Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby ziggy » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:21 pm

Hi There,

I am considering extending my old cottage and I am waiting for an appointment with my engineer, but getting impatient and worried about a certain problem.

Basically, I am on a site of only 1/4 acre and as far as I can see there is no real percolation area, but it is all compliant at the moment as everthing is in place for years and years.

I am wondering if I was to apply for an extension that wouldn't encroach on the septic tank, (more that 7m distance )would the planners be looking for me to have a percolation area using the same rules as if I was building a new house. I simply don't have the room/distance for it within my site and I am hoping that extensions are under some differnt criteria.

Thanks,
Ziggy

PS - very informative site, fair play to those who put in all the effort.
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby tripe » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:05 pm

ziggy
in co. cork . the planners ( sanitary services ) sometimes use the application for an extension to a dwelling
as a means to bring out of date or existing inadequate septic tanks up to date by inserting such a condition
in granting permission.:
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby ziggy » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:16 pm

Tripe,

Thanks for getting back to me - what is of more concern to me is not that I would have to update the existing tank - but they would include the need for a percolation area. I don't seem to have one now and the site is not big enough to have one 20m from the back of the house.

Ziggy
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby construct_06 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:01 pm

ya in clare its something similar. Wheras a couple of years ago an extension application was straight forward and no problems, now its becoming something of a pain. i have to advise people that they may get caught in this web if they apply for an extension.

The council will argue that the extension is extra development and hence more occupants are possible. Especially if there are extra bedrooms involved. And even if u argue that u wont be having any more children etcc, they will say what if u sell the house, or they will say that this applicattion may just be an attempt to increase the value of the house. The problem here is that even if u establish that the existing septic tank and percolation area were designed and constructed properly and to the relevant standards at the time, the standards have now changed and more area (usually) is required to accomodate the percolation areas of today.

Your problem though is an unusual one. But if u currently have no percolation area and the septic tank is discharging directly to ground/soakpit (which is terrible by todays standards), maybe you could come to an arrangement with the Co. Co. to improve this situation. This would be in ur interest also (who wants to be responsible for polluting the local water supply, or see sludge bubbling up thru' the ground in wet weather in winter time or have a pet or child infected/die as a result of this.)

Obviously if the Co Co have any common sense at all they will go with u on this. I mean wouldnt anyone agree that if u improve the situation, its better than leaving as it is.

Improvements could include a polishing filter with relaxations on the distance requirements. The current Epa 2000 document is only a guideline and has not been enshrined into the Building regualtions as far as i know.
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby tripe » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:15 pm

hi ziggy
we assume that your proposed extension is not exempt ? you could put in a mini treatment plant where the
seperation distances are smaller than for septic tanks and percolation areas . however if you have a well you might be into more problems with location .. how big is your site ? treatment systems cost money .
to be fair you should have a asuitable percolation area serving your septic tank .
i aggree with construct 06 the only option may be to meet the local authority and explore any suggestions they may have regarding your suitation . you could do this without identifing your site .
let us know how you get on
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby ziggy » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:17 pm

hi,
I meet the engineer the other day and he told me that I was in trouble if I wanted to get planning. Not only was there no room for the percolation area, but I was told that the well was also too close to the septic tank - supposed to be 50m. Mine is at most 20m. Not a whole lot I can do here, as there simply isn't room in the site. So with all the problems, the best I can hope for is the 40sq m extension without planning.

Their is a small existing extension c.18sq m and my engineer tells me that I can still add 40sq m on top of this because it is there for longer than 5 or 7 years. I tought it was 40 sq m in total, so might work out ok anyway.

So looking into that as the new plan now.

Thanks for the help ,
Ziggy
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby Fairfield » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:57 pm

Exempt extensions can only be 40 sq m in total so you can only build an additional 22 sq m.

Engineer is mixing up enforcement issues with exempted development and is thus incorrect.
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby Archie » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:26 am

Fairfield wrote:Exempt extensions can only be 40 sq m in total so you can only build an additional 22 sq m.

Engineer is mixing up enforcement issues with exempted development and is thus incorrect.

Agree
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby ziggy » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:46 pm

I think I am going to cry - I just left a message with my Engineer to double check this and get back to me. The reason I logged on to day was to ask about this. It really seemed like a crazy law and too good to be true - he even went as far as to say that I could have the upstairs (attic) layed out in such a way so that in 5 years time when the exemption was expired, I could convert the upstairs and be fully compliant.

So I am now looking at getting an extra 18 square metres in total as opposed to what I was expecting was an additionaol 40 sqm now and more space upstairs in 5 years time.:( :( :( :( - B*******

Ziggy
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Re: Extensions and existsing septic Tank/Percolation

Postby Fairfield » Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:07 pm

It appears that your Engineer doesn't have a clue about Planning issues and thus I would take any advice with a grain of salt.

In my experience, most Engineers and Architects do not have an understanding of the ins and outs of planning legislation and thus, you should either talk to the Planner for your area (they have to faciliate you in a pre-application meeting or Planning Clinic) or get advice from a Planning Consultant.

Good Luck.
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