, cable, telephone/broadband and water in return for a standing charge and usually an additional charge for actual usage.

Nowadays, most utilities in the Bracknell including water, are metered, but drainage is somewhat different. In urban areas it is normal for both surface water drainage (the water that runs from your roof and driveway) and foul water drainage (from bathrooms and kitchens) to run into mains sewers located in the roadway. Homeowners are charged for this by way of a ‘banded’ charge which forms part of their total council tax bill. There is also an environmental charge for the maintenance of public waterways, etc.

If your home is more remote you may not have the benefit of mains drainage. In such cases the only solution is to make your own provision. In older homes foul water drainage is usually linked to a septic tank which, historically, might be a brick and concrete-built chamber of approximately 500 gallons capacity located on your own land or on land adjacent, with appropriate consent.

Alternate systems might include a modern treatment plant (usually plastic) which is a combination of sediment chambers and overflows which distill sludge from water with the waste water subsequently being filtered or treated by bacterial action before being discharged to water courses nearby or soakaways on site.

Finally, ‘greener’ options now include organic reed beds which, if properly managed, treat sewage organically. Whilst a potentially sustainable and ‘green’ treatment solution, effective sewage treatment can be adversely affected by the use of bleaches and other cleaning products and the homeowner must be vigilant in the use of such day-to-day items.

The good news is that if you are not connected to mains drainage you might be due a rebate on your water rates of approximately 33% to reflect this.

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