1: Do you need a wastewater treatment system for your home or commercial premises?

If you are off mains, you will know only too well the challenge of finding a way to deal with your waste water.
Around 1.5 million homes in the UK are not connected to the sewer because of where they are situated, typically in remote or rural areas. So, whether you are building your own home or you need to retrofit a new wastewater system in your current home, what are your options?
Perhaps you are building new commercial premises – from hotels to offices, pubs to campsites and industrial buildings – or you need to upgrade the sewage treatment plant, and you are considering the possibilities you have.

Stricter environmental standards and building control regulations place a greater responsibility on specifiers to ensure the correct wastewater treatment system is chosen. You will find it useful to have the kind of support we offer at Kingspan for specifying an off-mains drainage system, including effluent quality, treatment process and flow rates. 
Whether you are planning for domestic or commercial use, this page is designed to answer some key questions.

2: Understand your options

pump station
If you are off the mains, you have three options for dealing with your wastewater:

You can pump it

If you are just outside of the main sewer network, a pump station is designed to move the waste water by gravity to the main sewer.

You can treat it

If your home or commercial site is very rural, you can treat your waste water with a domestic or commercial sewage treatment plant, as relevant. There is a biological process that treats and expels the waste water as clean water in the right way.
septic tank

You can store it in a septic tank.

Another option if you are far off the mains but don’t want to go the expense of treating the waste water, is to have a septic tank installed.

However, making this choice isn’t down to preference, it is usually down to several key factors…

3: Factors to consider

You must take relevant legislation into account when making your choice. But there are other issues that will have an influence too. Here is a quick overview of what to think about when deciding on the right wastewater system for you:


You MUST bear this in mind – it is very important to adhere to the relevant legislation. For example, the Environmental Agency issues very strong guidelines on what must be done. You also need to work to the relevant Building Control regulations and binding rules.

For example in the UK, any unit going into the ground may require ‘consent to discharge’ from the local Environment Agency / SEPA office, even if you are using just a storage tank. Planning permission is required from the local Building Control department.

Whatever wastewater product you choose, it must also be of a European standard. The relevant European standards are: 
  • For domestic: BS EN12566-3
  • For commercial: BS EN12566
If you install a substandard septic tank or treatment plant, you may be liable for prosecution.


The number of people who will use it, including how much bathrooms and toilets there are.


When it comes to being responsible for your choice of system, you have to think about how/where you can expel your wastewater if you decide to treat it. Again, legislation is key here.

Access to your site 

What are the site conditions? Is it on a hill? Is it easy to access the lid of your septic tank, pump station or sewage treatment place for desludging, emptying or general servicing?


4: Some case studies for inspiration

5: Your product options

6. Ask for some help or support

We offer down to earth, practical advice from start to finish on your project including tips on Building Control regulations and binding rules, site suitability and more. Please complete the form below and we will make sure the most relevant person gets back to you within 24 hours.

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